ROBINDRA TEXTILE MILLS Vs. SECRETARY MINISTRY OF LABOUR GOVT OF INDIA NEW DELHI AND
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
ROBINDRA TEXTILE MILLS
SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF LABOUR, GOVT. OF INDIA, NEW DELHI
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(1.) ROBINDRA Textile Mills of Amritsar have filed this petition under Article 228 of the constitution through Robindra Nath Mehra, one of the partners, for an order restraining the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, Punjab and the government of India from enforcing the provisions of the Employees' Provident funds Act, 1952, against the petitioning mills, during the period from 1st november, 1952 to 1st February, 1955.
(2.) THE facts which are not in dispute in this case may be briefly stated. The factory at its present site was started in 1946 under the name of Sindh Textile Mills, amritsar. The factory worked from 1946 till 15th June. 1951 when' it was closed. Robindra Nath Mehra and others purchased the factory on 31st January, 1952 and formed a partnership firm to carry on the business of manufacturing textiles under the name and style of Robindra Textile Mills. The factory started functioning from 1st February, 1952 with admittedly more than 50 employees. The Employees' provident Funds Act, 1952, came into force on 4th March, 1952 and the employees' Provident Funds Scheme was framed by the Central Government under Section 5 of the Act. The scheme came into force on 2nd September. 1952. The Regional Provident fund Commissioner required the petitioning mills to deposit contributions under the Act by letter dated 19th December, 1953. The firm in reply claimed that the industry was exempted from contributing to provident fund for three years with effect from 1st February, 1952 by virtue of Section 16 (1) (b) of the Act. This position was not accepted by the Commissioner and he called upon the petitioning mills to comply with the provisions of the Act. The petitioner thereupon filed a writ petition (Civil Writ No. 159 of 1954) which was, however, dismissed on 14th december, 1955 on the ground that he had not availed of the remedy provided in section 19-A of the Act. Thereafter the petitioner applied to the Central government under that provision of law but that application was dismissed on 2lst august, 1956 Hence this petition.
(3.) IT is common ground between the parties that Robindra Textile Mills come within the definition of "factory" as defined in the Act inasmuch as they are engaged in an industry specified in schedule I of the Act and employ 50 or more persons. It is not seriously in dispute that the workers employed in the Sindh textile Mills were 50 or more. In any case it is not the petitioner's case that it was not so. It is also admitted that the factory is now functioning in the same premises as previously, 'although the petitioner has alleged that some of the old machinery has been reconditioned and new power-looms have been added to it.;
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