Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
As the table shows, in the leading provinces there has been a steady increase in the number of prosecutions and this corresponds with increasing improvements in administration. In only two provinces is the number of prosecutions markedly low- Assam and Bihar and Orissa. In the former case, owing to peculiar local difficulties which are discussed elsewhere, many factories have been uninspected each year.
In the latter case, the infrequency of prosecutions appears to reflect the policy of the provincial Government. We found no reason for believing that conditions in Bihar and Orissa, as compared with other provinces, justified particular leniency in the matter of the administration of the Act, and we recommend that in this province greater rigour be shown in the future in this respect. In some provinces the Chief Inspector of Factories is subordinated to the Director of Industries. We consider this an undesirable arrangement, as the Director of Industries is naturally expected by employers to assist them to the utmost of his ability. The factory inspection staff, on the other hand, exists primarily for the protection of labour. While it is not desired to reflect in any way on the manner in which Directors of Industries have carried out the difficult duty imposed on them, we think that this duty should be transferred to an authority more independent of employers. We discuss the appropriate authority in a later chapter, but we should add here that the system of giving the Director of Industries responsibility for factory administration does not prevail in any of the three Presidencies or in Burma (where there is no Director) and these provinces contain the great majority of the factories. We understand that, in some cases, control is or has been exercised over the Chief Inspector of Factories in the matter of individual prosecutions. We recognise that the executive government must retain the power to lay down broad lines of policy; but we desire to emphasise the fact that, if an officer is fit to fill the responsible post of Chief Inspector, he must be fit to decide generally when a prosecution is required. In any case it is most important that he should not be required to submit proposals for individual prosecutions to another authority.