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Bisra Lime Stone Co. Ltd. Vs. Labour Inspector, Central and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Case NumberO.J.C. No. 180 of 1964
Judge
Reported inAIR1969Ori110; 34(1968)CLT1372; (1969)IILLJ112Ori
ActsMinimum Wages Act, 1948 - Sections 2, 3 and 5(2); Constitution of India - Article 258
AppellantBisra Lime Stone Co. Ltd.
RespondentLabour Inspector, Central and anr.
Appellant AdvocateS. Mohanty and ;B.C. Swain, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateAdv. General
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredState of Maharashtra v. Mohan Lall Devichand Sah
Excerpt:
- motor vehicles act, 1988 [c.a. no. 59/1988]section 173(1) proviso; [d. biswas, amitava roy & i.a.ansari, jj] appeal without statutory deposit but within limitation/or extended period of limitation maintainability - held, if the provision of a statute speaks of entertainment of appeal, it denotes that the appeal cannot be admitted to consideration unless other requirements are complied with. the provision of sub-section (1) of section 173 permits filing of an appeal against an award within 90 days with a rider in the first proviso that such appeal filed cannot be entertained unless the statutory deposit is made. the period of limitation is applicable only to the filing of the appeal and not to the deposit to be made. it, therefore, appears that an appeal filed under section 173 cannot..........fixed the minimum wages at rates mentioned therein, payable to the class of employees employed in stone-breaking and stone-crushing operations carried on by the petitioner in quarries situated in orissa. the petitioner also challenges the show cause notices dated july 22 and july 23, 1964 issued by the labour inspector, central government, at jharsnguda, and served on the petitioner as to why legal action should not be taken against the petitioner for alleged contraventions as noted therein, and for irregularities in that the persons specified therein were paid wages at rates less than the minimum rate of wages as fixed for their category by the said notification.2. the impugned orissa government notification dated march 27, 1963 is quoted below-government of orissalabour.....
Judgment:

Barman, C.J.

1. Bisra Limestone Company Limited--who is stated to cany on mining operations at Bisra in Sundargarh District involving drilling, blasting, collection of blasted materials by mechanical means, breaking of boulders to separate limestone and dolomite mechanically and manually dumping and shovelling and other such operations stated to be incidental to mining--is the petitioner challenging the legality of the notification dated March 27, 1963 issued by the Government of Orissa Labour Department, purported to be in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 read with Section 5(2) of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (Central Act No. 11 of 1948) (hereinafter referred to as the Act) by which the Government of Orissa fixed the minimum wages at rates mentioned therein, payable to the class of employees employed in stone-breaking and stone-crushing operations carried on by the petitioner in quarries situated in Orissa. The petitioner also challenges the show cause notices dated July 22 and July 23, 1964 issued by the Labour Inspector, Central Government, at Jharsnguda, and served on the petitioner as to why legal action should not be taken against the petitioner for alleged contraventions as noted therein, and for irregularities in that the persons specified therein were paid wages at rates less than the minimum rate of wages as fixed for their category by the said notification.

2. The impugned Orissa Government notification dated March 27, 1963 is quoted below-

Government of Orissa

Labour Department

NOTIFICATION.

Dated Bhubaneswar, 27th March, 1963. No. IW-17/63.3740/Lab. In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 read withSub-section (2) of Section 5 of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (II of 1948) and in supersession of the Notification of the Government of Orissa, Labour Department No. 1175 Lab. dated the 27th March, 1952, the State Government do here-by fix the minimum wages at the rates as specified in the Schedule below which shall be payable to the class of employees employed in stone-breaking and stone-crushing operations carried in quarries as are situated in the State of Orissa.

Schedule.

Employment in stone-breaking or stone-crushing.Class of Employees.Rates of wages per day.

123

(i)Districts of Cuttack, Puri, Balasore and Ganjam (excluding agency areas)(i) Man

(ii) WomanRe. 1.00

Re. 0.75(ii)Agency areas of Ganjam and the Districts of Mayurbhanj,Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur, Khondmals, Boudh, Kalahandi, Bolangir-Patna,Sundergarh and Koraput.(i) Man

(ii) WomanRe. 0.75

Re. 0.50

By Order of the Governor

Sd................

Joint Secretary to Government'

3. The main points urged on behalf of the petitioner are, in substance, these : The impugned notification dated March 27, 1963, issued by the Government of Orissa is ultra vires because employment in stone-breaking and stone-crushing operations carried on by the petitioner in quarries situated in Orissa, if it is purported to be included as a scheduled employment in relation to a mine, could not, under the law, be issued by the State Government. The State Government is not the 'appropriate Government', as defined in Section 2(b) of the Act, to issue the impugned notification in relation to any scheduled employment carried on in relation to a mine.

