Legal Advice

Recovery of past salaries

Question: I want the recovery of past salaries from my company. I am working as an engineer in an Ltd company from 2006, from last 3 years the financial condition of the company is not good, approx 20 months’ salary is pending, I have not resigned, because if I resign, they will stop paying me a small amount, what they are paying in the gap of 2 or 3 months, even the provident fund is not being deposited by the company from last 18 months, how can I get my salaries now.


According to section 22 of Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985, [SICA] sick company is bound to pay all wages including Gratuity however sick company has a privilege during the sickness to strengthen its financial status and avoid to windup but Section 22 of the SICA, 1985, must not be allowed to defeat the legitimate claim of the workmen for wages.

In Sri Chamundi Mopeds, and Dy. Commercial Tax Officer v. Coramandal Pharmaceuticals and Ors. Supreme court held that: – The relationship of master and servant between the industrial company and the workman was continuing, the employer was bound to pay wages even though no work was taken from them and proceedings for recovery of such wages were not covered by Section 22 of the SICA, 1985.

The above-mentioned decision is adopted by the Allahabad High Court in the case of Poysha Industries v. Collector of Ghaziabad, held that SICA is legislation made in the public interest for securing timely detection of sick companies owning industrial undertakings and it was thus legislation for the benefit of the industries in the public interest.

The public interest cannot be looked bereft of the interests of the workmen. The policy behind the labour legislation is aimed at securing justice to the workmen and to avoid exploitation by employers, either by non-payment of wages or be wrongful retrenchment or by withholding payment of wages or the like.

Either you should writ petition before High Court or file petition before Company law tribunal for recovery of past salaries and provident fund.

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow