Supreme Court allows construction workers to approach Consumer Court against Construction Workers’ Welfare Board.
18 March 2020: In the matter of Joint Labour Commissioner & Registering Officer and Ors. Vs. Kesar Lal a division bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi ruled that a construction worker registered under the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1966 can approach the consumer forums if the government denied them statutory benefits promised under the Act. The bench held registered construction workers as consumers and further stated that parliament has provided a statutory remedy to consumers of both goods and services. Public authorities which have been constituted under an enactment of Parliament are entrusted with solemn duty of providing welfare services to registered workers. Hence, if the services are not rendered to a consumer she has the right to approach a consumer forum against it. The bench further held the view that this would make the welfare boards accountable towards their ‘consumers.’
Bombay High Court: Employer liable for compensation for aggravating existing health condition of worker
14 March 2020: Bench of Justice Vinay Joshi held that the employer is liable to pay compensation under the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 if the workplace and the nature of work aggravates the existing health condition of a worker. The bench also pulled up the labour department for not assisting workers in filing and pursuing cases against employers. The order further upheld the power of summoning and questioning the employer in case of a workplace accident as per the powers vested in the labour inspectors under the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923.