CONSTITUTIONAL VALIDITY OF THE MINIMUM WAGES ACT, 1948
In India in 1948, the minimum wages act was introduced, both the central government and the state government were given the jurisdiction for the fixation of the wages. The act is statutory but is legally non-binding. Payment of wages below the minimum wage rate amounts to forced labor. The main aim for the wages boards was to provide the labor a fixed amount of wage-related to their work so they can at least cover a family for the requirement of four like shelter, education, clothing, medical expenses, and so on. The wage rate is in the scheduled employment for different sectors, skills, regions, and occupations that owes to a cost of living.
According to this act, the act not only provides the minimum wages to the labor but it also provides maintenance of health and decency is conducive to the general interest of the public, and its one of the directive principles of the state policy as stated under Article 43 of the Indian Constitution.
Article 14 of the Indian Constitution talks about equality before the law, and where it was noted that wages can be different everywhere like it can differ from state to state and industry to industry.
Uchinoy vs the State of Kerala
It was the famous landmark case of the Constitutional Validity where it says that if we talk about the procedure for fixing the minimum wages, a large power was given to the “appropriate government”. Before taking into consideration while fixing the wages, the advice of the committee if one is appointed on the representations on proposals made by persons who are likely to be affected thereby.
The act does not violate Article 14 of the Indian Constitution
The minimum wages act does not violate Article 14 of the Indian Constitution as held in the case of ‘Bhikusa Yamasa Kshatriya vs Sangammar Akola Bidi Kamgar Union” Section 3(3)(iv) neither contravenes Article 19(1) of the constitution nor does it infringe the equal protection clause of the constitution. the Courts have also held that the constitution of the committees and the Advisory Board did not contravene the statutory provisions on that behalf prescribed by the legislature.
Sanctity of the Minimum Wage Act
Labour prohibited under Article 23 of the Constitution has three separate rulings according to the Supreme Court, has said that non-payment of minimum wages is tantamount to ‘forced labor’.
According to the Directive principle of state policy as stated in Article 43 of the Indian Constitution it is beyond doubt that securing living wages to laborers ensures not only bare physical subsistence but also the maintenance of health and decency, it is conducive to the general interest of the public.
We all earn for living and to provide us and our family with the basic necessity of food, shelter, education, and health. Thus, the minimum wages act provides fixation of wages according to the work done by the labor, so that they should get their wages on time and they should be fixed also. So, we should aware of our laborers about their earnings and their rights also.