24. Protection of action taken in good faith.-No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act or of any rule or order made thereunder.
25. Power of Central Government to give directions.- The Central Government may give such directions as it may deem necessary to a State Government regarding the carrying into execution of the provisions of this Act and the State Government shall comply with such directions.
26. Power to exempt establishments.-If the appropriate Government is satisfied that having regard to an establishment or a class of establishments providing for the grant of benefits which are not less favourable than those provided in this Act, it is necessary so to do, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, exempt, subject to such conditions and restrictions, if any, as may be specified in the notification, the establishment or class of establishments from the operation of all or any of the provisions of this Act or of any rule made thereunder.
The appropriate Government on being satisfied with regard to grant of a benefits, has the power to exempt an establishment or a class of establishment, i.e. hospitals, nursing homes and dispensaries, from the operation of all or any of the provisions of the Act. And this exemption will remain in force as long as it has not been cancelled by further notification; Thomas Eapen v. Assistant Labour Officer, 1993 LLR 800 (Ker).
27. Effect of laws and agreements inconsistent with this Act.-(1) The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law or in the terms of any award, agreement or contract of service, whether made before or after the coming into force of this Act:
Provided that where under any such award, agreement, contract of service or otherwise, a woman is entitled to benefits in respect of any matter which are more favourable to her than those to which she would be entitled under this Act, the woman shall continue to be entitled to the more favourable benefits in respect of that matter, not with standing that she is entitled to receive benefits in respect of other matters under this Act.
(2) Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed to preclude a woman from entering into an agreement with her employer for granting her rights or privileges in respect of any matter which are more favourable to her than those to which she would be entitled under this Act.
28. Power to make rules.-(1) The appropriate Government may, subject to the condition of previous publication and by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for-
(a) the preparation and maintenance of registers, records and muster-rolls;
(b) the exercise of powers (including the inspection of establishments) and the performance of duties by Inspectors for the purposes of this Act;
(c) the method of payment of maternity benefit and other benefits under this Act in so far as provision has not been made therefore in this Act;
(d) the form of notices under section 6;
(e) the nature of proof required under the provisions of this Act;
(f) the duration of nursing-breaks referred to in section 11 ;
(g) acts which may constitute gross misconduct for purposes of section 12;
(h) the authority to which an appeal under clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 12 shall lie; the form and manner in which such appeal may be made and the procedure to be followed in disposal thereof;
(i) the authority to which an appeal shall lie against the decision of the Inspector under section 17; the form and manner in which such appeal may be made and the procedure to be followed in disposal thereof;
(j) the form and manner in which complaints may be made to Inspectors under sub-section (1) of section 17 and the procedure to be followed by them when making inquiries or causing inquiries to be made under sub-section (2) of that section;
(k) any other matter which is to be, or may be prescribed.
1[(3) Every rule made by the Central Government under this section shall be laid as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament while it is in session for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session 1[or in two or more successive sessions and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions, aforesaid] both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.]
29. Amendment of Act 69 of 1951.-ln section 32 of the Plantations Labour Act, 1951,-
(a) in sub-section (1), the letter and brackets "(a)" before the words "in the case of sickness", the word "and" after the words "sickness allowance" and clause (b) shall be omitted;
(b) in sub-section (2), the words "or maternity" shall be omitted.
30. Repeal.-On the application of this Act-
(i) to mines, the Mines Maternity Benefit Act, 1941 (19 of 1941); and
(ii) to factories situate in the Union territory of Delhi, the Bombay Maternity Benefit Act, 1929 (Bombay Act VII of 1929); as in force in that territory, shall stand repealed.
Subs. by Act 52 of 1973, sec.5 (w.e.f. 1-3-1975).