M.C. Jain, J.
1. This appeal is directed against the order of the Judicial Magistrate, Chhittoregarh dated 6-7-1976 whereby the respondent was acquitted of the breach of the Rules 4, 5 and 5(a) punishable under Rule 22 of the Payment of Wages (Mines) Rules, 1956.
2. Shri K. K. Ahlowalia, Labour Enforcement Officer P.W. 1 along with Shri J.D. Sharma, Assistant Labour Commissioner P.W. visited the mine of respondent on 15-1-1974 at about 1 P.M. He found that 12 male and 25 female labourers were working on the mine. He asked for the attendance Register, Payment of Wages Register, Employees B Register, Advance Register, Fines Register and Deductions Register from Shri Shankerlal, the owner and lease holder of the mine. Shri Shankerlal admitted that no registers are kept. The requisite notices were also not pasted at the mines. Inspection memo Ex. P. 1 was prepared to which Shri Shankerlal appended his signature and Shri J. D. Sharma also signed, the same. The memo also contained a show cause notice. A copy of that memo was delivered to Shri Shankerlal but Shri Shankerlal did not submit his reply A reminder dated 23-3-1974 was also sent to Shri Shankerlal under regsitered A. D. which was also not replied. There after sanction for prosecution was obtained and a complaint was filed. Shri Shankerlal was tried by the learned Magistrate. Shri Shankerlal denied that his mine was ever inspected. The two officers only met in the way and he further stated that the work is got done on the contract basis. In his defence, he examined Shri Shaukat Ali D.W. 1 and Uda Ram D.W. 2.
3. The learned Magistrate after. Hearing found that the prosecution has failed to prove that the mine is operated through engaging the labourers through the respondent. So the rules are not applicable to the respondent so the respondent was acquitted. Hence this appeal.
4. I have heard Dr. S. S. Bhandawat for the appellant and Shri G. S. Mehta, learned counsel for the respondent and perused the record of the case.
5. After hearing the parties and perusing the record, I am of the opinion that the finding recorded by the learned Magistrate is absolutely erroneous and baseless. P. W. 1 K. K. Ahlowalia has clearly stated that he saw the labour working at the mines and he gave out the specific number of the Labour and the inspection memo which was prepared by him, was also got signed by Shri Shanker Lal. The question that the mine was being operated on contract basis, was not put to Shri Ahlowalia and to Shri J. D. Sharma and that this plea appears to be an after thought. The labour was present is proved by Shri J. O. Sharma, also though he has not stated the number of labour and Shri Shanker Lal also stated to Shri Ahlowalia that he is not keeping the required registers and notices as was asked by P.W. 1, It appears that the respondent took the plea for plea's sake. To whom the contract was given was neither suggested nor substantiated. Thus the the finding recorded by the learned Magistrate can not be sustained in light of the evidence of P.W. 1 and P.W. 2 and in my opinion from the complainant's evidence it is amply proved that the Rules 4, 5 and 5(a) have been contravened and the required registers have not been maintained so the respondent deserves to be punished by imposition of fine for the breach of these rules.
6. In the result this appeal is allowed, the acquittal is set aside and the respondent is convicted under Rule 22 for the violation of Rules 4, 5 and 5(a) and on each count, he is sentenced to a fine of Rs. 50/-(Rupees Fifty Only).
7. Learned Counsel for the respondent prays for two months' time to deposit the amount of fine. Time prayed for is allowed.