Supreme Court allows Delhi government to notify 37% hike in minimum wage
The hike, recommended by a 36-member committee, is over and above the revised wages that were notified in 2017.Updated: Oct 17, 2019 23:03 IST
The Supreme Court (SC), on Thursday, has allowed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi Government to notify the revised minimum wages for workers, arrived at after fresh deliberations subsequent to an apex court order, which mandates a 37% hike in the monthly and daily allowance.
This hike, recommended by a 36-member committee, is over and above the revised wages that were notified in 2017.
In its order given on Monday, a bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and Aniruddha Bose said Delhi Government can take its draft notification on the revised minimum wages to the logical conclusion. It, however, clarified that the fresh notification would be subject to a challenge. It added that until the new rates are notified, the old ones, fixed under the March 2017 notification, will remain in effect.
According to the 2017 notification, workers in Delhi are entitled to get a minimum monthly wage of ₹13,350 (unskilled), ₹14,698 (semi-skilled) and ₹16,182 (skilled). If notified, the revised monthly wage would be ₹14,842 per month (unskilled), ₹16,341 (semi-skilled- for clerical and supervisory staff) and ₹17,991 (skilled).
Till November 1, 2018, the day the Supreme Court issued the interim order, the applicable monthly wage for the three categories was ₹9,724, ₹10,764 and ₹11,830, respectively.
“…we allow the petitioner state to take the draft notification, as stated above, to the logical conclusion and direct that till said notification comes into effect, the relationship shall be governed by and in terms of the notification dated March 3, 2017, as directed in the order dated October 31, 2018. Once the notification is issued, the appropriate legal consequence and sequitur shall follow. It goes without saying that if any person is aggrieved by the notification, he shall be entitled to take recourse to legal remedies available in law,” the bench ordered.
The Delhi government welcomed the court's order. An official statement read: “Delhi government will now proceed with issuing the final notification on minimum wages fixation, as per the directions... Delhi government is committed to ensure a life of dignity and comfort for all residents of the national capital. Based on the average prices of food items and clothing component and other basic life necessities like housing, electricity etc., the Delhi government had fixed the minimum wages.”
The court’s order came on an appeal filed by the Delhi government against Delhi High Court’s August, 2018, verdict that quashed the former’s March 2017 order revising the minimum wage for all classes of workmen in scheduled employment.
The high court held the “hurried” decision was taken without according a fair representation to the employers or employees. But HC had also held that the fixation of minimum wages in Delhi cannot be faulted simply because they are higher than the rates of minimum wages fixed in surrounding states and towns. Its order came on a petition filed by various associations of employers.