4. Section 3 of the Act in exercise of the powers whereof the State Government purports to have fixed the minimum wages by the impugned notification provides that the appropriate Government shall in the manner provided in Section 3 fix the minimum rates of wages payable to employees employed in an employment specified in Part I or Part II of the Schedule after following the procedure for fixing and revising the minimum wages in respect of any scheduled employment, in the manner as laid down in Section 5(2).

5. The question is : Which Government --the Central Government or the State Government -- has the power to fix or revise the minimum wages in respect of employees engaged in stone-breaking or stone-crushing operations carried on by the petitioner inhis business of mining operations in quarries as are situated in the State of Orissa

6. Section 2(b) of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 provides that in the said Act unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context--

''appropriate Government' means

(i) in relation to any scheduled employment carried on by or under the authority of the Central Government, or a railway administration or in relation to a mine, oilfield or major port or any corporation established by a Central Act, the Central Government, and;

(ii) in relation to any other scheduled employment, the State Government,'

Section 2(g) provides

'scheduled employment' means an employment specified in the schedule, or any process or oranch of work forming part of such employment'.

Item 8 of Part I of the Schedule is

'employment in stone-breaking or stone-crushing'.

7. It is clear that in matters of employment in stone-breaking or stone-crushing in relation to a mine, the appropriate Government is the Central Government; whereas in matters of employment in stone-breaking or stone-crushing otherwise than in relation to a mine, the appropriate Government is the State Government.

8. Under Article 258 of the Constitution the President of India by a notification, No. 2052 published on December 11, 1951, entrusted the Governments of certain Statesincluding Orissa, with their consent, to function as the Central Government under the Minimum Wages Act in so far as such functions related to fixation of minimum rates of wages in respect of employees employed in stone-breaking or stone-crushing operations carried on in mines situated in their respective States.

9. It was submitted on behalf of the opposite parties in support of the impugned notification dated March 27, 1963, issued by the Government of Orissa in the Labour Department that the Orissa Government as so entrusted by the President of India, had fixed and notified the minimum rate of wages payable to employees employed in stone-breaking and stone-crushing operations carried on in mines situated in the State, by notification No. 1175 Lab. dated March 27, 1952, and subsequently revised the minimum rate of wages payable to employees employed in stone-breaking or stone-crushing operations carried on in quarries by Government of Orissa Labour Department Notification No. IW-17/63, 3740-Lab. dated March 27, 1963.

10. It was contended on behalf of the petitioner that whereas the earlier notification dated March 27, 1952 was in respect of employees employed in stone-breaking or stone-crushing operations carried in mines situated in Orissa, but in the impugned notification dated March 27, 1963 the minimum wages fixed thereby were to be payable to

'employees employed in stone-breaking or stone-crushing operations carried on in quarries situated in Orissa.'

The petitioner's point is that there may be quarries not attached to mines; the fundamental distinction being that while a quarry is an open-air excavation of certain classes of minerals but mine is essentially an underground excavation; thus a mine and a quarry are not the same. In our opinion, while there may be some substance in this argument bereft or independently of the context, the well settled position in law is that a quarry is included in a mine as appears from the decision of the Supreme Court in State of Maharashtra v. Mohan Lall Devichand Sah, 1965-2 Lab LJ 157 = (AIR 1966 SC 189) where it was held that the Central Legislature must have intended to include quarries in the word 'mine'; otherwise it would be rather incongruous that some matters should be regulated by the Central Government and minimum wages by the State Governments; further there is no indication whatsoever in the Act that the word 'mine' should be given narrower meaning so as to exclude stone quarries.

11. That apart, in the context in which the impugned notification dated March 27, 1963 was issued in supersession of the earlier notification dated March 27, 1952, limited to the extent as provided in the notification, it is clear that the operationscarried on in quarries as mentioned in the impugned notification were intended to be operations carried on in mines as are situated in the State of Orissa. If the scheduled employment in stone-breaking and stone-crushing operations in relation to a mine is thus viewed, the appropriate Government for fixing the minimum wages under Section 5(2) of the Act is the Central Government, and it was by virtue of the delegation made by the President of India under Article 258 of the Constitution as aforesaid, that the Government of Orissa had authority to issue the impugned notification dated March 27, 1963.

12. In this view of the case, the petitioner is not entitled to any relief as claimed. The writ petition is accordingly dismissed with costs. Hearing fee Rs. 100/- (one hundred only).

Acharya, J.

13. I agree.


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