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MINES ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 35 of 1952


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III. Committees
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter V
  • Chapter VI
  • Chapter VII
  • Chapter VIII
  • Chapter IX
  • Chapter X
  • Act nº 35 of 1952

Preamble

THE MINES ACT, 1952

[Act, No. 35 of 1952]1

[15th March, 1952]

PREAMBLE

An Act to amend and consolidate the law relating to the regulation of labour and safety in mines.

BE it enacted by Parliament as follows:--

1. This Act has been extended to Goa, Daman and Diu with Modifications by Regulation 12 of 1962, section 3 and Schedule and to Pondicherry by Act 26 of 1968, secction 3 and Schedule.


Chapter I

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Mines Act, 1952.

(2) I extends to the whole of India 1 [***]

(3) It shall come into force on such date2 or dates as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and for different States but not later than 31st December, 1953.

1. The words "except the State of Jammu and Kashmir" omitted by Act 25 of 1968, section 2 and Schedule (w.e.f. 15-8-1968).

2. Came into force on 1-7-1952, vide Notification No. S.R.O. 967, dated 27th May, 1952, published in the Gazette of India, 1952, Pt. II, section 3, p. 869.


Section 2. Definitions

1 [(1)] In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

2 [* * *]

(b) "adult" means a person who has completed this eighteenth year;

3 [(c) "agent", when used in relation to a mine, means every person, whether appointed as such or not,who, acting or purporting to act on behalf of the owner, takes part in the management, control, supervision or direction of the mine or of any part thereof;]

(d) "Chief Inspector" means the Chief Inspector of Mines appointed under this Act;

3 [(e) "Committee" means a committee constituted under section 12;]

(f) "day" means a period of twenty-four hours beginning at midnight;

(g) "district magistrate" means, in a presidency-town, the person appointed by the Central Government to perform the duties of a district magistrate under this Act in that town;

4 [(h) a person is paid to be "employed" in a mine who works as the manager or who works underappointment by the owner, agent or manager of the mine or with the knowledge of the manager,whether for wages or not--

(i) in any mining operation (including the concomitant operations of handling and transport of minerals upto the point of dispatch and of gathering sand and transport thereof the mine);

(ii) in operations or services relating to the development of the mine including construction of plan therein but excluding construction of buildings, roads, wells and any building work not directly connected with any existing or future mining operations;

(iii) in operating, servicing, maintaining or repairing any part of any machinery used in or about the mine;

(iv) in operations, within the premises of mine, of loading for dispatch of minerals;

(v) in any office of the mine;

(vi) in any welfare, health, sanitary or conservancy services required to be provided under this Act, or watch and ward, within the premises of the mine excluding residential area; or

(vii) in any kind of work whatsoever [which is preparatory or incidental to, or connected with, mining operations;]

(i) "Inspector" means an Inspector of Mines appointed under this Act, and includes a district magistrate when exercising any power or performing any duty of an Inspector which he is empowered by this Act to exercise or perform;

5 [* * *]

6 [(J) "mine" means any excavation where any operation for the purpose of searching for or obtainingminerals has been or is being carried on and includes--

(i) all borings, bore holes, oil wells and accessory crude conditioning plants, including the pipe conveying mineral oil within the oil fields;

(ii) all shafts, in or adjacent to and belonging to a mine, whether in the course of being sunk or not;

(iii) all levels and inclined planes in the course of being driven;

(iv) all open cast workings;

(v) all conveyors or aerial rope-ways provided for the bringing into or removal from a mine of minerals or other articles or for the removal of refuse therefrom;

(vi) all audits, levels, planes, machinery, works, railways, tramways and sidings in or adjacent to and belonging to a mine;

(vii) all protective works being carried out in or adjacent to a mine;

(viii) all workshops and stores situated within the precincts of amine and under the same management and used primarily for the purposes connected with that mine or a number of mines under the same management;

(ix) all power stations, transformer sub-stations, converter stations, rectifier stations and accumulator, storage stations for supplying electricity solely or mainly for the purpose of working the mine or a number of mines under the same management;

(x) any premises for the time being used for depositing sand or other material for use in a mine or for depositing refuse from a mine or in which any operations in connection with such sand, re fuse or other material is being carried on, being premises exclusively occupied by the power of the mine;

