Denying Benefits To Construction Workers For Non-Payment Of Registration Renewal Contributions Is Incorrect: Delhi High Court

Posted On - 13 March, 2024 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva

The Delhi High Court in WP (C) 2130/2024 recently delivered a significant ruling regarding the entitlement of benefits to construction workers enrolled with the Delhi Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board. The Court declared that denying benefits to workers who fail to renew their registration and pay contributions after the registration validity ends is incorrect. The Court further stated that any unpaid contributions should be adjusted against the benefits due to the workers. This decision came in response to a PIL filed by the National Campaign Committee for Central Legislation on Construction Labour, challenging the Board’s methodology for categorizing workers’ registration status under the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996. The Court emphasized that the Act aims to ensure construction workers’ welfare, safety, health, and welfare measures. It highlighted that any interpretation leading to the denial of benefits contradicts the legislative objective and established legal principles. However, the Court acknowledged the requirement for workers to be engaged in construction work for at least ninety days a year to qualify for payment of benefits under the said Act. Consequently, the Court directed the Board to reconsider all rejected or cancelled applications for benefits promptly, adhering to the interpretation of Section 17 of the Act.