M.C. Desai, J.
1. The applicant was tried for the offence of Section 92, Factories Act on a complaint filed by the Chief Inspector. The conviction is supported by evidence; I do not see anything illegal or even improper in the trial court's believing the solitary testimony of the Chief Inspector and disbelieving the evidence of the defence witnesses.
2. It was contended that cognizance of the offence could not be taken by the trial court on a complaint by the Chief Inspector and reliance was placed upon Section 105(1) of the Factories Act and Notification No. 5754 (LM) (V)/XVIII-284 (LM)-49, dated 23-11-1949. under Section 105(1) a court is prohibited from taking cognizance of an offence under the Act 'except on complaint by, or with the previous sanction in writing of, an Inspector'' : The complaint in this case does not purport, and is not alleged, to have been filed with the previous sanction in writing of an Inspector; so the words 'with the previous sanction in writing of' are left out of consideration.
Inspectors are appointed by the State Government under Sub-section (1) of Section 8 and a Chief Inspector, under Sub-section (2). Sub-section (2) lays down that a Chief Inspector has in addition to the powers conferred by the Act upon a Chief Inspector, all the powers which are conferred upon an Inspector.
Thus a Chief Inspector has all the statutory powers of not only a Chief Inspector but also an Inspector. These being his statutory powers, it is not open to the State Government to issue any notification curtailing his powers. Sub-section (6) empowers the State Government by notification to distribute the powers among two or more Inspectors. Under Sub-section (1) two or more Inspectors can be appointed to exercise powers within the same area and Sub-section (6) was enacted to authorise the State Government to issue a notification distributing the powers among them. A Chief Inspector is not an Inspector. The word 'Chief' is not an adjective qualifying 'Inspector' : 'Chief Inspector' is not a particular kind of Inspector; he is not selected from Inspectors and is an authority entirely different from Inspectors.
It is just an accident that his designation contains the word 'Inspector', it could have been anything like 'Head', or 'Director' or 'Supervisor', in which case it would not have been possible to argue that he is an Inspector. He has been invested with all the powers of an Inspector but he does not thereby become an Inspector. The very fact that Sub-section (2) was enacted to confer upon him all the powers of an Inspector means that be is not an inspector within the meaning of the Act. The notification mentioned above is to the effect that
'The Inspector referred to in Sub-section (1) of Section 105 shall be the Chief Inspector of Factories, U. P. in all cases of proposals lor prosecution, except District Magistrates and the Labour Commissioner, U. P. who are empowered to institute prosecutions themselves'.
This is a good example of jargon. I confess my inability to understand what the notification means but I have no doubt that so far as it relates to the powers of the Chief Inspector, it is beyond the jurisdiction of the State Government. Section 8 (6) does not confer any authority upon the State Government to distribute the powers between an Inspector and the Chief Inspector. The powers of the Chief Inspector cannot be curtailed by the State Government. Section 105(1) confers no power upon the State Government and the State Government cannot issue any notification affecting the Chief Inspector's liberty of filing a complaint.
Assuming that the liberty of an Inspector to make a complaint amounts to 'power' of an Inspector, if there are two or more Inspectors operating In the same area, all that the State Government can do through a notification in exercise of the power conferred by Section Section (6) is to define which of them shall exercise the power of Section 105(1). Through the notification the State Government cannot distribute the power between an Inspector and the Chief Inspector. If there is only one Inspector operating in the area, there arises no question whatsoever of the State Government's acting under Section 8 (6); he must be left free to exercise all his powers and none of them can be withdrawn from him on the ground that it would be exercised by the Chief Inspector. Nor is the State Government competent to take away this power from the Chief Inspector in any circumstance. Hence the notification is ultra vires and invalid.
