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What is the punishment for the contravention of the provision of the Act?

(1) If any employer fails to pay any amount of maternity benefit to a woman entitled under the Act or discharges or dismisses such woman during or on account of her absence from work in accordance with the provisions of the 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. The Court may, however, 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 the Act or the rules made thereunder, he shall, if no other penalty is elsewhere provided by or under the 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. 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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