SC asks govt to defer for 2 weeks decision on wage board

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Government to refrain from taking any decision on the implementation of the recommendations of Majithia Wage Board for journalists and non-journalists for two weeks when it will take up the case for hearing.

"Don`t do anything till two weeks," a bench comprising justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma said while asking the government to place before it the copy of the report.

The Centre insisted on the implementation of the recommendations during the pendency of case.

"Let the decision be taken by the government on its implementation as it is only one media house which has come to the court against the recommendations," Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi said.

He said that the report should be allowed to be implemented subject to the outcome of the final decision of the matter.

However, when the bench asked the government to wait for two weeks, the ASG agreed.

The bench said, "we are not in hurry. In this matter nothing should be done till we decide".

The court also asked the Centre to supply a copy of the report to the ABP (Anand Bazar Patrika) Pvt Ltd which has challenged the recommendation of the wage board.

Advocate Parmanand Pandey, appearing for unions of journalists and non-journalists, said that the copy of the report must already be with the newspaper organisations as the recommendations were based on the tripartite agreement between Government, newsspapers and unions.

The apex court had issued notice in May to the Union Government on a petition challenging the recommendations of Majithia Wage Board, without granting any injunction.

A petition filed by ABP Pvt Ltd, publishers of prominent English and Bengali dailies, had sought a declaration that the Wage Board Award and its recommendations submitted to the government in December last be declared as arbitrary and illegal.

The petitioner urged the apex court to declare constitution of the Wage Board as ultra vires and grant an injunction restraining the Union of India and others from giving any effect to the Award and recommendations made therein.

However, the apex court issued notice to the Union Government after it was informed that the government has not come out with the notification for implementation of the recommendations.

The ABP has named the Indian Federation of Working Journalists, the National Union of Journalists, the Indian Journalists Union, the All India Newspaper Employees Federation, the National Federation of Newspaper Employees as respondents.