21. RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF WAGES. –
(1) A contractor shall be responsible for payment of wages to each worker employed by him as contract labour and such wages shall be paid before the expiry of such period as may be prescribed.
(2) Every principal employer shall nominate a representative duly authorised by him to be present at the time of disbursement of wages by the contractor and it shall be the duty of such representative to certify the amounts paid as wages in such manner as may be prescribed.
(3) It shall be the duty of the contractor to ensure the disbursement of wages in the presence of the authorised representative of the principal employer.
(4) In case the contractor fails to make payment of wages within the prescribed period or makes short payment, then the principal employer shall be liable to make payment of wages in full or the unpaid balance due, as the case may be, to the contract labour employed by the contractor and recover the amount so paid from the contractor either by deduction from any amount payable to the contractor under any contract or as a debt payable by the contractor.
If the contractor fails to pay wages to his employees engaged by him, the principal employer will be liable to pay the same; Cominco Benani Zinc Ltd. v. Pappachan, 1989 LLR 123 (Ker).