Decided on November 18,2003

V K Punishi Appellant
STATE OF M P Respondents

Cited Judgements :-



- (1.)THE petitioner has preferred this petition under Article 226/227 of the Constitution of India, challenging the order passed by the Persident, Industiral Court, Raipur dated 30th June 2003 and order dated 4-12-2001 passed by the Magistrate 1st Class (Labour Court) Durg, in Criminal Case No. 253/Factory Act/2001.
(2.)BRIEF facts leading to filing of this petition are that the petitioner is the Managing Director of M/s Dharmsi Morarji Chemical Ltd. Bombay. The company has a number of factories through out the country manufacturing fertilizers, sulphuric acid etc. and one of the factory is situated at Kumhari, District Durg. The petitioner namely, V.K. Punshi is the occupier of this Kumhari unit under the Factories Act, 1948. On 17-10-2001, Factorty Inspector, Durg, State of Chhattisgarh filed a complaint against the petitioner for contravention of Sections 7A(1) & 7A(2) (a) of the Factories Act, 1948 in the Court of Magistrate 1st Class (Labour Court) alleging that on 15th July 2001 at about 11 am one Shri Khorbahara Ram Sahu was fatally injured at mill No. 2 as his forehead, right upper limp and left hand were crushed between the rollers of the mill when said Khorbahara Ram Sahu was engaged on lubricating the roller No. 3 through the inspection opening provided in the body of the mill No. 2 after removing the hinged cover provided on the inspection opening. No safety measure regarding removing the fuses/cutting of the power supply from the mains had been taken to prevent the inadvertent starting of the mill by a third agency like the mill operator of the mill. Therefore, the mill was inadvertently started by the mill operator from the mill operator's room resulting a death of the workman. Had there been a system of taking effective shutdowns of the mill No. 2 under lubrication and maintenance, the accident could have been avoided.
The learned Labour Court on receiving this complaint issued the summons for appearance to the petitioner. An application under Section 205 of the Cr.P.C. for grant of permanent exemption from personal appearance on behalf of the accused/applicant was moved before the Labour Court requesting therein that as he is required to remain present at Head Office, Mumbai and also required to visit out of India for the purposes of company's business and the Head Office is situated at a distance of about 1400 kms. from Durg, therefore, to permit the accused/applicant to appear or to plead through an Advocate engaged by him namely Shri H.N. Vyas, R.N. Vyas, N.K. Vyas and S.P. Nath. It is very difficult for the applicant to remain present in the Court on each and every date of hearing and he undertakes that shall keep himself present in the Court as and when it is so deemed fit by the Hon'ble Court.

(3.)THE learned Labour Court vide its order dated 4-12-2001 passed an order exempting the personal appearance of the applicant on that day and for future appearance the Court ordered that the request of the applicant is accepted with the condition that he would submit a personal bond and surety in the sum of Rs. 2,000/- and also the applicant to appear at the time of recording of his statement and also on the date of hearing. Aggrieved by this order, the petitioner/applicant moved a criminal revision under Section 397 of the Cr.P.C. in the Industrial Court, Chhattisgarh. The President of the learned Industrial Court vide impugned order dated 30th June 2003 dismissed the revision considering that the order passed by the Magistrate under Section 205 of the Cr. P.C. is interlocutory in nature, therefore, no revision lies against such order and it was further held that except in petty offences as described under Section 206 of the Cr.P.C. application for permanent exemption from personal appearance by the accused should be allowed only when the accused has appeared in the court and has furnished recognizance bonds, and there are sufficient and cogent grounds for allowing the application.

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