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OFFENCES, PENALTIES AND LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

92. Power of Court to make order

(1) Where the Court is satisfied, on complaint by the Permanent Secretary or an officer
delegated by him or an employee, that any premises which are or are intended to be
used as a place of work are in such condition or are so constructed or situated that
any process or work carried on therein, or intended to be carried on therein, cannot
be so carried on with due regard to the safety, health and welfare of the employees,
the Court may by order prohibit the use thereof for the purpose of that process or
work, and in the case of premises which are intended for use as a place of work, the
Court may make such an order if satisfied on complaint by the Permanent Secretary
that the process or work cannot be carried on therein without contravention of this
Act, and any such order may be revoked or varied on the application of the employer
or owner of the premises.

(2) Where the Court is satisfied, on complaint by the Permanent Secretary or an officer
delegated by him or an employee, or otherwise that the carrying on of any process
or work may involve any risk of bodily injury, the Court may by order prohibit such
process or work either indefinitely or until such steps have been taken as may be
specified in that order, to enable the process or work to be carried on with due regard
to the safety, health and welfare of the employees, and any such order may be
revoked or varied on the application of the employer or owner of the premises.

(3) On an application for the revocation or variation of an order under subsection


(1) or (2), the Permanent Secretary or an officer delegated by him shall be
entitled to be heard if the order was made on a complaint by him.

93. Officer not to reveal trade secrets

No officer shall, otherwise than in the performance of his duties, reveal any manufacturing
or commercial secret which may at any time come to his knowledge in the course of his
duties.

94. Offences

(1) Any person who–

(a) intentionally delays or obstructs the Permanent Secretary in the exercise of


his powers or duties under this Act;
(b) prevents or attempts to prevent any other person from appearing before the
Permanent Secretary or from answering any question to which the
Permanent Secretary may require an answer;

(c) knowingly or recklessly makes a false statement –

(i) in purported compliance with a requirement to furnish any information


imposed by or under this Act; or

(ii) for the purpose of obtaining the issue to himself or another person of
a document under this Act;

(d) intentionally makes a false entry in any register, book, notice or other
document required to be kept, served or given under this Act, or, with intent
to deceive, makes use of any such entry which he knows to be false;

(e) with intent to deceive, forges or uses a document issued or authorised to be


issued under this Act or makes or has in his possession a document so
closely resembling any such document as to be calculated to deceive;

(f) falsely pretends to be an officer;

(g) obstructs any person in the exercise of his powers or duties under this Act;

(h) is required to make an examination of a steam boiler, a steam receiver or a


machinery fails to make a thorough examination, or makes a report which is
false, deficient or misleading in a material particular;

(i) contravenes –

(i) an order made by the Court;

(ii) a condition of a permit or certificate issued under this Act;

(iii) a condition of an authority issued or approval given under this Act;

(iv) a requirement or prohibition imposed by a prohibition order;

(v) a requirement imposed or a specification, order or direction given by


the Permanent Secretary under this Act; and

(vi) any other provision of this Act,


shall commit an offence.
(2) An employer who levies, or permits to be levied on any employee any charge in
respect of anything done or provided under this Act, shall commit an offence.

(3) Any person who commits an offence shall be liable –

(a) in respect of an offence committed by him as an employee, to a fine not


exceeding 5,000 rupees; and

(b) in any other case, to a fine not exceeding 75,000 rupees and to imprisonment
for a term not exceeding one year.

(4) (a) The Court may, on the conviction of any person, where it thinks
appropriate, in addition to inflicting a fine, make an order directing that
person to comply with this Act within such time as may be fixed in the
order.

(b) Where after the expiry of the time as originally specified or enlarged by
subsequent order, the order is not complied with, that person shall be
liable to a fine not exceeding 100 rupees for each day on which the non-
compliance continues.

(5) Without prejudice to the provisions of any other enactment, no prosecution shall
be entered before the Court against an employee for any offence under this
Act, except by the Director of Public Prosecutions or a person deputed by him.

(6) Nothing in this Act shall authorise criminal proceedings to be instituted against
the State.

95. Parts of buildings, plants, or equipment let off

(1) Where a part of a building is let off as a place of work, or a plant or equipment
is leased, the owner of the building or plant, or equipment, as the case may be,
shall be responsible for any contravention of section 34, 35, 38, 39, 40, 64, 73
or 75, only in so far as these provisions relate to matters within his control.

(2) Where sanitary conveniences, washing facilities, facilities for the taking of meals or
mess are used in common by several tenants, the owner of the building shall be
responsible for their cleanliness and maintenance.

96. Special provisions as to evidence


(1) Subject to subsection (2), where a person is found in a place of work at any
time at which work is going on or the machinery is in motion, he shall, unless
the contrary is proved, be deemed for the purposes of this Act to have been
employed in the place of work.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a place of work in which the only persons
employed therein are members of the same family.

(3) Where any entry is required by this Act to be made in a register by the employer or
on his behalf, the register shall be admissible as evidence of the facts therein stated,
and the fact that any entry so required with respect to the observance of any
provision of this Act has not been made, shall be admissible as evidence that
provision has not been observed.

(4) No answer given by a person in pursuance of a requirement imposed under


section 23(3)(b) shall be admissible in evidence against that person or the
spouse of that person in any proceedings under this Act.

(5) For the purposes of this Act, the expression “members of the same family” shall
mean the occupier's –

(a) spouse;

(b) child;

(c) father or mother;

(d) brother or sister; or

(e) any other relative;

where such person is wholly or partially maintained by, and dwells in the house of the
occupier.

(6) In any proceedings for an offence under any provision of this Act consisting of a
failure to comply with a duty or requirement to do something so far as is
practicable or so far as is reasonably practicable, or to use practicable means
or to take practicable steps to do something, it shall be for the accused to prove
that it was not practicable or not reasonably practicable to do more than was in
fact done to satisfy the duty or requirement, or that there was no better
practicable means or step than was in fact used or taken to satisfy the duty or
requirement, as the case may be.
97. Power of Court to modify agreements

Where by reason of an agreement between the owner and the occupier of the premises, the
whole or any part of which has been let off as a place of work, the owner or occupier is
prevented from carrying out any structural or other alterations in the premises which are
necessary to enable him to comply with the provisions of this Act or in order to conform with
any standard of requirement imposed by or under this Act, he may apply to the Court which,
after hearing the parties and any witnesses whom they desire to call, may make such order
setting aside or modifying the terms of the agreement or apportioning expenses of the
alterations as it considers just and equitable in the circumstances of the case.

98. Power to direct formal investigation

(1) The Minister may, where he considers it expedient to do so, direct a formal
investigation to be held into any accident or dangerous occurrence at any place of
work.

(2) The Minister may appoint such competent person to carry out the investigation,
and on such terms and conditions as he may determine.

(3) Every person appointed under subsection (2) shall have for the purposes of the
investigation all the powers of the Permanent Secretary under section 24.