The Factories Act

Concept of Penalties in Factories Act

Rules are an important part of any institution. They help in maintaining discipline and uniformity in work. But nobody can deny the fact that the seriousness of the rules can only be maintained if it’s breaking leads to some sort of punishments.

Under the law, such punishments for breaking a law, rule or contract are called ‘Penalties’. Penalties vary with the level of damage to the organization, repetition of mistakes, etc. Factories too define certain rules and regulations in order to maintain discipline in the factory.

Similarly, the factories Act has certain rules in the form of provisions, breaking of which leads to penalties. In this article, we will look at the various provisions related to penalties under the Factories Act, 1948.


Penalties (Under the Factories Act, 1948)

Section 92: General penalty for offenses

This section states that in case there is any kind of contravention with the laws of the Act, then the occupier and the manager of the factory will be equally responsible for the breaking of the law.

They will be punishable for with imprisonment upto 2 years and fine upto Rs.2 lakhs. In case, they continue the breach, they will be punishable with Rs. 10 thousand each day of the continuing breach.

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Section 93: Liability of owner of premises under special circumstances

This section states that in case a factory is on lease to various occupiers, the owner of the factory is still responsible for providing and maintaining certain services like drainage, approach roads, water supply, electricity, lighting, sanitation, etc.

Special Point:

The Chief Inspector has the power to issue an order, to the owner of the premises in respect of the carrying out of the provisions

Section 94: Enhanced penalty after a previous conviction

This section states:

(a) Firstly, if there is any person in a factory who does any general offense and repeats it, then he will be punishable with imprisonment upto 3 years or fine of atleast Rs. 10 thousand (upto Rs. 2 lakhs) or both.
(b) Secondly, in order to find the applicability of this provision, the managers should only count the offenses within the last 2 years of the latest offense.

Section 95: Penalty for obstructing an inspector

This section states that whoever obstructs an Inspector in the exercise of any power conferred on him by or under this Act, or fails to produce on demand by an Inspector, then that person will be punishable with imprisonment upto 6 months or fine upto Rs. 10 thousand or both.

This also applies to the cases where a person prevents any worker in a factory from appearing before or being examined by an Inspector.

Section 96: Penalty for wrongfully disclosing results of analysis under section 91

This section states that any person who publishes or discloses to any other person the results of an analysis made by taking samples shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months. Moreover, he will be punishable with a fine of atleast Rs. 10 thousand.

Section 97: Worker’s offenses

This section states that if any worker working in the factory contravenes with the rules or provisions of the Act, creating liabilities for other workers, will be punishable with a fine of atleast Rs.500.

Section 98: False Certificate of Fitness

Fitness Certificate states the level of fitness of an individual for a particular job or work. In factories, this certificate plays an important role. This section punishes those workers who try to present a false ‘Certificate of Fitness’.

If anyone tries to do so, he will be punishable with imprisonment of 2 months. Moreover, he may be punishable with a fine of atleast Rs. 10 thousand. In certain cases, he is punished with fine and imprisonment.

Section 99: Double Employment of Child

This section states:

(a) Firstly, if any child works in a factory and works with another factory on the same day, then his parents will be punishable. They will be punished with a fine of Rs.1000.
(b) Secondly, this case also applies to the person who gets benefit from such child’s wages.

Section 101: Exemption of occupier from liability in certain cases

This section provides an opportunity to the managers and the occupiers of the factories who have done an offense to prove themselves non-guilty. So, in order to prove themselves right, they have to give notice to the inspector within 3 days stating their interest of proving themselves non-guilty. Moreover, they have to prove 2 things by themselves:

(a) Firstly, he has complied with all the provisions of the act.
(b) Secondly, someone else is the real culprit and he didn’t know about the offense being done by the real offender.

Section 102: Power of court to make orders

This section states that powers of the courts in case any manager does any offense under the Act. The court along with punishing the offenders can take steps in remedying the situation.

Section 103: Presumption as to employment

This section states that if any person is near any machinery in the factory during the working hours, then he will be considered as a worker of the factory. This provision does not apply in the case when a person is near any machinery during the intervals.

Question on Concept of Penalties

Question: What are the provisions of Penalties in Section 104 of the Factories Act, 1948?

Answer: This section states that the onus to prove that a person is of a certain age would lie on the person himself and a certificate in writing from the certifying surgeon for this purpose is admissible as evidence of age.

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