1. The only point arising in this appeal is whether the factory inspector can, under Section 9(b), Indian Factories Act, require the production of any register or other document at a place outside the factory premises and whether the failure to comply with a notice under Rule 102, Saurashtra Factories Rules, renders the proprietor of the factory liable under Section 92, Factories Act. The factory inspector had gone to inspect the factory of the respondent known as the Mourvi Bolts and Iron Works situated at Mourvi on 23 August 1950. The respondent who is the proprietor and manager of the factory was not present at the time. The inspector thereafter sent a notice to the respondent purporting to be under Rule 102 of the rules framed under the Factories Act stating that Umiashankar Govindji, who was present at the time of his visit to the factory, could not produce certain registers and accounts, that he had left instructions that the said registers, etc., should be shown to him at the Government rest-house but the Instructions had not been carried out and the respondent was, therefore, called upon to produce the registers and accounts stated in the notice at the inspector's office at Rajkot. The respondent failed to comply with the notice and was prosecuted for contravention of Section 9(6), Factories Act, and Rule 102 of the rules. It was contended before the learned, magistrate on behalf of the respondent that under Section 9(6) the factory inspector had no right to call upon the proprietor of the factory to produce the accounts at his office or anywhere outside the factory premises and that the notice was illegal and the respondent was not bound to comply with it. The learned magistrate accepted the contention and acquitted the respondent. The State has appealed against the acquittal.
2. Section 9, Factories Act, empowers the inspector to enter any place which is used or which he has reason to believe is used as a factory and to make examination of the premises, plant or machinery and to require the production of any prescribed register or any other document relating to the factory and to take on the spot or otherwise statements of any person which he may consider necessary for carrying out the purposes of the Act-. Reading Clauses (a) and (b) of the section it becomes dear that the powers contained in Clause (b) are to be exercised when the inspector visits any factory and that they do not contemplate an exercise of the powers outside the factory premises. Under Clause (b) he may examine the premises, plant and machinery and so far as the registers and documents are concerned the only power he has is to require their production. Under the corresponding clause of Section 11 of the repealed Factory Act No. 25 of 1934 the power of the inspector in respect of prescribed register was to examine them which necessarily included a power to call for its production for the purpose. Under the present provision, however, he has a right to call for the production of such registers which does. not include a power to examine them. The power to call for the production of the registers may include the power to inspect them; all the same it only means that the production is to be made on the premises and this Inference is supported by the context. Evidently the examination of the premises, plant and machinery is to be made on the spot and the production of the registers too, therefore, is intended to be made on the spot, that is, on the factory premises. So far as the taking of the statements of any person is concerned, they can be taken on the spot or otherwise, that is, even outside the factory premises, which also indicates that where something was required to be done outside the factory premises, it was BO stated specifically in the section. It is reasonable to infer, therefore, that so far as the production of the registers is concerned, the same was to be done In the factory premises and not outside, for else there would have been a similar provision in that regard also.
3. Rule 102, Saurashtra Factories Rules, provides that the occupier, owner or manager of a factory shall furnish any information that an inspector may require for the purpose of satisfying himself whether any provision of the Act has been complied with or whether any order of an inspector has been duly carried out; and further that any demand by an inspector for any such information, if made, during the course of an inspection, is to be complied with forthwith if the information is available in the factory or if demand is made in writing, it is to be complied within seven days of receipt thereof. Now, apart from Section 9 and having regard to Rule 102 itself, the demand for production of old registers and other documents is evidently not a demand for information as contemplated by Rule 102 and the said rule did not empower the inspector to require the respondent to produce them. Therefore the factory inspector had no power to call upon the respondent to produce the registers and other documents at his office at Rajkot and the respondent's failure to comply with the notice does not expose him to any penalty. The learned magistrate's order of acquittal is correct and we dismiss this appeal.