(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) 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.
(a) Make such examination and inquiry as he thinks fit in order to ascertain whether the provisions of this Act and of the regulations, rules and bye-laws and of any orders made there under are observed in the case of any mine;
Provided that the power conferred by this clause shall not be exercised in such a manner as unreasonably to impede or obstruct the working of the mine;
(d) Exercise such other powers as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Central Government in this behalf:
(2) The Chief Inspector and any Inspector may, if he has reason to believe, as a result of any inspection, examination or inquiry under this section, that an offence under this Act has been or is being committed, search any place and take possession 1*[of any material or any plan, section register or other record] appertaining to the mine, and the provisions of the 2*[Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974)] shall, so far as may be applicable apply to any search or seizure under this Act as they apply to any search or seizure made under the authority of a warrant issued under 2 [section 94] of that Code.1 [or any output therefrom]at any time by day or night:
Provided that, where in the opinion of the Chief Inspector or of an Inspector an emergency exists, he may, by order in writing, authorise any such person to enter the mine for any of the aforesaid purposes without giving any such notice. Explanation.-For the purposes of this sub-section, "ordinary rate of wages" moans the basic wages plus any dearness allowance and underground allowance and compensation in cash including such compensation, if any, accruing through the free 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 a bonus given as incentive for production) or any compensation accruing through the provision of amenities such as free housing, free supply of coal, medical and educational facilities, sickness allowance, supply of kerosene oil.baskets, tools and uniforms.
(5) If after the medical treatment, the person referred to in sub-section (4) is declared medically unfit to discharge the duty which he was discharging in a mine immediately before presenting himself for the said examination and such unfitness is directly ascribable to his employment in the mine before such presentation, the owner, agent and manager shall provide such person with an alternative employment in the mine for which he is medically fit:
Provided further that where such person decides to leave his employment in the mine, he shall be paid by the owner, agent and manager a lump sum amount by way of disability compensation determined in accordance with the rates prescribed in this behalf.
(1) All copies of, and extracts from, registers or other records appertaining to any mine and all other information acquired by the Chief Inspector or an Inspector or by any one assisting him, in the course of the inspection 1*[or survey] of any mine under this Act or acquired by any person authorized under section 8 1*[or section 9 A] in the exercise of his duties there under, shall be regarded as confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person or authority unless the Chief Inspector or the Inspector considers disclosure necessary to ensure the health, safety or welfare of any person employed in the mine or in any other mine adjacent thereto.
3*[(e) The Controller, Indian Bureau of Mines;
(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-
(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;
(1)The Central Government shall, with effect from such date as that Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf, constitute for the purposes of this Act, a Committee consisting of-
(a) A person in the service of the Government, not being the Chief Inspector or an Inspector, appointed by the Central Government to act as Chairman;
(b) The Chief Inspector of Mines;
(c) Two persons to represent the interests of miners appointed by the Central Government;
(d) Two persons to represent the interest of owners of mines appointed by the Central Government;
(e) Two qualified mining engineers not directly employed in the mining industry appointed by the Central Government:
Provided that one at least of the persons appointed under clause (c) shall be for representing the interests of workers in coal mines and one at least of the persons appointed under clause (b) shall be for representing the interests of owners of coal mines.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of sub-section (1), the Central Government may constitute one or more Committees to deal with specific matters relating to any part of the territories to which this Act extends or to a mine or a group of mines and may appoint members thereof and the provisions of sub-section (1) (except the proviso thereto) shall apply for the constitution of any Committee under this sub-section as they apply for the constitution of a Committee under that sub-section.
(3) No act or proceeding of Committee shall be invalid by reason only of the existence of any vacancy among its members or any defect in the constitution thereof.
(1) The Committee constituted under subsection (1) of section 12 shall-
(a) Consider proposals for making rules and regulations under this Act and make appropriate recommendations to the Central Government;
(b) Enquire into such accidents or other matters as may be referred to it by the Central Government from time to time and make reports thereon; and
(c) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), hear and decide such appeals or objections against notices or orders under this Act or the regulations, rules or bye-laws there under, as are required to be referred to it by this Act or as may be prescribed.
(2) The Chief Inspector shall not take part in the proceedings of the Committee with respect to any appeal or objection against an order or notice made or issued by him or act in relation to any matter pertaining to such appeal or objection as a member of the Committee.
(1) A Committee constituted under section 12 may exercise such of the powers of an Inspector under this Act as it thinks necessary or expedient to exercise for the purposes of discharging its functions under this Act.
(2) A Committee constituted under section 12 shall, for the purposes of discharging its functions, have the same powers as are vested in a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) when trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(a) Discovery and inspection;
(b) Enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(c) Compelling the production of documents; and
(d) Such other matters as may be prescribed.]
The Central Government may direct that the expenses of any inquiry conducted by1*[a Committee constituted under section 12] shall be borne in whole or in pan by the owner or agent of the mine concerned, and the amount so directed to be paid may on application by the Chief Inspector or an Inspector to a magistrate having jurisdiction at the place where the mine is situated or where such owner or agent is for the time being resident be recovered by the distress and sale of any movable property within the limits of the magistrate's jurisdiction belonging to such owner or agent:
Provided that the owner or his agent has not paid the amount within six weeks from the date of receiving the notice from the Central Government or the Chief Inspector of Mines.
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