SC warns of "contempt" against govt on workers row

SC threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against the govt if it fails to come out with steps to protect the interests of building construction workers.

New Delhi: The SC on Monday threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against the
government if it fails to come out with appropriate steps for
constitutiting welfare boards to protect the interests of
building construction workers in the country.

A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia and
justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar regretted that
though crores of rupess in cess were being collected by the
states, the mandatory welfare boards were not being
constituted and the Centre was also not acting against them.

"Wrong information is being given to us. Do you want
us to issue contempt? When are you going to institute the
boards? All states are collecting the amount but it is not
being credited for the workers`s interest," Justice Kapadia,
speaking for the Bench, said.

The court was hearing a PIL filed in 2006 alleging
non-implementation of the Building and other Construction
Workers (Regulations of Employment and Condition of Service)
Act, 1996, and the Building and other Construction Workers
Welfare Cess Act, 1996.

The apex court was anguished that the Centre, which
was authorised under the law to issue directions to state
governments for the setting up of welfare boards, did not
exercise its power, which created a roadblock for disbursal of
the cess collected for the benefits of workers.

PTI

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