TISCO Fire Accident: Inspector had the knowledge as under S. 106 of Factories Act

Supreme Court:  The instant case arose under Sections 106 and 88 of the Factories Act, 1948 as indicated by the facts wherein a fire accident occurred at the 150th Foundation Day of TISCO, resulting in loss of human life and property. In accordance with the abovementioned Sections of the Factories Act, 1948 and Rule 86 of Bihar Factory Rules, 1950, a formal intimation of the accident was given to the Inspector of factories and investigation was conducted of which the Inspector was a part and a report was submitted accordingly. The question was that whether the complaint of the fire accident was filed within 3 months of the date when the commission of the offence took place, as under Section 106 of Factories Act thereby whether the inspector had the knowledge of the occurrence.

The respondent counsel Mr. Tapesh Kumar Singh contended that the complaint had been filed within 3 months thus the provisions of Section 106 have been abided by. Also present was Mr. F.S. Nariman, counsel for the appellants. The High Court previously ruled that the date of accident and the date of knowledge of the commission of the offence were different in the instant case.

The Court observed that in the instant case the Inspector was himself part of the team, which conducted the preliminary inquiry and thus it is not possible to hold that the Inspector of Factories, who undertook a detailed inquiry into the accident along with the Chief Inspector remained ignorant that the offences in question have been allegedly committed. The Court thereby observed that inspector had knowledge of the occurrence at least on the day when a detailed inquiry was conducted by the Chief Inspector of Factories. Therefore the Court set aside the High Court decision.

J.J Irani v. State of Jharkhand, Criminal Appeal No. 1668-70 of 2014, decided on 08.08.2014

To read the full judgment, refer SCCOnLine

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