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Maternity Benefit Act, 1961

18. Forfeiture of maternity benefit.-If a woman works in any establishment after she has been permitted by her employer to absent herself under the provisions of section 6 for any period during such authorised absence, she shall forfeit her claim to the maternity benefit for such period.

19. Abstract of Act and rules thereunder to be exhibited.-An abstract of the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder in the language or languages of the locality shall be exhibited in a conspicuous place by the employer in every part of the establishment in which women are employed.

20. Registers.-Every employer shall prepare and maintain such registers, records and muster-rolls and in such manner as may be prescribed.

1[21. Penalty for contravention of Act by employer.-(1) If any employer fails to pay any amount of maternity benefit to a woman entitled under this Act or discharges or dismisses such woman during or on account of her absence from work in accordance with the provisions of this Act, he shall be punishable with imprisonment which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to one year and with fine which shall not be less than two thousand rupees but which may extend to five thousand rupees:

Provided that the court may, for sufficient reasons to be recorded in writing, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a lesser term or fine only in lieu of imprisonment.

(2) If any employer contravenes the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder, he shall, if no other penalty is elsewhere provided by or under this Act for such contravention, be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both:

Provided that where the contravention is of any provision regarding maternity benefit or regarding payment of any other amount and such maternity benefit or amount has not already been recovered, the court shall, in addition, recover such maternity benefit or amount as if it were a fine and pay the same to the person entitled thereto.]

22. Penalty for obstructing Inspector.-Who ever fails to produce on demand by the Inspector any register or document in his custody kept in pursuance of this Act or the rules made thereunder or conceals or prevents any person from appearing before or being examined by an Inspector shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extent to 2[one year, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees], or with both.

3[23. Cognizance of offences.-(1) Any aggrieved woman, an office-bearer of a trade union registered under the trade Unions Act, 1926 (16 of 1926) of which such woman is a member or a voluntary organisation registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860) or an Inspector, may file a complaint regarding the commission of an offence under this Act in any court of competent jurisdiction and no such complaint shall be filed after the expiry of one year from the date on which the offence is alleged to have been committed.

(2) No court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence Under this Act.]

COMMENTS

If any woman of a registered trade union, or of a registered voluntary organisation has been denied or any of the benefits of the Act, then she has the right to file a complaint in any court of competent jurisdiction. But this right is subject to applicability of the Act to that establishment under which she works; Thomas Eapen v. Assistant Labour Officer, 1993 LLR 800 (Ker).

1.

Subs. by Act 61 of 1988, sec.9 (w.e.f. 10-1-1989).

2.

Subs. by Act-61 of 1988, sec.10 (w.e.f. 10-1-1989).

3.

Subs. by Act 61 of 1988, sec.11 (w.e.f. 10-1-1989).

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