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Maturi Durgaiah Vs. Agent, Tandur Collieries, Bellampalli - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Appeal No. 53 of 1960
Judge
Reported inAIR1961AP400
ActsMines Act, 1952 - Sections 2 and 48; Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantMaturi Durgaiah
RespondentAgent, Tandur Collieries, Bellampalli
Appellant AdvocateY. Sivarama Sastry, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateA. Raghuvir, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....proposition advanced by him, renders him disservice in that it has clearly laid down that if the dispute is between private parties and neither of them is a statutory body no writ of mandamus could be issued......provides that for every mine there should be kept in the prescribed form and place a register of persons employed in the mine showing the various particulars referred to in clauses (a) to (h) together with the entries under sub-section (ii) and other clauses of the section. the all india industrial tribunal (collieries disputes), by an award d/-26-5-56, defined the sweeping mazdoors under the occupational nomenclature in these words:-'a mazdoor is generally employed on the surface to keep the surface area including screening and washing plants from paper, dirt etc. he may be employed under the medical officer to keep the areas round the colliery dhowrahs and colliery drains in good order.'5. the appellant applied that he and other cart-men should be recognised as employees of the mine.....
Judgment:

Chandra Reddy, C.J.

1. We do not think that any exception Could be taken to either of the two views of our learned brother, Seshachalapati, J., in the writ petition,

2. Our learned brother dismissed the writ petition for the issue of a writ of mandamus directing the respondent, the Agent Tandur Collieries, Bellampally, to accord the status of 'Mine Employees' to the appellant and other eartmen and give them all benefits incidental to that status.

3. The appellant along with twelve other carbnen is engaged in clearing the rubbish and garbage from the campus of the Tandur Collieries Colony. They remove the dirt and the rubbish through bullock-carts owned by them and they are paid daily wages at Rs. 2-13-0 a day.

4. The respondent is the agent of the Singareni Collieries Co., within the meaning of Section 2(c) of the Mines Act (35 of 1952). Section 48 of the Mines Act, provides that for every mine there should be kept in the prescribed form and place a register of persons employed in the Mine showing the various particulars referred to in clauses (a) to (h) together with the entries under Sub-section (ii) and other clauses of the section. The All India Industrial Tribunal (Collieries Disputes), by an award D/-26-5-56, defined the sweeping mazdoors under the occupational nomenclature in these words:-

'A Mazdoor is generally employed on the surface to keep the surface area including screening and washing plants from paper, dirt etc. He may be employed under the Medical Officer to keep the areas round the colliery dhowrahs and colliery drains in good order.'

5. The appellant applied that he and other cart-men should be recognised as employees of the mine and their names duly registered in the register to be maintained in the manner indicated above, so that they might gel all the benefits, privileges and perquisites of other employees of the company.

6. This request was not granted by the respondent in the view that the appellant and other carimen could not be regarded as employees within the purview of Section 2(h) of the Indian Mines Act.

7. It is to direct the respondent to give all the cart-men removing the rubbish the status of employees within the connotation of Section 2(h) that jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 was invoked.

8. Seshachalapati, J., dismissed the writ petition in file opinion that the appellant and other cart-men do not fulfil the definition of persons 'employed' within the words of 2( h) or the Mines Act and also on the ground that a writ of mandamus is not an appropriate remedy in this case.

9. In this appeal, the conclusions of the learned Judge are canvassed. The first question that presents itself in the enquiry is whether the cartmen employed in this case satisfy the definition of persons 'employed' contained in Section 2(h) of the Act. In order to appreciate this contention, it is necessary to read the terms of Section 2(h):-

10. Section 2(h)-

'A person is said to be 'employed' in a mine who works under appointment by or with the knowledge of the Manager, whether for wages or not in any mining operation or in cleaning or oiling any part of the machinery used in or about the mine or in any other kind of work whatsoever incidental to or connected with mining operations.'

11. It is manifest that only persons who do work 'incidental to or connected with mining Operations' are persons said to be employed in a mine. In our judgment, the work performed by the cartmen in this case has no relation to mining Operations. Therefore, their work could not be characterised as being 'incidental to or connected with mining operations'. They do not work in the Colony for the removal of dirt, rubbish and garbage, since there are other persons employed for that purpose.

They merely carry the rubbish and garbage outside the Colony. That being the position, we find it difficult to posit that they fall either directly under the definition of 'persons' employed within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the Mines Act or the description of sweeping mazdoors given by the All India Industrial Tribunal (Collieries Disputes). Hence, there is no statutory duty upon the respondent to include the appellant and other cart-men in the register of employees maintained under Section 48 of the Indian Mines ACT. On this ground alone, the appeal has to fail.

12. There is also another difficulty in the way of the appellant obtaining any relief in the appeal. This is a dispute purely between the private persons, i. e. the cartmen engaged in the task of removing the rubbish and garbage form the Tandur Collieries Colony, and the Agent of the Collieries. A: such, neither of them could be regarded as a Tribunal or a statutory body. It is represented by Sri Sivarama Sastry that the Collieries has the attribute of a statutory body for the reason that under the statute it has to maintain a register. We are unable to assent to this proposition. Merely because a statute or a rule having the force of a statute requires a Company or some other body to do a particular thing, it does not possess the attribute of a statutory body.

13. There can be little doubt that a writ of mandamus could only be issued to inferior Courts, Tribunals and bodies entrusted with powers by the law of the land to effect the legal rights of the parties. We do not think that the Tandur Collieries or the Agent thereof could be described as a tribunal or a body entrusted with powers by the law of the land to effect the legal rights of the parties. There is abundant authority for this position. In V.S. Hariharan, In re, W. P. 858 of 1959 : : (1960)ILLJ164AP , our learned brother Seshachalapali, J., discussed this aspect of the matter at great length.

To a like effect is the judgment of the Madras High Court in Re, Nagabhushana Reddy, : AIR1951Mad249 . The judgment of the Allahabad High Court in Ramakishun v. Central Bank of India, : AIR1958All413 relied on by the learned counsel for the appellant, far from supporting the proposition advanced by him, renders him disservice in that it has clearly laid down that if the dispute is between private parties and neither of them is a statutory body no writ of mandamus could be issued.

14. It is unnecessary to multiply citations in support of this proposition. We are in agreement with Seshachalapati, J., on this issue also and we see no ground to interfere with the order under appeal.

15. In the result, the appeal is dismissed.


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