Allahabad High Court Affirms Judicial Role of District Judge in Payment of Wages Act Appeals

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Published on: January 31, 2024 at 11:50 IST

The Allahabad High Court has clarified that a judge, when appointed solely by designation and not by name, functions as a Court and not as persona designata.

This distinction was crucial in the court’s recent ruling, where it held that the orders passed by a judge in appeals under Section 17 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, are subject to the High Court’s jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India.

The Court, presided over by Justice Ashutosh Srivastava, emphasized that the test to determine whether an appointment is made as persona designata is to check if the individual is appointed by name alone or by designation to identify them. If only the post or designation is mentioned, the appointment is deemed as a court and not as persona designata.

The case arose from an appeal filed by Jayant Srivastava, the Managing Director of M/s Bhoomi Shakti Developers Pvt. Ltd., against an order under the Payment of Wages Act.

The complainants alleged non-payment for their services, leading to an appeal before the Additional District and Sessions Judge-IX, Kanpur Nagar. The High Court’s ruling clarified that the judge in such appeals acts as a civil court and not as persona designata.

The Court cited various precedents, including The General Manager v. Paras Nath Tewari, Radhey Shyam v. Chhabi Nath, and Life Insurance Corporation of India Vs. Nandini J. Shah, to support its interpretation. It highlighted that judicial orders of a civil court are not subject to writ jurisdiction under Article 226 but fall under the distinct jurisdiction of Article 227.

Concluding that the appeal under Section 17 of the Payment of Wages Act is maintainable, the Court directed the respondents to file counter-affidavits in the matter titled Jayant Srivastava v. Prescribed Authority, Payment Of Wages Act, 1936 And Additional Labour Commissioner and 4 Others

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