(xi) any premises in or adjacent to and belonging to a mine on which any process ancillary to the getting dressing or preparation for sale of minerals or of coke is being carried on;]

(jj) "minerals" means all substances which can be obtained from the earth by mining, digging, drilling, dredging, hydraulicing, quarrying or by any other operation and includes mineral oils (which in turn include natural gas and petroleum);

7 [* * *]

(k) "office of the mine" means an office at the surface of the mine concerned;

8 [(kk) "open cast working" means a quarry, that is to say, an excavation where any operation for the purpose of searching for or obtaining minerals has been or is being carried on, not being a shaft or an excavation which extends below superjacent ground;]

(l) "owner", when used in relation to a mine, means any person who is the immediate proprietor or lessee or occupier of the mine or of any part thereof and in the case of a mine the business whereof is being carried on by a liquidator or receiver, such liquidator or receiver 9 [** *] but does not include a person who merely receives a royalty, rent or fine from the mine, or is merely the proprietor of the mine, subject to any lease, grant or licence for the working thereof, or is merely the owner of the soil and not interested in the minerals of the mine; but 10 [any contractor or sub-lessee] for the working of a mine or any part thereof shall be subject to this Act in like manner as if he were an owner, but not so as to exempt the owner from any liability;

(m) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules, regulations or bye-laws, as the case may be;

11 [(n) "qualified medical practitioner" means a medical practitioner who possesses any recognised medical qualification as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (102of 1956) and who is enrolled on a State Medical register as defined in clause (k) of that section;]

(o) "regulations", "rules" and "bye-laws" means respectively regulations, rules and bye-laws made under this Act;

(p) where work of the same kind is carried out by two or more sets of persons working during different periods of the day each of such sets is called a "relay" 8 [and each of such periods is called a "shift"];

12 [(pp) "reportable injury" means any injury other than a serious bodily injury which involves or in all probability will involve, the enforced absence of the injured person from work for a period of seventy-two hours or more;]

13 [(q) "serious bodily injury" means any injury which involves, or in all probability will involve, the permanent loss of any part or section of a body or the use of any part or section of a body, or the permanent loss of or injury to the sight or hearing or any permanent physical incapacity or the fracture of any bone or one or more joints or bones of any phalanges of hand or foot;

(r) "week" means a period of seven days beginning at mid night on Saturday night or such other night as may be approved in writing for a particular area by the Chief Inspector or an Inspector.]

8 [(2) A person working or employed in or in connection with a mine is said to be working or employed--

(a) "below ground" if he is working or employed--

(i) in a shaft which has been or is in the course of being sunk; or

(ii) in any excavation which extends below superjacent ground; and

(b) "above ground" if he is working in an open cast working or in any other manner not specified inclause (a)].

1. Re-numbered as sub-section (1) by Act 62 of 1959, section 2 (w.e.f. 16-1-1960).

2. Clause (a) omitted by Act 42 of 1983, section 2

3. Substituted by Act 42 of 1983 section 2, for clause (c) (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

4. Substituted by Act 42 of 1983, section 2, for clause (h) (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

5. Clause (ii) omitted by Act 42 of 1983, section 2 (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

6. Substituted by Act 42 of 1983, section 3, for clause (j) (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

7. Clause (jjj) omitted by Act 42 of 1983, section 2 (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

8. Inserted by Act 62 of 1959, section 2 (w.e.f. 16-1-1960).

9. Certain words omitted by Act 42 of 1983, section 2 (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

10. Substituted by Act 42 of 1983, section 2, for "any contractor" (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

11. Substituted by Act 42 of 1983 section 2, for clause (n) (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

12. Inserted by Act 42 of 1983, section 2 (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

13. Substituted by Act 42 of 1983, section 3, for clauses (q) and (r) (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).


