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Factories Act Is Not In Substitution Of Any Other Statute, Does Not Override Indian Penal Code: Punjab & Haryana High Court

[13 June 2022] The Punjab and Haryana High Court, while dealing with a matter wherein usage of non-updated machinery led to the death of two labourers, held that provision of Factories Act, 1948 are not in substitution but are supplemental to any other Act; and thus, they do not override the provisions of the Indian Penal Code. The bench comprising Justice Vinod S. Bhardwaj observed that perusal of statement of objects and reasons of the Factories Act shows that the provisions are concerned with the working conditions and protection of the workers, but the said Act does not prohibit operation of any other statute. The observation was made in a petition preferred by two sons of a factory owner, seeking to set aside an order framing charges against him under Sections 304-A, 337 and 338 IPC. The Court however observed that the petitioners failed to point out any provision of law that merely because an offence also happens to be in violation of a special statute, the offence punishable under the Indian Penal Code would not get attracted, despite, the necessary ingredients being satisfied. “As a matter of fact, Section 119 of the Factories Act has been given an overriding effect with anything inconsistent contained in the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970 or any other law for the time being in force. Learned counsel has failed to point out as to how the provisions of Section 304-A IPC would be inconsistent with the provisions contained under the Factories Act, 1948. The provision of the Factories Act, 1948 are not in substitution of any other Act but are supplemental to the same. It does not override the Indian Penal Code or laws other than those specified above,” the Bench observed.

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