President Kovind gives assent to Delhi Working Journalist Act

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New Delhi, May 10 (PTI): President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to the  ‘Delhi Working Journalist Amendment Act 2015’ which seeks to ensure “effective  implementation” of the Majithia Wage Board awards and provides penal provisions, including imprisonment of up to one year, in case of non-adherence to the Act.

In December 2015, the Delhi Assembly had passed the Bill seeking to amend the Working Journalists Act for effecting changes in the existing law. Labour minister Gopal Rai on Thursday said that Delhi has become “the first state” to bring amendments in the law to ensure “effective implementation” of the Majithia Wage Board in the country.

As per the law which is applicable to Delhi-based media organisations, contractual employees will be treated as working journalists. “In case of non-payment of the due wages to an employee, the employer will be punishable with imprisonment of either description which may extend to six months or fine which may extend to two hundred rupees per employee per day or with both, till the offence is continued,” a Delhi government’s notification stated.

The notification was issued by department of law, justice and legislative affairs on May 7. The Act also empowers authorities concerned to direct payment of “compensation not exceeding five times of the amount of the wages due the newspaper employees”, in case of complaints.

According to the new law, violations attract fines ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 and jail term of up to one year.

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