A.D.V. Reddy, J.
1. The owner of a Petrol Bunk at Visakapatnam, who had commenced his business on 25-8-1965 and had engaged one P. Venkatarao as the Manager, was prosecuted for the violation of Rule 32 of the Rules framed under the Shops and Establishments Act, for not furnishing the said Venkatarao the letter of appointment in Form 'S' an offence punishable under Section 56 (3) of the Act and also under Rule 33 of the Rules framed under the Act. The evidence adduced was that when P. W. 1 the Assistant Labour Inspector visited the Petrol Bunk at 9-30 A. M. on 13-2-1970 he found that no such order of appointment has been issued and that he gave notice and waited for three months and thereafter also the defect was not rectified and hence the complaint.
2. The Magistrate accepting the evidence, convicted the accused and sentenced him to pay a fine of Rs. 25/-. On a revision filed before the Sessions Judge, he has made a reference under Section 438, Criminal Procedure Code to this Court for setting aside the conviction, as the prosecution was barred by time.
3. There is no dispute that the accused had started his business of running the petrol bunk on 25-8-1965. There is also no dispute that P. Venkatarao was appointed as Manager of the Bunk at that time. At the time of the appointment, there was no duty cast on the owner to issue any appointment order. Under Section 60 (4) of the Act, a duty was cast on the employer to give an order of appointment within three months from the date of the commencement of the Act. The Act came into force on 15-6-1967 under G. O. Ms. No. 990 Home Labour-V-Department dated 6-6-1967, published in the Andhra Pradesh Gazette dated 15-6-1967. It was incumbent on the accused to have issued the appointment order within 15-9-1967. By not.issuing that order within that prescribed time, he had committed the offence under Section 56 (3) of the Act read with Rule 33 of the Rules framed under the Act.
4. Section 56 (3) of the Act provides that for the contravention of any Rule made under Section 62 of the Act, a complaint should be lodged within six months from the date on which the offence or contravention is alleged to have been committed. In this case, the offence, as already stated, had been committed on 15-9-1967 and the complaint in this case was filed on 18-7-1970. It is clearly beyond six months and therefore the corn-plaint is barred by time.
5. The reference is therefore accepted. The conviction and sentence of the accused under Rule 33 of the Rules framed under the Shops and Establishments Act are set aside and he is acquitted of the charge. Fine, if paid will be refunded to the accused.