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DSLSA empanelled advocates to be appointed as Authorised Officers under the Construction Workers Act: Honorarium of Rs. 1,800 per day

The appointed advocates will receive an honorarium of Rs 1,800 per day.

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court has given its go-ahead to the appointment of Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) empanelled advocates as Authorised Officers for the limited purpose of carrying out certain responsibilities under the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996. (Sunil Aledia vs GNCT of Delhi)

The order was passed by a Divison Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar in a PIL preferred by activist Sunil Kumar Aledia for directions to secure the interest of construction workers in the national capital amid COVID-19.

The advocates so appointed shall undertake the verification of applications for renewal of registration of construction workers and for certification that the applicants are eligible and entitled to renewal of membership/ registration under the Act.

The appointed advocates will receive an honorarium of Rs 1,800 per day.

Shyel Trehan appearing for the Intervenor had argued "that even after the Advocates appointed from the panel of the DSLSA undertake the aforesaid task, the Board may sit-over the matter and the report furnished by the said Advocates with regard to the eligibility for renewal of registration may not be treated as final and acted upon by the Board.

"...if another process of arriving at satisfaction is undertaken by the Board before grant of renewal to all such applicants – who are cleared by the Advocates from the DSLSA panel, the purpose of the whole exercise would be lost, and there would still remain a bottleneck in the matter of grant of renewal of registration."

The Court has clarified that the authorisation as Authorised Officers under Rule 266 of the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 2002 shall not tantamount to employment of these Advocates by the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare (BOCWW) Board.

The move to rope in advocates for the purpose of verification under the Act came in view of the huge pendency of applications before the Board for renewal of registration etc.

The Court has asked the Secretary of BOCWW Board to consult Secretary, DSLSA, Kanwal Jeet Arora and prepare a check-list/ guidelines of the aspects that the Advocates would undertake while scrutinising and dealing with the applications which have been received through the online mode.

The Court has ordered that the reports furnished by the Advocates should be treated as final and should be acted upon by the BOCWW Board without any delay.

While leaving the modalities of the process to the Board and DSLSA, the Court said,

..the Board should not lose sight of the fact that this entire exercise is being undertaken to expedite the process of grant of renewal of registration and, therefore, there should be no laxity in the same and the matter should be dealt with on a war-footing.
Delhi High Court

The matter would be heard next on July 30.

Advocates Shiven Varma, Rohan Poddar appeared for the Petitioner.

Additional Standing Counsel Sanjoy Ghose with advocate Urvi Mohan represented Delhi Govt.

Advocates Shyel Trehan, Chirayu Jain represented the Intervenor. Advocates Sumer Kumar Sethi, Dolly Sharma represented DSLSA.

Advocate Parvinder Chauhan appeared for DUSIB. Advocate Rohan Anand represented UOI.

Read the Order:

Sunil Aledia vs GNCT of Delhi.pdf
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