1. This is an application in revision under Section 25, Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, by the defendant against whom a decree has been given for Rs. 77 odd on foot of a pronote dated 17th June 1935 for Rs. 42. The rate of interest given in the pro-note is Rs. 2 per cent., per mensem but the plaintiff's claim was based on a reduced rate of Re. 1-4-0 per cent., per mensem. The defendant took a number of pleas in regard to the execution of the pronote and he further pleaded that he was a workman and therefore entitled to the benefits of Section 9, U. P. Debt Redemption Act. The learned Judge of the Small Cause Court found that the pronote was duly executed by the defendant and upon the plea that the defendant was a workman as contemplated by Section 2, Clause (20)(a), Debt Redemption Act, he held in the following terms: 'I do not think that a compositor working in a press would be a workman in the city of Allahabad.' Learned Counsel for the applicant has pointed out that in Clause (20)(a), Debt Redemption Act, workman is defined as a person
who earned wages within the meaning of Sub-section (6) of Section 2, Payment of Wages Act, 1936, within the twelve months preceding the first day of June 1940, which did not exceed Rs. 600 in the said twelve months and did not exceed Rs. 60 in any such months.
2. The Payment of Wages Act, (Indian Act, 4 of 1936), Section 1(4) applies in the first instance to the payment of wages to persons employed in any factory, etc., etc. Clause (5) of the same Act provides that:
The Local Government may, after giving three months' notice of its intention of so doing by notification in the local official Gazette, extend the provisions of the Act or any of them to the payment of wages to any class of persons employed in any industrial establishment or in any class or group of industrial establishments.
3. It appears that by industries Department Notification No. 954/XVIII-889, dated 24th March 1939, the United Provinces Government extended the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act to all printing presses in the United Provinces wherein or within the precincts of which ten or more workers are working or were working on any day of the preceding twelve months. The effect of this notification is that a compositor working in a press in Allahabad is quite evidently a 'potential' workman, provided that he would have also to prove that the press in which he was working was one to which this notification would have been applicable and he could further prove that he had earned wages as defined in Sub-section (6) of Section 2, Payment of Wages Act, within the limits prescribed by Clause (20)(a) of Section 2, Debt Redemption Act. The learned Judge of the Small Cause Court was clearly wrong in his very general statement that a compositor working in a press in the city of Allahabad could not be a workman. Be that as it may, it is equally clear upon the record that the defendant-applicant did not discharge the burden of proof which lay upon him to establish those other facts upon the proof of which only he could have been held to be a workman and the learned Judge rightly declined to hold that he was a person who could obtain the benefit of the provisions of the Debt Redemption Act. It follow's that, subject to the remarks which at the request of counsel I have made above with the idea of clarifying the situation, there is no force in the present application which therefore fails and is dismissed with costs.
4. Before the above judgment was signed, learned Counsel asked me to consider a further argument. His argument is that the words 'who earned wages 'within the meaning of Sub-section (6) of Section 2, Payment of Wages Act' which find a place in Clause (20)(a) of Section 2, U.P. Debt Redemption Act, mean nothing more than 'who earned wages 'as defined in' Sub-section (6) of Section 2, Payment of Wages Act, 1936.' In my judgment, if the United Provinces Legislature had intended the meaning suggested, there is no reason why they should not have used the words 'as defined in' instead of the words 'within the meaning of.' The words actually used seem to me to connote much more than the proposed alternative and to carry the meaning that the wages to which reference is made in this clause are wages of persons who come within the scope of the Payment of Wages Act. I would, however, note that in any ease so far as this present case is concerned, the question is really academic because whichever meaning be taken as the correct meaning of this clause the burden of proof undoubtedly lay upon the defendant to establish that the wages which he had earned within the twelve months preceding the first day of June 1940, did not exceed Rs. 600 in the said twelve months and did not exceed Rs. 60 in any such months. The only evidence given by the defendant with the idea of bringing himself within the scope of the definition was the statement 'I am a compositor.' This statement is clearly not sufficient to discharge the burden of proof which lay upon the defendant in order to attract to himself the benefit of this Act.