Section 3. Act not to apply in certain cases

1 [3. Act not to apply in certain cases (1) The provisions of this Act, except those contained in 2 [sections 7, 8, 9,40, 45 and 46, shall not apply to--

(a) any mine or part thereof in which excavation is being made for prospecting purposes only and not for the purpose of obtaining minerals for use or sale;

Provided that --

(i) not more than twenty persons are employed on any one day in connection with any such excavation;

(ii) the depth of the excavation measured from its highest to its lowest point nowhere exceeds six metres or, in the case of an excavation for coal, fifteen metres; and

(iii) no part of such excavation extends below superjacent ground; or

(b) any mine engaged in the extraction of kankar, murrum, laterite, boulder, gravel, single, ordinary sand (excluding moulding sand, glass sand and other mineral sands), ordinary clay (excluding kaolin, china clay, white clay or fire clay), building stone, 3 [slate] road metal, earth, fullers earth 3 [marl, chalk] and lime stone:

Provided that--

(i) the workings do not extend below superjacent ground; or

(ii) where it is an open cast working--

(a) the depth of the excavation measured from its highest to its lowest point now here exceeds six metres;

(b) the number of persons employed on any one day does not exceed fifty; and

(c) explosives are not used in connection with the excavation.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Central Government may, if it is satisfied that, having regard to the circumstances obtaining in relation to a mine or part thereof or group or class of mines, it is necessary or desirable so to do, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that any of the provisions of this Act, not set out in sub-section (1), shall apply to any such mine or part thereof or group or class of mines or any class of persons employed therein.

(3) Without prejudice to the provisions contained in sub-section (2), if at any time any of the conditions specified in the proviso to clause (a) or clause (b) of sub-section (1) is not fulfilled in relation to any mine referred to in that sub-section, the provisions of this Act not set out in sub-section (1), shall become immediately applicable, and it shall be the duty of the owner agent or manager of the mine to inform the prescribed authority in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed time about the non-fulfilment.]

1. Substituted by Act 62 of 1959, section 3, for section 3 (w.e.f. 16-1-1960).

2. Substituted by Act 42 of 1983, section 3 for "sections 7 ,8, 9, 44, 45 and 46" (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

3. Inserted by Act 42 of 1983, section 3 (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).


Section 4. References to time of day

In this Act, references to time of day are references to Indian Standard Time, being five and a half hours ahead of Greenwich mean time:

Provided that, for any area in which Indian Standard Time is not ordinarily observed, the Central Government may make rules--

(a) specifying the area;

(b) defining the local mean time ordinarily observed therein; and

(c) permitting such time to be observed in all or any of the mines situated in the area.

Chapter II

Section 5. Chief Inspector and Inspectors

(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint such a person as possesses the prescribed qualifications to be Chief Inspector of Mines for all the territories to which this Act extends and such persons as possess the prescribed qualifications to be Inspectors of Mines subordinate to the Chief Inspector.

(2) No person shall be appointed to the Chief Inspector or an Inspector, or having been appointed shall continue to hold such office, who is or becomes directly or indirectly interested in any mine or mining rights in India.

(3) The district magistrate may exercise the powers and perform the duties of an Inspector subject to the general or special orders1 of the Central Government:

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be deemed to empower a district magistrate to exercise of the powers conferred by 2 [section 22 or section 22A) or section 61.

(4) The Chief Inspector and all Inspectors shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

1. For such orders, see Gazette of India, 1953, Pt. II, section 3, p. 1530.

2. Substituted by Act 42 of 1983, section 4. for "section 22" (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).


Section 6. Functions of Inspectors

1[6. Functions of Inspectors

(1) The Chief Inspector may, with the approval of the Central Government and subject to such restrictions or conditions as he may think fit to impose, by order in writing, authorise any Inspector named or any class or Inspectors specified in the order to exercise such of the powers of the Chief Inspector under this Act (other than those relating to appeals) as he may specify.

(2) The Chief Inspector may, by order in writing, prohibit or restrict the exercise by any Inspector named or any class of Inspector specified in the order of any power conferred on Inspectors under this Act.

(3) Subject to the other provisions contained in this section, the Chief Inspector shall declare the local area or areas within which or the group or class of mines with respect to which Inspectors shall exercise their respective powers.]

