NEW BEERBHOOM COAL CO LTD Vs. JOINT DIRECTOR OF MINES SAFETY
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
NEW BEERBHOOM COAL CO.LTD.
JOINT DIRECTOR OF MINES, SAFETY
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Anil Kumar Sen, J. -
(1.)These three Rules were issued on as many Writ petitions filed by the petitioners under Article 226(1) of the Constitution. The petitioners are New Beerbhoom Coal Co. Ltd. Bengal Coal Co. Ltd., Katras Jharriah Coal Co, Ltd. and some of their shareholders challenging the legality and validity of Regulation 191 of the Coal Mines Regulations, 1957 the petitioners are praying for a Writ In the nature of Mandamus commanding the respondents to forbear from enforcing or taking any steps to enforce or giving any effect to the impugned Regulation and further commanding the respondents to forbear from taking any action against the petitioners end their servants for violation of such Regulation.
(2.)The Regulation impugned is the one which was incorporated into the Coal Mines Regulations framed under the Mines Act. 1952 by the Central Government by the notification No. GSR 1298 dated August 22, 1967, The Impugned Regulation is set out hereunder :--
"191. Use, supply and maintenance of protective footwear-- (1) No person shall go into, or work or be allowed to go into or work in 4 mine unless he wears a protective footwear of such type as may be approved by the Chief Inspector by a general or special order in writing. (2) The protective footwear referred to in such Regulation (1) shall be sup-plied free of charge at intervals not exceeding six months, by the owner, agent or manager of a mine who shall at all times maintain a sufficient stock of protective footwear in order to ensure minimum supply as and when need for the same arises. (3) Where a footwear is provided otherwise than as aforesaid the supply shall be made on payment of full cost. (4) The owner, agent or manager of a mine shall provide at suitable places in the mine dubbing and revolving brushes or make other suitable alternative arrangements for cleaning of protective foot-wear by the persons using them. It shall however, be the responsibility of the persons supplied with protective footwear to arrange the repair of the same at his own costs".
(3.)The petitioners are disputing In particular the validity of sub-regulations (1) and (2) of Regulation 191 set out hereinbefore on the two fold grounds: (1) such regulations are ultra vires the Act and (2) such regulations impose unreasonable restriction on the petitioners' fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (f) and (g) of the Constitution. These are also the two points pressed at the hearing by the learned Counsel for the petitioners.
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