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DOCK WORKERS (REGULATION OF EMPLOYMENT) ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 9 of 1948


  • Act nº 9 of 1948

Preamble

THE DOCK WORKERS (REGULATION OF EMPLOYMENT) ACT, 1948

[Act, No. 9 of 1948]

[4th March, 1948]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for regulating the employment of dock workers.

Whereas it is expedient to provide for regulating the employment of dock workers; It is hereby enacted as follows:--

Section 1. Short title and extent

(1) This Act may be called the Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1948.

(2) It extends to the whole of India1[except the Slate of Jammu and Kashmir].

1. Substituted by Act 3 of 1951, Section 3 and Schedule For "except Part BStates".


Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,--

1[(a) "Board" means a Dock Labour Board established under section 5A;]

2[(aa) "cargo" includes anything carried or to be carried in a ship or other vessel;]

(b) "dock worker" means a person employed or to be employed in, or in the vicinity of, any port on work in connection with the loading, unloading, movement or storage of cargoes, or work in connection with the preparation of ships or other vessels for the receipt or discharge of cargoes or leaving port;

(c) "employer", in relation to a dock worker, means the person by whom he is employed or to be employed as aforesaid;

(d) "Government" means, in relation to any major port, the Central Government and, in relation to any other port, the State Government;

(e) "scheme" means a scheme made under this Act.

1. Inserted by Act 8 of 1962, Section 2 w.e.f. 1-6-1962.

2. Clause (a) re-lettered as clause (aa) by Act 8 of 1962, Section 2 w.e.f. 1-6-1962.


Section 3. Scheme for ensuring regular employment of workers

(1) Provision may be made by a scheme for the registration of dock workers 1 [and employers] with a view to ensuring greater regularity of employment and for regulating the employment of dock workers, whether registered or not, in a port.

(2) In particular, a scheme may provide--

(a) for the application of the scheme to such classes of dock workers and employers as may be specified therein;

(b) for defining the obligations of dock workers and employers subject to the fulfilment of which the scheme may apply to them and the circumstances in which the scheme shall cease to apply to any dock workers or employers;

(c) for regulating the recruitment and entry into the scheme of dock workers, 2 [and the registration of dock workers and employers], including the maintenance of registers, the removal either temporarily or permanently, of names from the registers and the imposition of fees for registration;

(d) for regulating the employment of dock workers, whether registered or not, and the terms and conditions of such employment, including rates of remuneration, hours of work and conditions as to holidays and pay in respect thereof;

(e) for securing that, in respect of periods during which employment, or full employment, is not available for dock workers to whom the scheme applies and who are available for work, such workers will, subject to the conditions of the scheme, receive a minimum pay;

(f) for prohibiting, restricting or otherwise controlling the employment of dock workers to whom the scheme does not apply and the employment of dock workers by employers to whom the scheme does not apply;

3 [(ff) for creating such fund or funds as may be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the scheme and for the administration of such fund or funds;]

(g) for the training 4 [***] of dock workers, in so far as satisfactory provision therefor does not exist apart from the scheme;

5 [(gg) for the welfare of the officers and other staff of the Board;]

6 [***]

(i) for the manner in which, and the persons by whom, the cost of operating the scheme is to be defrayed;

7 [(i) for constituting 8 [***] the authority to be responsible for the administration of the scheme;]

(k) for such incidental and supplementary matters as may be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the scheme.

(3) A scheme may further provide that a contravention of any provision thereof shall be punishable with imprisonment for such term as may be specified but in no case exceeding three months in respect of a first contravention or six months in respect of any subsequent contravention, or with fine which may extend to such amount as may be specified but in no case exceeding five hundred rupees in respect of a first contravention or one thousand rupees in respect of any subsequent contravention, or with both imprisonment and fine as aforesaid.

