Ardeshir H. Bhiwandiwala V/s. The State Of Bombay

The test is just as it was in the bottled beer case. You must look at what is the finished article

Case Name:Ardeshir H. Bhiwandiwala Vs. The State Of Bombay
Case Number:1962 Air 29 1962 Scr (3) 592
Court:Supreme Court Of India
Bench:Dayal, Raghubar .J Imam, Syed Jaffer.J Kapur, J.L. .J Gupta, K.C. Das .J Ayyangar, N. Rajagopala .J
Decided On:27/01/1961
Relevant Act/Sections:Salt-Factories Act, 1948 (Lxiii Of 1948)
  • BRIEF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:

The appellant was convicted of an offence under s. 92 of the Factories Act, 1948, for working a salt works without obtaining a licence. The salt works extended over an area of about 250 acres’ The only buildings on this land were temporary shelters for the resident labour and for an office ; at some places ,there where pucca platforms for fixing the water pump where required to pump water from the sea. The appellant contended (i) that the salt works was not a factory as defined in s. 2(m) of the Act, (ii) that the word ” premises ” in the definition of factory did not include open land, and (iii) that in converting sea water into salt the appellant was not carrying on any manufacturing process as defined in s. 2(k).

  • ISSUE BEFORE THE COURT:

Whether the Salt Works come within the definition of the word ” factory ” under cl. (m) of s. 2 of the Act?

  • RATIO OF THE COURT
    • The court opined that It is clear that the word ” premises ” is a; generic term meaning open land or land with buildings or buildings alone. The expression” premises including precincts”, clearly indicates that in the context of the definition of the word ” factory “, premises meant only buildings as buildings alone can have precints and there can be no precincts of any open land. This expression “premises including precincts” does not necessarily mean that the premises must always have precincts. Even buildings need not have any precincts. The word “including ” is not a term restricting the meaning of the word ” premises ” but is a term which enlarges the scope of the word ” premises “. The only conclusion that the word ” premises ” must be restricted to mean buildings and be not taken to cover open land as well.
    • Further, s. 85 empowers the State Government to declare that all or any of the provisions of the Act shall apply to any place wherein a manufacturing ’process is carried on with or without the aid of power or is so ordinarily carried on notwithstanding certain matters mentioned in the section. The word “place” is again a general word which is applicable to both open land and to buildings and its use in this section indicates that the Act can be applied to works carrying on a manufacturing process on open land. There is thus internal evidence in the Act itself to show that the word “premises ” is not to be confined in its meaning to buildings alone.
    • The Parliament specifically enacted with respect to the places which were to be controlled by the respective Factory Acts and that it was therefore that it was said that if the legislature had intended to apply the Factory Act to the slate quarries, it would have extended the Act to them. As the various Factories and Mills which were covered by the Factory Act of 1833 were such which could function only in buildings, the conception grew that nothing would come within the expression ” factory ” unless it had a building and unless the Factory Act definitely provided for the application of the Act to it.
    • It is clear therefore that labourers are employed for (i) admitting sea water to the reservoirs by working sluice gates, sometimes at night also, or the pump; (ii) filling crystallizing beds; (iii) watching the density of brine in the crystallizing beds; (iv) seeing that the density does not exceed certain limits and that salts other than sodium chloride (common salt) are not formed; (v) scraping and collecting salt crystals (vi) grading the salt crystals by ” sieving ” and (vii) putting salt into gunny bags. It follows that it is due to human agency, aided by natural forces, that salt is extracted from sea water. The, processes carried out in the Salt Works and described above, come within the definition of ” manufacturing process ” inasmuch as salt can be said to have been manufactured from sea water by the process of treatment and adaptation of sea water into salt. The sea water, a non-commercial article, has been adapted to salt, a commercial article. We are therefore of opinion that the process of converting sea water into salt carried on on the appellant’s Salt Works comes within the definition of manufacturing process ” in el. (k) of s. 2 of the Act. inasmuch as salt was manufactured from sea water by a process of treatment and adaptation. By this process sea water, a non-commercial article, was converted into a different thing salt, a commercial article.
  • DECISION HELD BY COURT:

The appellant’s Salt Works do come within the definition the appellant’s Salt Works do come within the definition  of the word ’,factory” and that the appellant has been rightly convicted of the offence of working the factory without obtaining a licence.

Appeal dismissed.

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