1. Substituted by Act 62 of 1959, section 4, for section 6 (w.e.f. 16-1-1960).


Section 7. Powers of Inspectors of Mines

(1) The Chief Inspector and any Inspector may--

(a) makesuch examination and inquiry as he thinks fit in order to ascertain whether theprovisions of this Act and of the regulations, rules and bye-laws and of anyorders made thereunder are observed in the case of any mine;

(b) withsuch assistants, if any, as he thinks fit, enter, inspect and examine any mineor any part thereof at any time by day or night;

Providedthat the power conferred by this clause shall not be exercised in such a manneras unreasonably to impede or obstruct the working of the mine;

(c)examine into, and make inquiry respecting, the state and condition of any mineor any part thereof, the ventilation of the mine, the sufficiency of thebye-laws for the time being in force relating to the mine, and all matters andthings connected with or relating to the health, safety and welfare of the personsemployed in the mine, and take whether on the precincts of the mine orelsewhere, statements of any person which he may consider necessary forcarrying out the purposes of this Act;

(d)exercise such other powers as may be prescribed by regulations made by theCentral Government in this behalf:

Providedthat no person shall be compelled under this sub-section to answer any questionor make any statement tending to incriminate himself.

(2) TheChief Inspector and any Inspector may, if he has reason to believe, as a resultof any inspection, examination or inquiry under this section, that an offenceunder this Act has been or is being committed, search any place and takepossession 1 [of any material or anyplan, section register or other record] appertaining to the mine, and theprovisions of the 2 [Code ofCriminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974)] shall, so far as may be applicable applyto any search or seizure under this Act as they apply to any search or seizuremade under the authority of a warrant issued under 2 [section 94] of that Code.

1. Substituted by Act62 of 1959, section 5, for "of any register or other record" (w.e.f. 16-1-1960).

2. Substituted by Act.42 of 1983, section 5 (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).


Section 8. Powers of Special Officer to enter, measure, etc.

Any person in the service of the Governmentduly authorised in this behalf by a special order in writing of the ChiefInspector or of an Inspector may, for the purpose of surveying, leveling ormeasuring any mine 1 [or any outputthere from], after giving not less than three days' notice to the manager ofsuch mine, enter the mine and may survey, level or measure the mine or any partthereof 1 [or any output therefrom]at any time by day or night:

Providedthat, where in the opinion of the Chief Inspector or of an Inspector anemergency exists, he may, by order in writing, authorise any such person toenter the mine for any of the aforesaid purposes without giving any suchnotice.

1. Inserted by Act 42of 1983, section 6 (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).


Section 9. Facilities to be afforded to Inspectors

Every owner, agent and manager of a mine shall afford the Chief Inspector and every Inspector and every person authorised under section 8 all reasonable facilities for making any entry, inspection, survey, measurement, examination or inquiry under this Act.

Section 9A. Facilities to be provided for occupational health survey

1 [9A.Facilities to be provided for occupational health survey

(1) The ChiefInspector or an Inspector or other officer authorised by him in writing in thisbehalf may, at any time during the normal working hours of the mine or at anytime by day or night as may be necessary, undertake safety and occupationalhealth survey in a mine after giving notice in writing to the manager of themine and the owner, agent or manager of the mine shall afford all necessaryfacilities (including facilities for the examination and testing of plant andmachinery, for the collection of samples and other data pertaining to thesurvey and for the transport and examination of any person employed in the minechosen for the survey) to such Inspector or officer.

(2) Every person employed in amine who is chosen for examination in any safety and occupational health surveyunder sub-section (1) shall present himself for such examination and at suchplace as may be necessary and shall furnish all information regarding his workand health in connection with the said survey.

(3) Thetime spent by any person employed in a mine who is chosen for examination inthe safety and occupational health survey, shall be counted towards his workingtime, so however that any overtime shall be paid at the ordinary rate of wages.

Explanation.--Forthe purposes of this sub-section, "ordinary rate of wages" moans thebasic wages plus any dearness allowance and underground allowance andcompensation in cash including such compensation, if any, accruing through thefree issue of food-grains and edible oils as persons employed in a mine may,for the time being, be entitled to, but does not include a bonus (other than abonus given as incentive for production) or any compensation accruing throughthe provision of amenities such as free housing, free supply of coal, medicaland educational facilities, sickness allowance, supply of kerosene oil.baskets, tools and uniforms.

(4) Anyperson who. on examination under sub-section (2), is found medically unfit todischarge the duty which he was discharging in a mine immediately before suchpresentation shall be entitiled to undergo medical treatment at the cost of theowner, agent and manager with full wages during the period of such treatment.

