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State of Gujarat Vs. K. Madhavan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial;Criminal
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1979)1GLR633
AppellantState of Gujarat
RespondentK. Madhavan
Excerpt:
- - 1. even a stone will be shocked by the ridiculously low and unduly lenient sentence imposed by the learned trial magistrate upon a plea of guilty being made by the manager of a factory to a charge under section 92 of the factories act in regard to failure to securely fence a dangerous part of a winding machine which resulted in a worker losing the second finger of his left hand which was crushed between the gears of the winding machine......it will not serve as a deterrent to him in future. nor will it have deterrent effect on others who are similarly situated. it is not necessary to demonstrate further that the sentence imposed is altogether inadequate. the appeal is allowed. the sentence of fine imposed on the respondent is enhanced and altered to one of simple imprisonment for one month. the fine of rs. 100/-, if paid, shall be refunded to the respondent. warrant for arrest of the respondent shall issue forthwith.
Judgment:

M.P. Thakkar, J.

1. Even a stone will be shocked by the ridiculously low and unduly lenient sentence imposed by the learned trial Magistrate upon a plea of guilty being made by the Manager of a Factory to a charge under Section 92 of the Factories Act in regard to failure to securely fence a dangerous part of a winding machine which resulted in a worker losing the second finger of his left hand which was crushed between the gears of the winding machine. A pea-sized sentence of fine of Rs. 100/- has been imposed upon the Manager concerned pleading guilty. The State has thereupon preferred the present appeal seeking enhancement of sentence.

2. The respondent original accused though served has not cared to appear. The endorsement made by him on the notice for enhancement is that he does not wish to engage any advocate. Under the circumstances, the matter has to be heard in his absence.

3. In a matter of such a serious nature where a worker has lost his finger and where the Manager of the Factory pleads guilty to having committed the offence by failing to securely fence the dangerous part of a winding machine, lenient view cannot be taken merely because he pleads guilty or merely because he is a Manager of a Factory. Before a Court of law all are equal. If a Court were to impose an unduly lenient sentence merely because he is the Manager of a Factory, law would be brought to ridicule and contempt. So also if only a sentence of a fine of Rs. 100/- were to be imposed, it would serve no penological purpose. It would amount to issuance of a licence to expose the workers to risk their person at a licence-fee of Rs. 100/-. The Manager can always afford to pay Rs. 100/-. Why should he then be more careful in future? It will not serve as a deterrent to him in future. Nor will it have deterrent effect on others who are similarly situated. It is not necessary to demonstrate further that the sentence imposed is altogether inadequate. The appeal is allowed. The sentence of fine imposed on the respondent is enhanced and altered to one of simple imprisonment for one month. The fine of Rs. 100/-, if paid, shall be refunded to the respondent. Warrant for arrest of the respondent shall issue forthwith.


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