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Report No. 62

2.30. Point of Substance.-

So much as regards points of drafting. Some points of substance may now be dealt with concerning the definition of "workman".

2.31. The clause has a separate category of railway servants under which a railway servant as defined in the Railway Act, is a workman subject to two conditions (which we shall discuss later). Section 3(7) of the Railways Act defines a railway servant as follows:-

"'Railway servant' means any person employed by a railway administration in connection with the service of a railway".1

There are two condition in the clause in the Workmen's Compensation Act. The first is that railway servants who are "permanently employed" in certain offices are excluded. (Roughly they are persons who perform inframural duties). The second is that persons employed in a capacity mentioned in the Second Schedule are excluded-the object, of course, being that if they fall under the Second Schedule, they should satisfy the wages test.

As regards the first condition, in our view, the present wording referring to persons "permanently employed" in an office, is intended to refer not to their permanent or temporary status, but to the sphere of their duties. It is meant to refer to persons who usually discharge their duties within the four walls of an administrative office,-persons with "intra-mural" functions. This should be clearly brought out. Also, to avoid doubts as to whether a railway servant can fall under the general category-as is the obvious intention-slight verbal changes are desirable by way of clarification.

1. Section 3(7), Railways Act.

2.32. Since this clause represents a special category, it should, if it is retained,1 appear after the general one relating to employees in general.

1. For a contrary suggestion, see para. 2.33, infra.

2.33. The above comments for verbal improvements (with reference to the category of railway servants) have been made on the assumption that the present separate category of railway servants is to be retained. It seems to us, however, that this matter itself requires serious consideration. The present scheme seems to constitute a discrimination between Railway servants and other 'workmen similarly placed. A railway servant (if he satisfies certain conditions mentioned above) is not subject to a maximum regarding the wages. Others are so subject.

This discrimination is difficult to support in the face of Article 14 of the Constitution and, on the merits, appears to be unjustified. We are therefore of the view that this discrimination should be removed and like railway servants, other employees (if they satisfy the other conditions of the definition) also should be brought within the Act if they fall within the Second Schedule irrespective of their wages.

2.33A. Finally we propose certain structural changes in the definition.

Workmens Compensation Act, 1923 Back

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