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Supreme Court of India
M/S. Sunil Industries vs Ram Chander Pradhan & Anr on 14 November, 2000
Bench: S.N.Variava, S.R.Babu
           PETITIONER:
M/S.  SUNIL INDUSTRIES

	Vs.

RESPONDENT:
RAM CHANDER PRADHAN & ANR.

DATE OF JUDGMENT:	14/11/2000

BENCH:
S.N.Variava, S.R.Babu




JUDGMENT:

L…..I………T…….T…….T…….T…….T…….T..J
J U D G M E N T S. N. VARIAVA, J.

This Appeal is against an Order dated 7th May, 1997 by
which the first appeal filed by the appellant has been
dismissed in limine. Briefly stated the facts are as
follows: The Petitioner is a sole proprietory concern. It
runs its workshop of shaping steel sheets into various
shapes and forms. The 1st Respondent was, at the relevant
time, working as a press operator with the Appellant. On
27th January, 1993 while working on a press, the 1st
Respondent sustained injuries to his right index finger and
thumb. The Appellant rushed the 1st Respondent to the Civil
Hospital at Gurgaon (Haryana). The injuries necessitated
amputation of 2.5 x 0.5 Cms. of the index finger. On 14th
June, 1993, the 1st Respondent filed a claim under the@@
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Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 claiming compensation in@@
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the sum of Rs. 25,000/- with interest thereon @ 16% per
annum. The Appellant in his reply, inter alia, claimed that
the provisions of the Workmen’s Compensation Act would not
apply to his establishment. On 15th October 1996 the
Commissioner held that the Workmen’s Compensation Act
applied and that the Appellant was liable to pay
compensation in a sum of Rs.29,814/- together with
Rs.5,000/- as penalty and interest at 12% per annum. The
Appellant preferred an Appeal under Section 30 of the
Worken’s Compensation Act before the High Court of Punjab &
Haryana. That Appeal came to be dismissed in limine by the
impugned order dated 7th May, 1997. It is admitted that the
1st Respondent was working as a press operator with the
Appellant at the relevant time. It is admitted that the
accident did took place on 27th January, 1993 and that it
resulted in injuries to the right index finger and thumb of
the 1st Respondent and that this necessitated amputation of
2.5 x 0.5 Cms. of the index finger. Mr. Vasdev however,
submitted that the Workmen’s Compensation Act did not apply
to the Appellant’s establishment. He submitted that Section
2(n) (ii) of the Wormen’s Compensation Act provides that a
workman is a person employed in a capacity specified in
Schedule II. He then referred to Schedule II of the
Workmen’s Compensation Act and pointed out that under item 2
of Schedule II a person would be a workman provided he is
employed in any premises where a manufacturing process as
defined in clause (k) of Section 2 of the Factories Act 1948
was being carried on. He submitted that this showed that
the provisions of the Factories Act were being incorporated
into the Workmen’s Compensation Act. He submitted that this
is also clear from the fact that over the years there have
been a number of amendments to the Workmen’s Compensation
Act incorporating therein provision of the Factories Act or
provisions similar thereto. He then referred to Section
2(k) and 2 (m) of the Factories Act and submitted that under
the Factories Act the manufacturing process must be in a
factory where ten or more workers are working (if the
manufacturing process is being carried on with the aid of
power) or twenty or more persons are working (if the
manufacturing process is being carried on without the aid of
power). He submitted that a joint reading of all these
provisions makes it clear that even for the purposes of the
Workmen’s Compensation Act only those persons who are
employed in a factory within the meaning of the Factories
Act, 1948 would be entitled to make a claim under the
Workmen’s Compensation Act. We are unable to accept the
submissions of the learned counsel. It is true that the
Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 has been amended on a
number of occasions. However inspite of numerous amendments
the Legislature has purposely omitted to specifically
provide that only a workman who is employed in a factory, as
defined in the Factories Act, could make a claim. All that
has been done is that in Schedule II of the Workmen’s
Compensation Act it is inter alia clarified that persons
employed, otherwise than in a clerical capacity, in any
premises wherein a manufacturing process as defined in
clause (k) of Section 2 of the Factories Act, 1948, are
workmen. Significantly the definition of the term “Factory”
as appearing in clause (m) of Section 2 of the Factories Act
1948 has not been incorporated in the Workmen’s Compensation
Act. Thus it is clear that for the Workmen’s Compensation
Act to apply it is not necessary that the workman should be
working in a Factory as defined in the Factories Act, 1948.
It has not been denied that the workshop of the Appellant
would fall under clause (k) of Section 2 of the Factories
Act. Therefore, the 1st Respondent would be a Workman
within the meaning of the term as defined in the Workmen’s
Compensation Act. Under the circumstances, we see no merit
in the Appeal. The same stands dismissed. There will,
however, be no order as to costs.


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