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Srinivas J. Kulkarni, Manager Addison & Co. Ltd., Kancheepuram & Another v/s State of Tamil Nadu, Rep. by the Deputy Director, Industrial Safety & Health, Sriperumbudur

Company & Directors' Information:- ADDISON & CO. LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28939TN1914PLC000008

Company & Directors' Information:- V. K. INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100MH2004PLC149538

Company & Directors' Information:- R K INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U29300PB1996PLC017836

Company & Directors' Information:- V T INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74990TN2010PLC078041

Company & Directors' Information:- B P INDUSTRIAL CORPN. PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U15312UP1973PTC087037

Company & Directors' Information:- B L HEALTH AND SAFETY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999DL2003PTC118844

Company & Directors' Information:- A V A INDUSTRIAL CORPN PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U29191TZ1956PTC000261

Company & Directors' Information:- THE INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15420MH1921PTC000947

Company & Directors' Information:- S. O. HEALTH CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999TG2017PTC119704

Company & Directors' Information:- SAFETY INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U80902DL2019PTC357327

Company & Directors' Information:- D D INDUSTRIAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U34102DL2006PTC156978

Company & Directors' Information:- M N M SAFETY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U33100MH2005PTC154685

Company & Directors' Information:- E-HEALTH INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U85110DL2001PTC113461

Company & Directors' Information:- A K INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29130PN2014PTC151053

Company & Directors' Information:- THE INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U00804KA1948PLC000529

    CRL.O.P. Nos. 32282, 32529 of 2013 & M.P. Nos. 1 & 2 of 2013

    Decided On, 28 October 2020

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras


    For the Petitioner: M. Vijayan, Advocate. For the Respondent: L. Charles Premkumar, Govt. Advocate (Crl. Side).

Judgment Text

(Prayer: Criminal Original Petitions filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to call for the records on the file of the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Chengalpattu in C.C.No.392 of 2013 and C.C.No.393 of 2013 respectively and quash the same.)Common Order1. In view of commonality of issue involved, these Criminal Original Petitions are considered and decided by this common order.2. For the sake of convenience, the parties will be referred to by their names.3. Addison & Co. Ltd. is a company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 and they had nominated one of their directors by name M.L.S. Rao (petitioner in Crl.O.P.No.32529 of 2013) as ‘Occupier’ under the Factories Act, 1948 for their factory at F-65-B, SIPCOT Industrial Park, Irungattukottai, Kancheepuram. There was a leakage in factory roof and so, one M/s.Swathi Engineering was awarded the contract to rectify it. M/s.Swathi Engineering brought four employees and one of them by name Arun, while working, fell down from the roof on 06.08.2013 and succumbed to the injury on 08.08.2013. A sum of Rs.8,05,880/- was deposited as compensation before the Commissioner under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 on 12.06.2014, apart from payment of some amount ad hoc, to the family of the deceased, for their minimum expenses. While that being so, the Inspector of Factories launched two prosecutions viz. C.C.No.392 of 2013 against Srinivas J.Kulkarni, the Manager and C.C.No.393 of 2013 against M.L.S.Rao, the Director/Occupier, in the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, Chengalpattu for violation of Rules 61-A and 61-C of the Tamil Nadu Factory Rules, 1950 punishable under Section 92 of the Factories Act challenging which, these Criminal Original Petitions have been filed.4. Heard Mr.M.Vijayan, Advocate of M/s.King and Patridge for the petitioner and Mr.L.Charles, Government Advocate (Crl. Side) for the respondent and at the request of this Court, Mr.E.Sasikumar, Deputy Director, Industrial Safety and Health, Circle-I, Kancheepuram appeared by video conferencing.5. Before adverting to the rival submissions, it may be necessary to extract Rule 61-A and 61-C of the Tamil Nadu Factories Rules, 1950:“61-A. Safety belts - Where any person is required or allowed to work at a place from which he may be liable to fall through a distance of more than two meters, he shall be provided with a safety belt with leather shoulder straps of not less than five centimeters in width and a ‘D’ ring at the back for fastening a rope, the other end of which shall be securely tied of hooked to some suitable rigid fixture. The safety belt so provided shall be tested and examined thoroughly by a competent person at least once in six months and a certificate with regard to its suitability obtained from the said competent person and entered in a register, which shall be produced before the Inspector on demand.61-C. Fragile roofs -In any factory no person shall be required or allowed to stand on or pass over or walk on or near any roof or ceiling covered with fragile material through which he is liable to fall, in case it breaks or gives way, a distance of more than three meters, unless, -i. suitable and sufficient ladders, duck ladders or crawling boards which shall be securely supported, are provided and used; andii. a permit to work on the fragile roof is issued to him each time he is required to work thereon, by a responsible person of the factory concerned, such as Supervisor, Foreman, Engineer or Manager.”6. At the outset, this Court deems it appropriate to appreciate the complainant for fairly submitting in the complaint that, the management had provided the equipments viz. ladders, duck ladders or crawling boards, but, they were not used by the workers. The complainant could have easily suppressed this in the complaint and could have stated that, the management had not supplied the necessary safety equipments to the workers. It may be relevant to extract the said averment:“TAMIL” suitable and sufficient securely supported ladders, duck ladders or crawling boards “TAMIL” (emphasis supplied)7. The legislature was aware that a Director who has been nominated as ‘Occupier’ under the Factories Act, cannot be omnipresent, in order to ensure that every requirement set out under the Rules are adhered to and complied with by everyone working in the factory. That is why, in Rule 61-C (ii) supra, it is stated that the Supervisor, Foreman, Engineer or Manager of the factory will be the person responsible to ensure that ladders, duck ladders or crawling boards are provided to workers who work on the roof.8. In such view of the matter, in the opinion of this Court, the prosecution of M.L.S.Rao, the Director/Occupier, for failing to ensure that Arun used the safety equipments that were provided to him by the management, cannot be maintained. However, the prosecution of Srinivas J.Kulkarni, the Manager for the said violation, cannot be assailed.In the result, Crl.O.P.No.32529 of 2013 is allowed and the prosecution of M.L.S.Rao in C.C.No

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.393 of 2013 on the file of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chengalpattu, is quashed. Crl.O.P.No.32282 of 2013 is dismissed. Connected Miscellaneous Petitions are closed. In the event of the trial Court holding Srinivas J.Kulkarni guilty of the offence, it may bear in mind that, Arun was a contract worker under M/s.Swathi Engineering, that he had not used the safety equipments that were provided by the management and that, his employer viz. M/s.Swathi Engineering had deposited Rs.8,05,880/- as workmen’s compensation, for deciding the quantum of sentence.