LABOUR ENFORCEMENT OFFICER (GENERAL) GOVT. OF INDIA Vs. SHRI C.L. GARODIA
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Labour Enforcement Officer (General) Govt. Of India
Shri C.L. Garodia
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T.C. Das, J. -
(1.)THIS appeal is directed against the judgment and order of acquittal dated 31.10.77 of the accused Respondent by the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sibsagar, Jorhat. The accused Respondent was charged for the contravention of the provisions of Rule 25(2)(ii), 78(2)(3) and 79 of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Central Rules, 1971 making him liable for prosecution under Sections 23 and 24 of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970.
(2.)THE Act, namely, the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, for short, 'the Act' is to regulate the employment of labour and to provide in certain circumstance for the abolition thereof. The system of employment of contract labour lends itself in various abuses. The Act is unimportant piece of social legislation. Social justice demands reasonable standards in work and minimum needs of life, which include within itself not only the bare necessities of life but a margin for education, of children, a medical aid and a reasonable comfort be made available for the personal happiness of each individual. All the farces of Government including the judiciary had tried to curb for long the labour upsurge towards collectivism . The law approximates to justice. The conception of administration of justice is based on the Rule of law in every democratic society which as conceived by modern justice, is dynamic and includes within its import asocial justice. The new idea of welfare State has abolished the old idea of "laissez faire". The concept of social justice is dynamic. In dispensing special justice, apart from the interest of contesting parties, the general and overall interests of society as a whole have to be taken into consideration so as to prevent exercising influence of one group in society at the cost of the rest. Judges are to do social justice as they have shouldered with the responsibility to do justice. In relation to industrial law, their Lordships of the Supreme Court have expounded the conception of social justice and have at many places said what social justice is not. However, it is no more possible to resist the claim of the poor sections of the society. In matters of claims of labour, the employer and the employees are so principally interrelated and dependant on each other that it is in the interest of each of them the other should survive and it is in the interest of society that both should be kept functioning in harmony with each other for the greater benefit of the society at large.
Here is a case where such a situation arose as alleged by the prosecution that the employer, namely, the accused Respondent alleged to have violated the aforementioned provisions of law for which a prosecution had to be launched against the Respondent. The facts necessary to be stated for appreciation of the contentions of the learned Counsel may be stated herein below:
Shri S.K. Mitra, who was then a Labour Enforcement Officer (Central), Chowkidinghee, Dibrugarh lodged a complaint in the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jorhat against the Respondent Shri C.L. Garodia of Moran for prosecution under Sections 23 and 24 of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 and the Rules made thereunder alleging that the accused had contravened the provision of Rule 25(2)(ii), 78(2)(a) and 79 of the Central Labour (regulation and Abolition) Central Rules, 1971 and that he was liable to be punished under the aforesaid provisions of law. It was alleged in the said complaint Petitioner.
(3.)THE learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sibaagar, Jorhat took cognizance of the offence and directed appearance of the accused in the court. On his appearance the particulars of the accusation was read over and explained to him. The accused pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried. In course of trial the prosecution examined two witnesses in support of the allegations made in the complaint. The defence declined to adduce any oral testimony us the plea advanced by the defence was a plea of denial. The learned trial court considered the evidence on record and concluded that the prosecution completely failed to prove the case against the accused. The learned trial Court however further considered about the competency of the complaint petition filed by shri S.K. Mitra, Labour Enforcement officer, Dibrugarh on the ground that the offence was prior to the appointment of the complainant as Inspector to prosecute the offender of the provisions of the Act. It was observed under Sub -section (1) of section 28 of the Act. It was observed by the learned trial Court that the complainant was appointed as Inspector to prosecute such offenders under the Act only from 16.2.77 and the offence was alleged to have been committed on 8.9.76 and 31.1.77. The complaint was filed on 13.4.77 after the appointment of the complainant as Inspector. On the above context, the learned trial court also held that the complainant had no authority to file the complaint against the accused for alleged violation of the provisions of the Rules. Consequently, the accused was acquitted. Hence this appeal.
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