Corporate criminal liability Criminal liability Minimum wage Wage manipulation, non-payment or withholding of wages
Under Section 22C, if an offence under the Minimum Wages Act is committed by a company, every person who was in charge of, and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company at the time the offence was committed, will be presumed guilty and will be criminally liable for the commission of the offence. A person responsible to the company may escape the aforementioned liability if he or she proves that the offence was committed without his or her knowledge, or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.
Section 22C. Offences by companies.
(1) If the person committing any offence under this Act is a company, every person who at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company as well as the company shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:
Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Explanation.–For the purposes of this section,– (a) “company” means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals, and (b) “director” in relation to a firm means a partner in the firm.
Law / India / Minimum Wages Act, 1948
The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 is aimed at preventing the exploitation of workers by fixing minimum wages that must be met by employers.
The Minimum Wages Act provides for the fixing of minimum wages by the authorities at the federal and state levels, for a certain number of occupations in non-organized sectors where the risk of exploitation of workers is considered high. In organized sectors, such as banking, the applicable wages are fixed by collective agreement.
As the task of fixing wages varies from region to region, industry to industry, and establishment to establishment, the Supreme Court has issued principles from time to time for the determination and fixing of minimum wages.
According to information published in the ILO’s 2014 General Survey on Minimum Wage Systems, minimum wages have been fixed centrally for 45 occupational categories and at the state level for 1,679 occupational categories.