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Bombay High Court
Emperor vs Haji Shaik Mahomad Shustari on 22 August, 1907
Equivalent citations: (1907) 9 BOMLR 1059
Author: Chandavarkar
Bench: Chandavarkar, Knight


Chandavarkar, J.

1. Following the judgment of this Court in Emperor v. A.M. Jeevanji (1907) 9 Bom. L.R. 967 our answers to the first question and the second question are in the affirmative. We should add with reference to the second question that if a servant, having been appointed as an agent for a particular business by his master, enters into an agreement in connection with that business, every thing which he does within the scope of his employment ‘for that purpose will be binding upon the master and the master will be criminally liable for such, acts of the servant under the Indian Emigration Act. Insuch a case the master’s express knowledge of, or consent to, the act is not necessary, because from the very fact of the appointment of the servant as an agent in such a business, the master’s knowledge of, or consent to, every act done by the servant or agent within the scope of his employment is implied by law.

2. The third question referred by the Chief Presidency Magistrate is:-“Is a person engaged to drive an engine on board a steamer at a wage of Rs. 100 a month, an artisan within the meaning of the Act?”

3. There is no definition of the term “artisan” in the Act itself, nor, so far as we have been able to look into the cases, is there any definition of it in any other co-temporary Act of the Legislature. We must interpret it in the conventional sense in which it is used. An “artisan” is defined by Webster in his Dictionary to be one who is engaged in a mechanical employment. That is the popular meaning and there is no reason to suppose that the Legislature meant to use it in any other sense. Having regard to that meaning of the term, a person engaged to drive an engine, on board a steamer, would be included, within it. It is urged before us by Mr. Paymaster, the learned pleader for the accused, that a person engaged not to work but to superintend and control others engaged in a mechanical employment is not within the meaning of the term as used in the Act. That, however, is not the question referred to this Court. Our answer to the third question referred is also in the affirmative.

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