Delhi Government introduced Working Journalists (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015

Who: Working Journalists (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015
What: Introduced in Delhi Assembly
When: 26 November 2015

Delhi Government on 26 November 2015 introduced Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015in Delhi Assembly.

The bill’s proposed amendments envisage imprisonment of up to one year and penalty extending to ten thousand rupees for any violations among others.

The bill was tabled in the Assembly by state’s Labour Minister Gopal Rai. It seeks to address the shortcomings which are coming in the way of implementations of several recommendations of the Majithia Wage Board for journalists and non-journalists in Delhi.

Highlights of the Bill

• It seeks to address the shortcomings in providing adequate compensation.
• It seeks to strengthen the penal provision in cases of non-adherence to the Act.
• The proposed Amendments to section 18 of the Act stipulates imprisonment of up to six months and fine which may extend to 5000 rupees for non-payment of the due wages to an employee.
• It envisage more stringent penal provision under section 18 (1) and 18(1A) which include punishment of imprisonment as well as provisions of enhanced fine which will provide an effective deterrence for the violators of the Act.
• The amendment seeks to replace the words “punishable with fine which may extend to 500 rupees” with “punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to 10000 rupees”.

The bill was introduced in light of several issues were raised by the working journalists and other newspaper employees in relation to payment of salaries. The existing Act also lacked in proper provisions to enforce reasonable wages/salary to working journalists and other newspaper employees.

So far no media organisation has implemented the recommendations of Majithia Wage Board in the national capital.