The Working Journalists (Fixation of Rates of Wages) Act, 1958
This act could be called The Journalists Act, 1958
In this act, a) ‘Committee’ means committee under section 3; b) ‘prescribed’ means prescribed by rules under the act c) ‘Wage Board’ means Wage Board under the Working Journalists Act of govt. of India under Ministry of Labor. d) ‘Wage Board decision’ means the verdict of the Wage Board published within Gazette of India e) ‘Wages’ means wage defined in Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 f) ‘Working Journalists Act’ means the Working Journalists and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955 g) Words and expressions used but not defined within this act shall have the identical meaning assigned to them in the Working Journalists Act.
Constitution of Committee
1) It Aims to enable Central govt. to fix rates of wages with regard to working journalists with the view of judgment of Supreme Court related to Wage Board decision, and with view of all situations, the central govt. shall, by notification in official Gazette, a committee of following persons namely:- a) Officer of Ministry of Law above the rank of Joint Secretary, recommended by Central Government b) Three persons recommended by central govt. from officers of Ministry of Home Affairs, Labour and Employment and information and broadcasting c) Chartered Accountant recommended by central govt. 2) If vacancy occurs in office of Chairman or any member of Committee, central govt. could appoint another person under sub-section (1) for the vacancy and inquiry may continue from stage which had been reached when vacancy arise. 3) Central govt. could appoint secretary to committee and can also provide with other staff if necessary 4) Secretary can perform functions of ministerial nature if chairman resigns or delegate to him.
Functions of the Committee
1) Committee by notice published in a way to call upon newspaper establishments and Working Journalists and other person interested in Wage Board decision make such representation which they think fit the Wage Board decision and rates of wages fixed with respect to working journalists under this act. 2) Such representation must be in writing and within period not exceeding thirty days, as specified by the committee and state must- a) Specify grounds of restriction under Wage Board decision b) Rates of wages which would be reasonable in the opinion of person making representation with regard to capacity of employer to pay same or other circumstance, whatever seems relevant to the person making representation c) The modifications which in opinion of the person must be made in Wage Board decision and with reasons 3) The committee after going through the material provided to the Wage Board and other material as made available to them as it thinks fits the central government for fixation of rates of wages with regard to working journalists either by modification or otherwise and recommendation should specify the date from rates of wages should be effective. 4) Committee should have regard to all matters laid down in sub-section (1) of section 9 of Working Journalists Act while making recommendations. 5) Committee can take consideration separately, either on the basis of regional classification or other basis and take recommendation with time from each group or class.
Powers of the Committee
1. The committee can exercise any or all power which an Industrial tribunal within the Industrial dispute Act, 1947 exercises for arbitration of industrial disputes and can subject to the provision in this act, and has a power to work its own power with the provision in sub-section (2). 2. Any document or representation presented to the committee as an evidence, would be open to be inspected on payment of fees as given, by person interested in the matter 3. If while inquiring, committee finds it necessary to examine an account or document or record any statement of a person, committee can authorize an officer of central govt. on their behalf and the officer would be work on the directions of the committee and examine the accounts, documents and record statement. 4. Authorised officer on the direction of the committee, if any, exercise either all or any of his powers which can be exercised under industrial tribunal sub-section (2) or (3) of section 11 of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. 5. Nothing in sub-section (1) of section 54 of Indian Income Tax Act, 1922 or in any similar provision in other law for the time being in force related to tax would apply to disclosure of any particulars referred in any report made to committee by the officer. 6. Information obtained by authorized officer while exercising his power and report made by him would not resist anything in this act, treated as confidential, nothing in this sub-section would apply to disclosure of any information or report to central govt. or court with respect to matter concerning the execution of act. 7. The authorized officer would be a public servant under the Section 21 IPC.
Powers of Central Government to enforce recommendations of committee
1. The central govt. can make an order in terms of recommendations after receipt to such modification, as it thinks fits, which does not effect important changes in character of recommendations. 2. Not holding out against anything in sub-section (1), central govt. can if it thinks fit a) To make changes in the recommendations, not changes of nature referred in sub-section (1) as it thinks fit; Provided before making any such changes, the central govt. should case notice to all persons who would likely be affected in such manner as prescribed and should take into account any representations in this behalf, or b) Refer to recommendations of the committee, in this case central govt. would consider its recommendations and make an order either with the recommendations or with changes referred in sub-section (1) as it thinks fit. 3. All orders made by central govt. would be published in official Gazette with recommendations of the committee related to the order, and should come into action on date of publication or specified in the order.
Working Journalists entitled to wages at rates not less than those specified in the order
Provision in section 11, on coming into operation of an order of central govt, all working journalists should be entitled to be paid by their employer wages at rate which should not be less than the wages specified in the order.
Review of order of Central Government
The central govt. at any time after three years from the date when the order is passed, if it is of opinion that it requires rates of wages specified in the order would be revised, constitutes Wage board as in section 8 of Working Journalists Act, where wage board is so constituted, provision of Working Journalists would apply.
Recovery of Money due to working journalists
1) An amount is due within this act to a working journalist from an employer, the working journalist can make an application to state govt. without any harm for recovery of money, and if state govt. specifies, satisfies that money is due, it would issue certificate for the amount to collector and collector should recover the amount in same way as of land revenue. 2) If question arises as to the amount due to working journalist from an employer, the state govt. can on application refer the question to any labour court under section 7 of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, and the act would have an effect in relation to labour court as if the question referred was a matter specified in second schedule to the act. 3) Decision in labour court should be forwarded by it to state govt. and amount found due may be recovered as provided in sub-section (1).
Authentication of orders, letters, etc., of the committee
All notices, letters or other documents issued or made by the committee under this act should be Authenticated by Chairman or Secretary or any other officer authorised by committee in its behalf and notice, letter, order or other document authenticated should be assumed to have been issued or made by committee.
Effect of Act on Working Journalists Act, etc.
1) Section 8,10,11,12 and 13 would have no effect in relation to the committee. 2) The provisions of this act would have effect resisting inconsistency in terms of award, agreement or contract of service, made before or after the commencement of this act: Provided that under such awards, agreement or otherwise, a working journalist is benefited in respect of any matter which are more favored to him, the working journalist would continue to be entitled to more benefits with respect to the matter, resisting the benefits with respect to other matters. 3) Nothing in this act would overturn any working journalists from entering into any agreement with employer for rights with respect to any matter which is more favorable to him than to those he would be entitled to.
Vacancies, etc. not to invalidate proceedings of committee
No act would be invalid by reason of any vacancy among members or defect in the constitution.
Power to make rules
1) The central govt. by notification in official Gazette can make rules for this act. 2) Without prejudice , such rules would provide- a) Manner in which notices would be published b) Procedure which needs to be followed in exercise of its powers c) Powers and Functions delegated to any member d) Fees to be paid for inspection of documents
Repeal and Saving
1) The Working Journalists ordinance, 1958 is hereby repealed, 2) Anything done or actions taken under the ordinance would be deemed to be done under this act if it is commenced on 14th day of June, 1958