STATE OF GUJARAT Vs. BAIJNATH BALSARAI
LAWS(GJH)-1960-11-17
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Decided on November 30,1960

STATE OF GUJARAT Appellant
VERSUS
BAIJNATH BALSARAI Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

WRIGHT IN SHERRAS V. DE RUTZEN [REFERRED]
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT V. CHAPSI DHANJI [REFERRED]
RANJIT SINGH V. EMPEROR [REFERRED]
B P HIRA WORKS MANAGER CENTRAL RAILWAY PAREL BOMBAY VS. C M PRADHAN [REFERRED]
PUBLIC PROSECUTOR VS. MANGALDAS V THAKKER [REFERRED]
SUPERINTENDENT AND REMEMBRANCER OF LEGAL AFFAIRS VS. HEWATSON [REFERRED]


JUDGEMENT

N.M.MIABHOY - (1.)These three appeals involve common questions and will therefore be disposed of by a single judgment. The facts involved in the appeals are identical and it will therefore be convenient to set out the facts of only one of the appeals namely Criminal Appeal No. 212
(2.)The respondent is the Manager of Shree Digvijay Woollen Mills Ltd. Jamnagar. The factory of the company is situate in Jamnagar and is governed by the provisions of the Factories Act 1948 It is common ground that at the material time a notice of periods of work for adults was displayed and correctly maintained in the factory of the Company as required by section 61. The notice showed 7 00 A. M. to 11.00 A. M. and 11.30 A. M. to 3.30 P. M. as the periods of work for adults working in the first shift. The complainant who is the Inspector of Factories received a letter dated 8/06/1959 from the Joint Secretary Digvijay Woollen Mills Kamdar Mandal pointing out inter alia that though the time of work of the workers working in the first shift in the factory of the company was from 7.00 A M. to 3.30 P M. one hours more work was being taken from the workers in the combing department every day and that work at the rate of nine hours per day was thus being taken from the workers resulting in 54 hours work per week instead of 48 hours work. On receipt of this information from the Joint Secretary of the Digvijay Woollen Mills Kamdar Mandal the Inspector of Factories addressed a letter dated 10/06/1959 to the respondent requesting the respondent to explain why the workers working in the combing department of the Factory of the Company were made to work for nine hours per day and 54 hours per week daring the period 20/04/1959 to 31/05/1959. It appears from the evidence that the Inspector of Factories visited the factory of the Company on 28/06/1959 and found that three workers employed in the factory of the Company namely Hari Raghunath Himatsingh Meghubhai and Chhagan Badha had worked overtime from 3.30 P. M to 4.30 P M. on various dates in the month of May 1959. The Inspector of factories thereafter received a letter dated 30/06/1959 from the respondent in which the respondent pointed out to the Inspector of Factories the circumstances in which the workers employed in the combing department had worked overtime. It was pointed out by the respondent that overtime work had been taken from the workers in the combing department owing to exceptional circumstances which arose by reason of delay in the arrival of stocks of dyed tops imported from British Isles and that if overtime work had not been taken from the workers working in the combing department it would not have been possible to keep the factory working and that would have adversely affected the working of both the spinning and weaving departments and consequently the working of other departments. The respondent explained that for the overtime work taken from the workers employed in the combing department extra wages had been paid in accordance with the provisions of section 59 and that the respondent was under the bona fide impression that if extra wages were paid as required by section 59 there was no legal bar against taking of overtime work from the workers and it was under that bona fide impression that the respondent had taken overtime work from the workers employed in the combing department these facts would not have been ordinarily relevant and we would not have set out the same in detail but an argument has been advanced by Mr. Patwari the learned advocate on behalf of the respondent which is founded on the premise that the respondent acted bona fide in taking overtime work from the workers and it is therefore necessary to set out these facts in order to appreciate the argument urged by Mr. Patwari. It appears that the Inspector of Factories again visited the factory of the Company on 15/09/1959. A complaint was ultimately filed by the Inspector of Factories against the respondent on 17/09/1959 charging the respondent with having committed an offence under see. 92 read with section 63 in so far as the respondent had taken overtime work from Hari Raghunath. It may be mentioned that two further complaints were also filed by the Inspector of Factories against the respondent for offence under section 92 read with section 63 in so far as the respondent had taken overtime work from Himatsingh Meghubhai and Chhagan Badha. It is these three complaints which have given rise to the present appeals before us.
(3.)The prosecution case against the respondent was that by taking overtime work for one hour from 3.30 P. M. to 4.50 P. M. on various dates in May 1959 from Hari Raghunath the respondent contravened the provisions of section 63 inasmuch as the respondent required or allowed Hari Raghunath to work in the factory of the Company otherwise than in accordance with the notice of periods of work for adults displayed in the factory. The respondent contended that the complaint was filed beyond the period prescribed by section 106 and that the Court was therefore not entitled to take cognizance of the offence alleged in the complaint. The case of the respondent was that the alleged commission of the offence came to the knowledge of the Inspector of Factories on or about 8/06/1959 when he received the letter dated 8/06/1959 from the Joint Secretary Digvijay Woollen Mills Kamdar Mandal of which we have made mention before and that the complaint should therefore have been filed within three months of the said date but the complaint was actually filed on 17/09/1959 and was therefore not within the time prescribed by sec. 106. On the merits of the charge against him the respondent contended that for the overtime work taken from Hari Raghunath Hari Raghunath had been paid wages at the rate of twice his ordinary rate of wages as provided by sec. 59 and that there was therefore no contravention of any provisions of the Factories Act 1948 The contention of the respondent was that if a manager or occupier of a factory paid extra wages for overtime work in accordance with the provisions of sec. 59 he would be entitled to take overtime work from worker working in the factory. The respondent contended that under the circumstances he had not committed any offence under sec. 92 read with sec. 63 and was entitled to be acquitted.
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