THE BEEDI AND CIGAR WORKERS (CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT) AMENDMENT ACT, 1993

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The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Amendment Act, 1993 was enacted on May 22, 1993 for the purpose of amending and further adding provisions to the Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966. The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966 dealt with the working conditions of employees in the beedi and cigar establishments and the appointment of inspectors to perform some functions under the Act. It further consisted of facilities that are to be provided to workers and the proper maintenance of the factories. The 1993 was enacted to fill the vacuum in the parent Act.

According to the provisions of the Amendment Act, in the interpretation clause under Section 2(f) subsequent to the term establishment, the term godown shall be added. The Section 2(ii) shall stand amended and following Section 2(h), a new section 2(hh) shall be added that defines the term godown. In view of that, godown includes the storehouse or other areas employed as the luggage compartment of any object or material needed for the process of production. It shall also consist of beedi as well as cigar. The Section 2(c) (i) shall be added with the terms which add godowns that are attached. The Act placed in Section 7A that restricts the inspector from disclosing the details regarding a complaint. Accordingly, the inspector shall not reveal the details with respect to the complaints placed before him so far as that complaint contravenes the terms specified under the present enactment. In addition, the inspector when making an assessment shall not reveal to the related employer or any agent that such an assessment is conducted as a result of the complaint received from the worker. But if the person preferring the complaint gives permission to reveal the details of the complaint, details can be made public. Section 14 of the enactment was amended including the word thirty in the place of fifty.

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The Act added explanation to Section 18 which states that if a worker was absent from his work in a week immediately before the week when the overtime duty was performed prior to the week where he actually conducted his part of work shall be included when computing the remuneration for such overtime. A proviso was embraced in Section 21 which states that the inspector shall be served with a duplicate of all the notices that holds the jurisdiction to supervise the activities of the industrial establishment. Such notice shall be served within the specified period starting from the date when the notice was displayed near the area of the industry. The Act amended Section 31 where it added Section 31 (2A) which provides that the appellate body shall be given with equal authority similar to that of a civil court as provided under the Civil Procedure Code. The power so given shall be exercised when dealing a suit with respect to the demanding of presence of a person and conducting examination. He shall also have power to force the production of records and important objects if any.

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The amount provided under Section 32 was increased by adding six months along with Rs. 5000 in the place of three months and Rs. 500. The Act further altered Section 39(2) where it provided that the matters shall be passed on for decision within the reasonable period and by the official directed by the Government of a State by formulating rules in this behalf. The rules shall specifically state the mode through which the matter shall be decided. Under Section 44, the matters are to be settled within the period prescribed as aforesaid by the Revenue for deciding the disputes in the indicated mode according to the provisions of the enactment. Hence the Act added new provisions enabling the powers to be exercised by the Appellate authority and emphatically prescribed the mode for the settlement of disputes by such authority.