THE COAL MINES PROVIDENT FUND AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS ACT 1948 ~ Encyclopaedia of Mining Law
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"Owner" of the "coal mines". In S. K. Roy v. Slate' the facts of the case were that the Bhowra Coke Plant originally belonged to the Bhowra group of collieries owned by the Eastern Coal Company, but subsequently in or about the years 1945 to 1947 this coke plant was transferred by sale to the petitioner. The group of Bhowra collieries was subsequently sold to the Bhowra Kankanee Collieries. Ltd. The petitioner is the owner of the coke plants and the lessee of the land on which it stands on payment of certain royalty by way of the ground-rent for the land the lessor, at the relevant time being the Bhowra Kankanee Collieries, Ltd. owning the coal mine and coalfield area, where the Bhowra Coal Mines are and the coke plant is situated. The coke plant is not only adjacent to the coal mine but is also situated on the surface land, which forms part of the coalfields near which and beneath which the coal mine is worked by the Bhowra Kankanee Collieries, Ltd. The petitioner does not carry on the work of any coal mine there in that he does not excavate any coal by carrying on any operation for the purpose of obtaining coal. The coke plant is a by-product coke plant in which hard coke as well as some other by-products are manufactured. The question for determination is whether, on the finding aforesaid, it can be held that the petitioner is the owner of a coal mine within the meaning of the Act and the Scheme.

As a matter of construction, it has got to be held that all works, machinery, tramways and sidings, whether above or below ground in or adjacent to a coalmine can come within the sweep of the definitions only when it belongs to the coal-mine. That is to say, the word "or" occurring before the expression "belonging to a coal-mine" in the main definition given in the Act has got to be interpreted to mean "and" ; otherwise anomalous result would follow. Any work or tramways or sidings, if they do not appertain to the coal-mine in the sense of ownership, cannot come within the meaning of the expression "coal-mine" as given In the first part of Cl. (b) of Sec. 2 of the Act. They would come by way of subsidiary works, machinery or the like if they appertain to and belong to the coal-mine in the sense of carrying of excavation work by doing the operation for the purpose of obtaining coal.

Held that the coke plant owned by the petitioner is not a coal-mine or a colliery within the meaning of the Act or the Scheme. The said plant is, therefore, not subject to and cannot be governed by their provisions. It follows, therefore, that the conviction of the petitioner is bad in law and must be set aside.

In the result the application is allowed. The conviction recorded against the petitioner and the sentence imposed upon him are set aside.2

"Wages" include "bonus" also which would be payable to the person employed In terms of his employment. If bonus is paid illegally it can be deducted from the wages.3

Coal mine Bee-hive Ovens.Any coke oven or plant in Cl. (xii) of Sec. 2(b) unless it is in some way .connected with excavation where any operation for the purpose of searching for or obtaining coal has been or is being carried on, cannot become a coal mine.4

Coal Mines Provident Fund Commissioner, if public servant.The word "service" in Sec. 2(17) [hj of the Code of Civil Procedure must necessarily mean something more than being merely subject to the orders of Government or control of the Government. To serve means "to perform function, do what is required for". The Commissioner appointed by Government performs the functions as envisaged in the Act and the scheme thereunder. When he is actually acting in the capacity of Provident Fund Commissioner, he does not cease to be an officer in the service of the Government. In the present case, the Provident.


  1. (1965) 2 L. L.J. 522.
  2. S. K. Roy v. State. (1965) 2 L.L.J. 522 at pp. 523. 526.
  3. Superintendent of Collieries v. Deputy Commissioner. A.l.R. 1957 Pat. 647 at p. 649.
  4. Small Scale Bee-Hive Hard-Coke Producers. Association i pp. 331.332.

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