S.P. Kotwal, J.
1. This matter arises out of proceedings taken under the Payment of Wages Act, before the first opponent who is the authority appointed under the payment of Wages Act.
2. Opponent No. 2 Hiraman, who was a bidi worker in the factory of the petitioner, made an application along with his counsel (the third opponent) for payment of delayed wages and also for compensation under the provision of Section 15(2) and (3) of the Act. The petitioner raised several defence including the defence that the application was barred under the provisions of the Act. During the pendency of the proceedings an application on behalf of the opponent No. 2 Hiraman was moved on 5-10-57, praying that the petitioner should be directed to make discovery of certain documents for the relevant period for which the wages were claimed. In that application Hiraman stated that the petitioner maintained a register of workers and a payment register in which the wages disbursed to the workers were mentioned. Therefore, those registers were relevant for deciding the quantum of the delayed wages due to Hiraman. The Petitioner opposed this application and alleged that it was not made in accordance with any provision of law, that the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure did not apply to the proceedings under the Payment of Wages Act, and that the authority had therefore no jurisdiction to pass any order upon Hiraman's application. The authority rejected the petitioner's contentions and allowed the application for discovery of documents by its order dated 8-11-57. This is the order impugned in the present petition.
3. Mr. M.N. Phadke appearing on behalf of the petitioner has reiterated the contention that the authority under the Payment of Wages Act had no jurisdiction to pass an order for discovery of the particular documents required before it, The relevant provision is contained in Section 18 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936. The section runs as follow:
'Every authority appointed under Sub-section (1) of Section 15 shall have all the powers of a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, for the purpose of taking evidence and of enforcing the attendance of witnesses and compelling production of documents.....'
Apart from any other power under Section 18, the authority has 'all the powers of a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure.....for the purpose of compelling the production of documents.'
4. In our opinion, by these words the Legislature intended to refer to the provisions of O. 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure which deals with discovery, inspection and production of documents. In its first eleven rules Order 11 deals with the delivery of interrogatories, a subject with which we are not here concerned. Then it makes provision for the discovery of documents in rules 12 and 13. After discovery is provided for, it deals with the subject of production of documents in Rule 14. Then provision is made for the inspection of the documents produced in Rules 15, 17 and 18 of the Order.
5. Reading the Order as a whole it seems to us clear that the provisions made in the Order for discovery and inspection are only provisions made in order to aid the production of documents before the Court, particularly the provisions regarding 'discovery'. These provisions would therefore squarely fall within the ambit of the words used in Section 18 of the Payment of Wages Act, viz., 'all the powers of a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, for the purpose of .....compelling the production of documents.' Inspection is only a step-in-aid of the final production of the documents. Upon this view, therefore, the authority under the Payment of Wages Act had the jurisdiction to order the petitioner to make discovery of the documents in his possession.
6. Mr. Phadke then raises another contention. He referred to the provisions of Section 15(3) of the Payment of Wages Act and he urged that such an order could only be passed after the authority 'entertained' the application. Sub-section (3) of Section 15, merely confers jurisdiction on the authority to hear the application under the Act and grant certain reliefs and it can have no reference to the procedural power which is prescribed under Section 18. In our opinion Section 15(3) of the Act cannot control the powers granted to the authority under Section 18.
7. In any event, ti is clear upon the allegations made by the petitioner himself in the present petition that the authority had 'entertained' the application before it. We hold that the order passed, calling upon the petitioner to make discovery of documents in his possession, was a valid order passed with jurisdiction by the authority.
8. Upon this view the petition fails and is dismissed with costs.
9. Petition dismissed.