Case Analysis: Municipal Corporation of Delhi vs Female Workers (Muster Roll)

Topics: Social justice, Social work, Equality of outcome Pages: 7 (2374 words) Published: September 1, 2013
Case analysis: Municipal Corporation Of Delhi
Female Workers (Muster Roll)

CIA-III Labor Law-II
By Ryan Albert Mendonca
7th Sem BBA-LLB ‘C’

Table of Contents



The legislations, which take care of rights and privileges of women, are numerous in number. But due to ignorance and illiteracy those legislations cannot be properly enforced. The plethora of Indian Legislations aims at women empowerment. Thousands of women all over India earn daily wages as 'muster-roll' employees. Though they work without a break in service they are not made permanent, and are not entitled to maternity leave and other benefits. The judicial decisions rendered by the Indian Courts depict the active role played by the judiciary to protect women from exploitation at a stage where legislations are uniformed due to lack of adequacy of enforcement machinery. The legislative and judicial initiatives have placed the women in a better place in the society. Yet the woman in India has to go for miles to achieve cent per cent empowerment.

Municipal Corporation Of Delhi vs Female Workers (Muster Roll) Facts:
The female worker (muster roll), which was engaged by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, raised a demand for grant of maternity leave which was made available only to regular female workers but was denied to them on the ground that their services were not regularized and, therefore, they were not entitled to any maternity leave. Their case was espoused by the Delhi Municipal Workers Union .It was to be decided whether the female workers working on Muster Roll should be given any maternity benefit? If so, what directions are necessary in this regard? The Union filed a statement of claim in which it was stated that Municipal Corporation of Delhi employs a large number of persons including female workers on muster roll and they are made to work in that capacity for years together though they are recruited against the work of perennial nature. It was further stated that the nature of duties and responsibilities performed and undertaken by the muster roll employees are the same as those of the regular employees. The women employed on muster roll, which have been working with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi for years together, have to work very hard in construction projects and maintenance of roads including the work of digging trenches etc. but the Corporation does not grant any maternity benefit to female workers who are required to work even during the period of mature pregnancy or soon after the delivery of child. It was plead that the female workers required the same maternity benefits as were enjoyed by regular female workers under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. The denial of these benefits exhibits a harmful attitude of the Corporation in respect of a humane problem. Issues:

1. Should the female workers working on Muster Roll be entitled to any maternity benefit? 2. If so to what extent does the maternity benefit apply to them? 3. What are the directions needed to make this happen?


1. Maternity Benefit Act, 1961-Sections 2, 3(b), (c), (h), (o) and (n), 5, 6, 8 to 12, 21, 23 and 27 2. Constitution of India- Preamble, Articles 14, 15,(3), 38, 39, 42 and 43. Sections 2(1) proviso and 5 3. Municipal Corporations and Boards are "Industry"-Employees on muster roll are "workmen" and dispute between them and corporation is Industrial Dispute-Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. Arguments:

The Corporation in their written statement, filed before the Industrial Tribunal, pleaded that the provisions under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 or Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules were not applicable to the female workers, engaged on muster roll, as they were all engaged only on daily wages. It was also contended that they were not entitled to any benefit under the Employees' State...

Bibliography: * Sections 2, 3(b), (c), (h), (o) and (n), 5, 6, 8 to 12, 21, 23 and 27 of Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
* Constitution of India- Preamble, Articles 14, 15,(3), 38, 39, 42 and 43
* Yusuf Abdul Aziz v. State of Bombay, AIR (1954) SC 321[1954] SCR 930
* Messrs Crown Aluminium Works v
[ 3 ]. Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd v. Workmen, AIR (1967) SC 948[1967] 1 SCR 652
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