Report No. 62
10.42. Item 8.-
Item 8 refers to persons employed in the construction, maintenance, repair or demolition of specified buildings, specified dams or embankments, roads, bridges, tunnels or canals, wharfs, etc. Several points arise with reference to this item.
(i) Sometime ago, a question seems to have arisen whether the word "repair" in this article includes painting, and the question seems to have been answered in the affirmative.1-2 It may be desirable to mention painting in item 8. It is specifically mentioned in item 7.
(ii) In this item, the reference to "twelve feet" in paragraphs (a) and (b) should be replaced by a reference to the corresponding meters.
(iii) Paragraph (a) is confined to specified buildings-broadly speaking, multi-storeyed buildings or buildings with a certain height. Apart from multi-storeyed buildings, the height is the criterion. The two requirements are not cumulative; one of them is enough3. The above position may be brought out more clearly by splitting up.
As regards the words "employed in ", a Calcutta4 case is of interest. The case was concerned with a person employed under the Corporation of Calcutta as a Building Inspector who had met his death at the hands of a riotous mob. It was contended on his behalf that he was a workman, because he was "employed in the construction, repair or demolition of buildings and other like constructions and, therefore, came under Cl. (VIII) of Sch. II to the Act. Harries C.J., who delivered the judgment of the Court, pointed out that a Building Inspector employed by the Corporation had nothing to do with the construction of buildings, and that, in any event, the work which the deceased was employed to do was substantially work of a nature which would not bring him within the category of persons employed in the construction, repair or demolition of buildings.
It was in that context that the learned Chief Justice observed that in coming to a conclusion as to whether a man was or was not a workman, his ordinary work was to be regarded and that if the work in which a person was substantially employed was work which would not bring him within the category of workmen, the fact that on very rare occasions he might do something that would bring him within that category would not suffice for the purposes of the Act.
1. Nadirsh v. Krishna Bai, AIR 1936 Born 199.
2. Bachin v. Shanti, AIR 1946 All 200 (473, 474), following Berriman v. L. & N.E. Rly. Co., 1945 IKB 462.
3. Subhadrabai v. Malwa, AIR 1961 MP 349.
4. Pratiya v. Corporation of Calcutta, (1951) 55 CWN 498, discussed in AIR 1957 Cal 653