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Section 21 Maternity Benefit Act 1961: Penalty for contravention of Act by employer

Section 21 (Penalty for contravention of Act by employer) of the Maternity Benefit Act 1961 —

❝(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.❞



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Notes:

The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (No. 53 of 1961) was amended by:
- the Central Labour Laws (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Act, 1970 (No. 51 of 1970) (w.e.f. 01-Sep-1971);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 1972 (No. 21 of 1972) (w.e.f. 01-Jun-1972);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 1973 (No. 52 of 1973) (w.e.f. 01-Mar-1975);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 1976 (No. 53 of 1976) (w.e.f. 01-May-1976);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 1988 (No. 61 of 1988) (w.e.f. 10-Jan-1989);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 1995 (No. 29 of 1995) (w.e.f. 01-Feb-1996);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2008 (No. 15 of 2008) (w.e.f. 15-Apr-2008);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 (No. 06 of 2017) (w.e.f. 01-Apr-2017).

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