1. Two interesting questions of importance arise for consideration m these two Revision Cases. The respondent in Criminal Revision Case No. 360 1978 is the Assistant Engineer of the sub-station of the Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board, hereinafter referred to as 'the Board', situate at Shahpurnagar, while the respondent m Criminal Revn. Case No. 361 of 1978 is the Asstt. Engineer of the sub-station of the Board situate at Moulali The Asstt. Inspector of Factories, Nalgonda, instituted complaints against the accused-respondents u/ss. 6 and 92 of the Factories Act read with Rule 5 (3) of the Rules framed thereunder before the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Hyderabad, East and North and the same were taken on file in S.T.C. Nos. 384 and 354/1977.
2. The accusation levelled against the respondents is that no licence was obtained by the respondents in charge of the two sub-sections. ' required under Rule 5 (3) of the Rules, which lays down that no manufacturing processes shall be carried on in any factory without a licence granted by the Chief Inspector of Factories. It is alleged by the Assistant Inspector of Factories, Nalgonda that manufacturing process, within the meaning of S, 2(k) of the Act is being carried in the Sub-stations in that electrical energy is being transferred at the sub-stations. Relying mainly upon the decision in Workmen, Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking ' The Management of Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking, : (1972)IILLJ130SC : crl. M. P. Nos. 1843 and 1842 of 1977 were filed on behalf of the respondents, before the learned Magistrate praying for dismissal of the complaints. In the said decision, it was laid down by their Lordships of the Supreme Court that no manufacturing could take place in the sub-stations or in the zonal stations where no energy would be generated and only process of reduction of energy from a high potential to a low potential would be carried on. It was also urged on behalf of the respondents that they were entitled to protection enacted in S. 82 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 and Sec. 56(1) of the Indian Electricity Act. The first objection having found acceptance with the learned Magistrate, the complaints were dismissed The State has preferred the above two revision cases assailing the orders passed by the learned Magistrate.
3. Smt. K. Sesharajyam, the learned counsel appearing for the Public Prosecutor, submits that under R .5 (3) of the rules made under the Factories Act, no manufacturing processes shall be carried an in any factory without a licence granted by the Chief Inspector that transformation of electrical energy at the sub stations manned by the respondents is manufacturing process within the meaning of S. 2(k) of the Act. that it was so held by the Supreme Court in N.E.L.P. Co. v. E. S. I. Corporation : (1967)IILLJ40SC and that the later decision of the Supreme Court, relied upon by the learned Magistrate, did not directly deal with the nature of the accusation levelled against the respondents. There is considerable force in the submission made by Smt. K. Sesaharajyam as in the earlier decision, their Lordships stated that 'in view of S. 2(k)(iii) both the process of transforming electrical energy from a high to a low Potential and the process of transmitting the energy through supply lines were manufacturing processes.' Admittedly at the sub-stations manned by the respondents, the electrical energy received is converted into a lower potential. Following the interpretation placed under S. 2(k)(iii) Of the Act by their Lordships of the Supreme Court, it must be held that manufacturing process is being carried on in the two sub-stations manned by the respondents The later decision, decided by the Supreme Court, does not directly deal with the objection raised on behalf of the respondents,
4. Shri K. Kolanda Reddi, the learned counsel for the respondents, however, submits that there is no transformation of the electrical energy received at the two sub-stations, that what is done at the sub-stations, is only to reduce the energy from a high potential to a low potential and that the process should not be recorded as transformation of energy within the meaning of Sec. 2(k)(iii) of the Act. Reliance is placed upon the meaning of the word 'transformation' contained in the Concise Oxford Dictionary (5th edition). 'Transformation' is defined as metamorphosis, especially of insects; change from solid to liquid or from liquid to gaseous state or vice verse. Sri K. Kolanda Reddy submits that all the three processes viz., generation, transformation and transmission of electrical energy take place only at the power station and not at the sub-stations where only conversion of the electrical energy from a higher potential to lower potential takes place. It is true that there is no transmission of electrical energy in the substations, as laid down in Workmen, Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking v, The Management of Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking : (1972)IILLJ130SC . I must, however observe that there is considerable force in the submission of Sri.K.Kolanda Reddy ,that there is no transformation of Electrical energy in the sub-station either. However, bound, as I am, by the earlier decision of the Supreme Court, it must be held that manufacturing process, within the meaning of S. 2(k)(iii) of the Act. is being carried on at the sub-stations. The first objection raised on behalf of' the respondents to the maintainability of the complaints therefore, fails.
5. The second objection pressed be fare the learned Magistrate and not dealt with by him in the view taken by him on the first objection is that, in any event, the respondents are protected under Section 82 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, and Sec. 58(1) of the Indian Electricity Act. Section 82 of, the Electricity (Supply) Act lays down that no suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act. Section 56 of the Indian Electricity Act is in pari materia with S. 82 of the Electricity [Supply) Act. Section 79 of the Electricity (Supply) Act confers power upon the Board to make regulations to provide for all or any of the matters enumerated therein. In particular, the regulations may provide for the duties of officers and servants of the Board. In pursuance of Section 79 of the Act. the Board, in its Memo No. B. Series No,61, dated 10-12-1974 regulated that the sub-stations of the Board need not be registered under the Factories Act, 1948,
6. It is urged by Sri K. Kolanda Reddy that in obedience to the specific duty assigned to the respondents not to register the sub-stations, they refrained from registering the same and obtaining Licences under the Factories Act and that they are therefore, protected under S. 82 of the Electricity (Supply) Act and Section 56(1) of the Indian Electricity Act, Smt. K. Sesharajyam, however, submits that the protection envisaged m the two Sections is in respect of anything done or intended to be done in good faith under the two Acts and that protection does not extend to failure on the part of the respondents to obtain licences under the Factories Act. In my opinion, the submission made on behalf of the learned Public Prosecutor has no substance. It is well settled that act includes omission. If any authority is needed for the prosecution. the same is found in Chief Executive Officer, R. T. C. (A. P) In re: : AIR1963AP491 . It therefore, follows that omission on the part of the respondents to register the sub-stations and obtain licences under the Factories Act is on account of their adherence to the specific duty enjoined upon them under the regulation framed by the Board referred supra. As already stated, the regulation referred to supra, is one framed under the Act. The omission on the part of the respondents sought to be penalised is therefore one done under the Electricity (Supply) Act or the Indian Electricity Act. It is not doubted that the respondents were not wanting in good faith in what they abstained from doing, The Second objection raised by Sri K, Kolanda Reddy must be upheld.
7. In this view, the complaints instituted by the Assistant Inspector of Factories, Nalgonda, merit dismissal. For a different reason, I affirm the ultimate order passed by the learned Magistrate.
8. In the result, the two Revision Cases fail and are accordingly, dismissed.
9. Revision dismissed.