1. Inserted by Act 8 of 1962, Section 3 w.e.f. 1-6-1962.

2. Substituted by Act 8 of 1962, Section 3, for "and their registration" w.e.f. 1-6-1962.

3. Inserted by Act 49 of 1980, Section 2 retrospectively

4. The words "and welfare" omitted by Act 54 of 1986 Section 23 w.e.f. 15-4-1987.

5. Inserted by Act 31 of 1970, Section 2.

6. Clause (h) omitted by Act 54 of 1986, Section 23 w.e.f. 15-4-1987.

7. Substituted by Act 29 of 1949, Section 2, for clause (j).

8. The words "whether as a body corporate or otherwise" omitted by Act 8 of 1962, Section 3 w.e.f. 1-6-1962.


Section 4. Making, variation and revocation of schemes

(1) The Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette and subject to the condition of previous publication, make one or more schemes for a port or group of ports, and may in the like manner and subject to the like condition add to, amend, vary or revoke any scheme made by it.

(2) The provisions of section 23 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of 1897), shall apply to the exercise of a power given by sub-section (1) as they apply to the exercise of a power given by a Central Act to make rules subject to the condition of previous publication.

(3) The Government may direct the port authority of any port to prepare, in accordance with such instructions as may from time to time be given to it, one or more draft schemes for the port, and the port authority shall comply with such direction.

Section 5. Advisory Committees

(1) The Government may, or if it decides to make any scheme under section 4, shall, constitute an Advisory Committee, to advise upon such matters arising out of the administration of this Act or any scheme made thereunder as the Government may refer to it for advice.

1[(2) The members of the Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the Government and shall be of such number and chosen in such manner as may be prescribed by roles made under this Act:

Provided that the Advisory Committee shall include an equal number of members representing --

(i) the Government,

(ii) the dock workers, and

(iii) the employers of dock workers, and shipping companies.]

(3) The Chairman of the Advisory Committee shall be one of the members appointed to represent the Government, nominated in this behalf by the Government.

(4) The Government shall publish in the Official Gazette the names of all members of the Advisory Committee.

2[***]

1. Substituted by Act 8 of 1962, Section 4, for sub-section (2) w.e.f. 1-6-1962.

2. Sub-section (5) omitted by Act 8 of 1962, Section 4 w.e.f. 1-6-1962.


Section 5A. Dock Labour Board

1[5A. Dock Labour Board.--

(1) The Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish a Dock Labour Board for a port or group of ports to he known by such name as may be specified in the notification.

(2) Every such Board shall be a body corporate with the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire, hold and dispose of properly and to contract and may, by that name, sue and be sued.

(3) Every such Board shall consist of a Chairman and such number of other members as may he appointed by the Government:

Provided that every such Board shall include an equal number of members repeesenting--

(i) the Government,

(ii) the dock workers, and

(iii) the employers of dock workers, and shipping companies.

(4) The Chairman of a Board shall he one of the members appointed to represent the Government, and nominated in this behalf by the Government.

1. Inserted by Act 8 of 1962, Section 5, w.e.f. 1-6-1962.


Section 5B. Functions of a Board

(1) A Board shall be responsible for administering the scheme for the port or group of ports for which it has been established and shall exercise such powers and perform such functions as may be conferred on it by the scheme.

(2) In the exercise of its powers and the discharge of its functions, a Board shall be bound by such directions as the Government may, for reasons to he stated in writing, give to it from time to lime.

Section 5C. Accounts and audit

(1) Every Board shall maintain proper accounts and other relevant records and prepare an annual statement of accounts, including a balance-sheet in such form as may be prescribed by rules made under this Act.

(2) The accounts of the Board shall be audited annually by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India or by such other auditors qualified to act as auditors of companies under the law for the time being in force relating to companies, as the Government may appoint.

(3) The auditors shall, at all reasonable limes, have access to the books of accounts and other documents of the Board and may, for the purposes of the audit, call for such explanation and information as they may require or examine any member or officer of the Board.

