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Gupta (R.K.L.) Vs. Ram Babu Lal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1970)ILLJ390All
AppellantGupta (R.K.L.)
RespondentRam Babu Lal and ors.
Excerpt:
- - 3. it was admitted in the courts below as well as before us that the appropriate government in relation to the factory is the central government. the view taken by the learned additional sessions judge is, therefore, perfectly correct......3 is the factory manager. they did not submit to the regional provident funds commissioner. uttar pradesh, kanpur, monthly consolidated returns in form 12 for the months of march, april and may 1964 as required by para. 38 (2) of the scheme. on 19 april 1965, r.k.l. gupta. provident funds inspector, uttar pradesh, filed a complaint against the respondents, after obtaining a sanction from the labour commissioner, uttar pradesh, kanpur. the subdivisional magistrate, hath found the respondents guilty of an offence punishable under para. 76 (c) of the scheme read with section 14(2) of the act and sentence such of them to a fine of rs. 250 and in default of payment of the fine to simple imprisonment for a period of one month. on appeal by the respondents, the learned additional.....
Judgment:

Gangeshwar Prasad, J.

1. This is an appeal by the State Government against the order passed in appeal by the Additional Sessions Judge, Aligarh, by which he set aside the conviction of the respondents under Para. 76 (c) of the Employees' Provident Funds Scheme, 1952, read with Section 14(2) of the Employees' Provident Panda Act, 1952, and acquitted them.

2. The material facts of the case are not In dispute. Bijli Cotton Mills, Hathras is a factory covered by Section 1(3)(a) of the Employees' Provident Funds Act, 1952 (hereinafter referred to as the Act), and the provisions of the Employees' Provident Funds Scheme, 1952 (hereinafter referred to as the scheme), are applicable to it. Respondent 1 is the managing director of the factory, respondent 2 is its attorney and occupier and respondent 3 is the factory manager. They did not submit to the Regional Provident Funds Commissioner. Uttar Pradesh, Kanpur, monthly consolidated returns in form 12 for the months of March, April and May 1964 as required by Para. 38 (2) of the scheme. On 19 April 1965, R.K.L. Gupta. Provident Funds Inspector, Uttar Pradesh, filed a complaint against the respondents, after obtaining a sanction from the Labour Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh, Kanpur. The Subdivisional Magistrate, Hath found the respondents guilty of an offence punishable under Para. 76 (c) of the scheme read with Section 14(2) of the Act and sentence such of them to a fine of Rs. 250 and in default of payment of the fine to simple imprisonment for a period of one month. On appeal by the respondents, the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Aligarh, held that the respondents had not contravened the provision for the infringement of which they were changed because the factory had been exempted from the operation of the schema by the Control Provident Funds Commissioner by virtue of the authority conferred upon him by the Central Government. The learned Judge also held that the sanction of the proper authority had not been obtained under Section 14(3) of the Act and the complaint was, therefore, barred from cognizance.

3. It was admitted in the Courts below as well as before us that the appropriate Government in relation to the factory is the Central Government. It is also not in dispute that the Central Provident Funds Commissioner, in exercise of the power conferred upon him by the Central Government, exempted the factory from the operation of the scheme under Section 17(1) of the Act. What was contended on behalf of the prosecution was that by notification dated 20 June 1953 the Central Government directed that the powers exercisable by it under Section 17(1) shall also be exercisable by the Uttar Pradesh Government and that by virtue of the power conferred under that notification the Uttar Pradesh Government cancelled the exemption by notification dated 10 February 1964.

4. Section 17(4) of the Act reads as follows:

17. (4) Any exemption granted under this section may be cancelled by the authority which granted it, by order in writing, if an employer fails to comply,-

(a) in the case of an exemption granted under Sub-section (1), with any of the condition imposed under that Sub-section or with any of the provisions of Sub-section (3); and

(b) In the case of an exemption granted under Sub-section (2), with any of the provisions of Sub-section (3).

It is obvious that the power of cancelling exemption is confined to the authority which granted it. The exemption in the present case had not been granted by the Government of Uttar Pradesh and it had, therefore, no power to cancel it. The mere fact that the power of granting exemption was subsequently made exercisable by the Government of Uttar Pradesh also would not empower it to cancel an exemption granted by another authority. The result is that the exemption is still operative and it is not affected by the cancellation made by the Government of Uttar Pradesh. That being so, the respondents cannot be said to have committed any offence on account of the non-compliance of the provisions of the scheme. The view taken by the learned Additional Sessions Judge is, therefore, perfectly correct.

5. The learned Judge is also right in holding that the sanction for prosecution of the respondent was incompetent. Section 14(3) of the Act is in the following terms:

14. (3) No Court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act or under any scheme except on a report in writing of the facts constituting such offence made with the previous sanction of such authority as may be specified in this behalf by the appropriate Government by an Inspector appointed under Section 13.

In the present case, the prosecution was sanctioned by the Labour Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh. He was, however, not competent to accord the sanction, because he has not been authorized to do so by the Central Government. The provision dealing with the delegation of power is Section 19 of the Act which runs as follows:

19. The appropriate Government may direct that any power or authority or Jurisdiction exercisable by it under this Act or any scheme shall, in relation to such matters and subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in the direction, be exercisable also-

(a) where the appropriate Government is the Central Government, by such officer or authority subordinate to the Central Government or by the State Government or by such officer or authority subordinate to the State Government, as may be specified in the notification ; and

(b) where the appropriate Government is a State Government, by such officer or authority subordinate to the State Government as may be specified in the notification.

The appropriate Government in this case being the Central Government it is only if the Labour Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh, Kanpur, had been authorizsd by it to accord the sanction that the sanction could be valid. The Labour Commissioner had, however, not been authorized by the Central Government. Obviously, therefore, Section 14(c) barred the cognizance of the complaint.

6. The appeal has no force and it is accordingly dismissed.


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