(5) Ifafter the medical treatment, the person referred to in sub-section (4) isdeclared medically unfit to discharge the duty which he was discharging in amine immediately before presenting himself for the said examination and suchunfitness is directly ascribable to his employment in the mine before suchpresentation, the owner, agent and manager shall provide such person with analternative employment in the mine for which he is medically fit:

Providedthat where no such alternative employment is immediately available, such personshall be paid by the owner, agent and manager disability allowance determinedin accordance with the rates prescribed in this behalf :

Providedfurther that where such person decides to leave his employment in the mine, heshall be paid by the owner, agent and manager a lump sum amount by way of disabilitycompensation determined in accordance with the rates prescribed in this behalf.

(6) Therates under the provisos to sub-section (5) shall be determined having regardto the monthly wages of the employees, the nature of disabilities and otherrelated factors.

1. Inserted by Act 42of 1983, section 7 (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).


Section 10. Secrecy of information obtained

(1) All copies of, and extracts from, registers or other recordsappertaining to any mine and all other information acquired by the Chief Inspectoror an Inspector or by any one assisting him, in the course of the inspection 1 [or survey] of any mine under this Act oracquired by any person authorised under section 8 1 [orsection 9 A] in the exercise of his duties there under, shall be regarded asconfidential and shall not be disclosed to any person or authority unless theChief Inspector or the Inspector considers disclosure necessary to ensure thehealth, safety or welfare of any person employed in the mine or in any othermine adjacent thereto.

(2)Nothing in sub-section (1) shall apply to the disclosure of any suchinformation (if so required) to--

(a) anycourt;

2 [(b) a Committee or Court of Inquiry constituted orappointed under section 12 or section 24, as the case may be;]

(c) anofficial superior or the owner, agent or manager of the mine concerned;

(d) aCommissioner for workmen's compensation appointed under the Workmen'sCompensation Act, 1923;

3 [(e) the Controller, Indian Bureau of Mines;

(f) anyregistered or recognised trade union;

(g) suchother officer, authority or organisation as may be specified in this behalf bythe Central Government.]

(3) Ifthe Chief Inspector, or an Inspector or any other person referred to insub-section(1) discloses, contrary to the provisions of this section, any suchinformation as aforesaid without the consent of the Central Government, heshall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year,or with fine, or with both.

(4) Nocourt shall be proceed to the trail of any offence under this section exceptwith the previous sanction of the Central Government.

1.Inserted by Act 42 of 1983, section 8, (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

2.Substituted by Act 42 of 1983, section 8, for clause (b) (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

3.Substituted by Act 42 of 1983, section 8, for clause (e) (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).


Section 11. Certifying surgeons

(1) The Central Government may appoint qualified medical practitioners to be certifying surgeons for the purposes of this Act within such local limits or for such mine or class or description of mines as it may assign to them respectively.

(2) Subject to such conditions as the Central Government may think fit to impose, a certifying surgeon may, with the approval of the Central Government, authorise any qualified medical practitioner to exercise all or any of his powers under this Act for such period as the certifying surgeon may specify, and references to a certifying surgeon shall be deemed to include references to any qualified medical practitioner when so authorised.

(3) No person shall be appointed to be, or authorised to exercise the powers of, a certifying surgeon, or, having been so appointed or authorised, continue to exercise such powers, who is or becomes the owner, agent or manager of a mine, or is or becomes directly or indirectly interested therein, or in any process of business carried on therein or in any patent or machinery connected therewith, or is otherwise in the employment of the mine.

(4) The certifying surgeon shall carry out such duties as may be prescribed in connection with--

1 [***]

(b) the examination of persons engaged in a mine in such dangerous occupations or processes as may be prescribed;

(c) the exercise of such medical supervision as may be prescribed for any mine or class or description of mines where--

(i) cases of illness have occurred which it is reasonable to believe are due to the nature of any process carried on or other conditions of work prevailing in the mine;

2 [***]

1. Clause (a) omitted by Act 42 of 1983, section 9 (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).

2. Sub-Clause (ii) omitted by Act 42 of 1983, section 9 (w.e.f. 31-5-1984).