(4) The auditors shall forward to the Government a copy of their report together with an audited copy of the accounts of the Board.

(5) The cost of the audit as determined by the Government shall be paid GUI of the funds of the Board.]

Section 5D. Annual report

1[5D. Annual report.--

Every Board shall prepare, in such form and at such lime in each financial year as may be specified by rules made under this Act, its annual report, giving full accounts of its activities during the previous financial year, and submit a copy thereof to the Government.

1. Inserted by Act 56 of 1988, Section 2.


Section 5E. Annual report and audited accounts, to be laid before Parliament or Legislature

The annual report, and the audited accounts of the Board, together with auditor's report thereon and a review by the Government on the working of the Board, shall, within a period of nine months of the close of the financial year, be laid before each House of Parliament, if such report and accounts have been submitted to the Central Government, and before the Legislature of the State, if such report and accounts have been submitted to the State Government:

Provided that where such report, accounts and the review are not laid before Parliament or, as the case may be, before the Legislature of the State within the said period, the same shall be so laid thereafter along with the reasons for the delay.]

Section 6. Inspectors

(1) The Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint such persons as it thinks fit to be Inspectors for the purposes of this Act at such ports as may be specified in the notification.

(2) Every Inspector shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

(3) An Inspector may, at any port for which he is appointed,--

(a) enter, with such assistance (if any) as he thinks fit, any premises or vessel where dock workers are employed;

(b) require any authority or person to produce any register, muster-roll or other document relating to the employment of dock workers, and examine such document;

(c) take on the spot or otherwise the evidence of any person for the purpose of ascertaining whether the provisions of any scheme made for the port are, or have been, complied with.

(4) The Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, prescribed the manner in which and the persons by whom complaints regarding contravention of any provision of a scheme may be made to an Inspector and the duties of the Inspector in relation to such complaints.

Section 6A. Power to order inquiry

1[6A. Power to order inquiry.--

(1) The Government may, at any lime, appoint any person to investigate or inquire into the working of a Board and submit a report to the Government.

(2) The Board shall give to the person so appointed all facilities for the proper conduct of the investigation or inquiry and furnish to him such documents, accounts or information in the possession of the Board as he may require.

1. Inserted by Act 8 of 1962, Section 6 w.e.f. 1-6-1962.


Section 6B. Power to supersede a Board

(1) If, on consideration of the report under section 6A or otherwise, the Government is of opinion--

(a) that, on account of a grave emergency, a Board is unable to perform its functions, or

(b) that a Board has persistently made default in the discharge of ils functions or has exceeded or abused its powers,

the Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, supersede the Board for such period as may be specified in the notification:

Provided that, before issuing a notification under this sub-section on any of the grounds mentioned in clause (b), the Government shall give a reasonable opportunity to the Board to show cause why it should not be superseded and shall consider the explanations and objections, if any, of the Board.

(2) Upon the publication of a notification under sub-section (1),--

(a) all the members of the Board shall, as from the date of such publication, vacate their offices as such members;

(b) all the powers and functions which may be exercised or performed by the Board shall, during the period of supersession, be exercised or performed by such person as may be specified in the notification;

(c) all funds and other property vested in the Board shall, during the period of supersession, vest in the Government.

(3) On the expiration of the period of supersession specified in the notification issued under sub-section (1), the Government may--

(a) extend the period of supersession for such further period as it may consider necessary; or

(b) re-establish the Board in the manner provided in section 5A.

Section 6C. Acts or proceeding of Board and Advisory Committee not to be invalidated

No act or proceeding of a Board or the Advisory Committee shall be invalid merely by reason of--

(a) any vacancy in, or any defect in the constitution of, the Board or the Advisory Committee, or

(b) any defect in the appointment of a person acting as a member of the Board or the Advisory Committee, or

(c) any irregularity in the procedure of the Board or the Advisory Committee not affecting the merits of the case.]