A.S. Qureshi, J.
1. This is a group of four appeals filed by the State against the order of the learned Metropolitan Magistrate, Ahmedabad for enhancement of the fine imposed on the accused under Section 92 of the Factories Act. In the first two of the aforesaid appeals the respondent is one Chandraprakash Shethia and in the remaining two, the respondent is one Kamal Singh Shethia who are the factory owners. The abovesaid respondents were prosecuted under Section 63 of the Factories Act (Act 63 of 1948). The complaint filed against the aforesaid respondents was that on May 14, 1981 Mr. K.H. Sodha, Inspector, Factories, Ahmedabad, visited the factory in question at 11-15 A.M. and found an adult worker working in each of the four cases during the time which was notified as recess time. The period of work was displayed as follows:
From 7-00 A.M. to 11-00 A. M. ... Working hours.From 11-00 A.M. to 11-30 A.M. ... RecessFrom 11-30 A.M. to 3-30 P.M. ... Working hours.
At the trial the respondents pleaded guilty and the learned Metropolitan Magistrate, after passing the order of conviction under Section 92 of the said Factories Act, ordered the respondents in each of the four cases to pay a fine of Rs. 30/-, in default to suffer S.I. for 5 days.
2. Against the aforesaid order of the learned Metropolitan Magistrate the State has come in appeal in each of the aforesaid four matters for enhancement of the fine. At the hearing of the appeals, although the respondents were served they have chosen to remain ex-parte. The learned Public Prosecutor Mr. A.J. Patel has submitted that the respondents have deliberately violated the provisions of the Factories Act and have been allowed by the trial Court to get away with very light punishment of a fine of Rs. 30/- only in each matter. Mr. Patel has also urged that if the Courts take a lenient view of such offences the Factory owners and Managers will deliberately flout the provisions of law and pay up the nominal fine imposed by the trial Courts. There is considerable force in the submission of Mr. A.J. Patel.
The factories Act is a legislation for the protection of the workers and that its provisions are meant to be carried out scrupulously in words and spirit. The flouting of those provisions would certainly result into the unfair exploitation of the workers and it is necessary that the Courts should not take a very lenient view of such contraventions. It is necessary in the interest of social justice to see that the deliberate contraventions of the provisions of such beneficial legislation should be taken quite seriously and the managements which indulge in such contraventions and exploitation should suffer consequences which would b effective and conducive to the due compliance of such provisions.
3. Mr. A.J. Patel, the learned Public Prosecutor has suggested that in cases like this the proper fine that should be imposed under Section 92 of the Factories Act would be somewhere between Rs. 100/- and Rs. 150/-. Mr. Patel's submission is quite fair and reasonable and hence, the order of the Trial Court imposing the fine of Rs. 30/- in each matter is set aside and is substituted by an order imposing fine of Rs. 100/- in each of the four cases, in default the concerned respondents will undergo a simple imprisonment of 10 days in each case. Appeals are, therefore, allowed. Fine to be paid within a period of three weeks from the date on which the writ is served on the respondents. Appeals are, therefore, allowed and the order of fine substituted as above.