3. There is much force in the contention that the liberty or freedom of an Inspector to make a complaint is not a 'power' of an Inspector within the meaning of Section 9 (c). Section 105(1) does not confer 'power' upon an Inspector any more than Section 199, Cr. P. C. confers power upon a husband to complain of an offence of Section 488, I.P.C. What it does is to restrict the power of a court to take cognizance of an offence. It deals with the power only of a court in respect of taking cognizance of an offence; when a complaint is made to a court, it is required to see whether it is by an Inspector or not, and if it is not by an Inspector, it is required to refuse to take cognizance of the offence. No power is required to complain of an offence; every person is at liberty to complain of any offence and liberty is distinct from power.
Ordinarily a complaint by any person of any offence is taken notice of by a court but for certain offences complaints by certain persons are required, for example cases mentioned in Sections 195, 197 etc., Cr. P. C., Section 32 Drugs Act, Section 70, U. P. Excise Act and Section 105(1) of the Factories Act. Merely because a complaint of an offence punishable under the Factories Act made by an Inspector will be taken notice of but not a report, or confirmation or complaint of such an offence by any other person, it cannot be said that to make such a complaint is a 'power' of an Inspector and that any other person has no power to make it, or that an Inspector's liberty is converted into his power.
The fact is that every other person has as much liberty to make a complaint of such an offence, as an Inspector but the law does not give the same effect to both complaints. 'Power' within the meaning of Section 9 (c) means ability specially conferred by law (expressly or impliedly); what one is free to do without any provision of law is one's liberty and not power. Law may confer power to complain of an offence upon a certain person but must do so expressly or impliedly and no such power has been conferred upon an Inspector by Section 105(1) or any other provision of the Factories Act. 'Powers of an Inspector' in Section 8 (2) must mean the powers conferred upon him by the Act.
The rights enumerated in Section 9 are expressly stated to be 'powers of an Inspector', and Section 8(2) confers only these powers upon a Chief Inspector. That every one is at liberty to do, and, therefore, an Inspector is at liberty to do, is not comprehended within 'powers of an Inspector'. Therefore, it can be said with considerable force that the section does not confer any power upon an Inspector. My brother A. P. Srivastava in Thakur Chand v. State, 1958 All LJ 841: (AIR 1960 All 91), however, held that it does, and his view has been endorsed by my brothers, James and Sahai, JJ., in State v. D. N. Bhargava, 1959 All LJ 638: (AIR 1960 All 92). Though I respectfully differ from them, I do not consider it expedient to refer the case to a larger Bench because I agree, for the reason to be given instantly, that the Chief Inspector has the 'power' to make a complaint.
4. It is open to the State Government, in exercise of the power conferred by Section 112 of making rules providing for any matter which, under any provision of the Act, is to be or may be prescribed or which may be considered expedient in order to give effect to the purposes of the Act, to make a rule conferring 'power' upon an Inspector to make a complaint under Section 105. If the State Government makes a rule authorising an Inspector to make a complaint, it would mean that he is invested with the 'power' of making a complaint and his liberty merges in the 'power'. The State Government has made Rule 15(c) conferring upon an Inspector the power 'to prosecute, conduct or defend before a court any complaint or other proceedings arising under the Act or in discharge of his duties as an Inspector'. Therefore, in U. P. an Inspector can be said to have the 'power' to make a complaint and by virtue of Section 8 (2) it also becomes the Chief Inspector's power and he can make a complaint.
Though a court is required to take cognizance of an offence, only on a complaint by an Inspector and though 'Inspector' within the meaning of the Act does not include the Chief Inspector, a complaint by the Chief Inspector must be held to be a complaint by an Inspector within the meaning of Section 105. When all the powers of an Inspector, including the power to make a complaint under Section 105, are conferred upon the Chief Inspector, it follows that a complaint by the Chief Inspector is treated by the Legislature as a complaint by an Inspector and the court can take cognizance of it. This is the view taken by my learned brothers in the case of D. N. Bhargava, 1959 All LJ 638: (AIR 1960 All 92) (supra).
5. No other question was raised in this application.
6. The applicant's conviction and sentence are maintained and the application is dismissed.