(1) Whoever obstructs an inspector in the discharge of his duties under this Act or refuses or wilfully neglects to afford the inspector any reasonable facility or making any inspection, examination or inquiry authorised by or under this Act in relation to any plantation, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 1*[six months, or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees, or with both].
(2) Whoever wilfully refuses to produce on the demand of an inspector any register or other document kept in pursuance of this Act or prevents or attempts to prevent or does anything which he has reason to believe is likely to prevent any person from appearing before or being examined by an inspector acting in pursuance of his duties under this Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.
Whoever knowingly uses or attempts to use as a certificate of fitness granted to himself under section 27 a certificate to another person under that section, or having been granted a certificate of fitness to himself, knowingly allows it to be used, or allows an attempt to use it to be made by another person, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to 1*[two months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both].
Whoever, except at otherwise permitted by or under this Act, contravenes any provision of this Act or of any rules made thereunder, prohibiting, restricting or regulating the employment of persons in a plantation, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 1*[six months, or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees, or with both].
Whoever contravenes any of the provisions of this Act or of any rules made thereunder for which no other penalty is elsewhere provided by or under this Act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 1*[six months, or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees, or with both].
If any person who has been convicted of any offence punishable under this Act is again guilty of an offence involving a contravention of the same provision, he shall be punishable on a subsequent conviction with imprisonment which may extend to *[one year, or with fine which shall not be less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both]:
Provided that for the purposes of this section no cognizance shall be taken of any conviction made more than two years before the commission of the offence which is being punished.
37A. Power of court to make orders.
(1) Where an employer is convicted of an offence punishable under section 36, the court may, in addition to awarding any punishment by order in writing, require him within such period as may be specified in the order (which the court may, if it thinks fit and on an application made in this behalf by the employer, from time to time, extend ) to take such measures as may be so specified for remedying the matters in respect of which offence was committed.
(2) Where an order is made under Sub-section (1), the employer shall not be liable under this Act in respect of the continuation of the offence during the period or extended period, as the case may be, specified by the court, but if, on the expiry of such period or extended period, the order of the court has not been fully complied with, the employer shall be deemed to have committed a further offence and he shall, on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and with fine which may extend to three hundred rupees for every day after such expiry.
Where an employer charged with an offence under this Act, alleges that another person is the actual offender, he shall be entitled upon complaint made by him in this behalf, to have, on giving to the prosecutor in this behalf three clear days notice in writing of his intention so to do, that other person brought before the court on the day appointed for the hearing of the case and if, after the commission of the offence has been proved, the employer proves to the satisfaction of the court that-
(a) He has used due diligence to enforce the execution of the relevant provisions of this Act; and
(b) That the other person committed the offence in question without his knowledge, consent or connivance: the said other person shall be convicted of the offence and shall be liable to the like punishment as if he were the employer and the employer shall be acquitted:
(a) The employer may be examined on oath his evidence and that of any witness whom he calls in his support shall be subject to cross-examination on behalf of the person he charges to be the actual offender and by the prosecutor, and
(b) If, in spite of due diligence, the person alleged as the actual offender cannot be brought before the court on the day appointed for the hearing of the case, the court shall adjourn the hearing thereof from time to time so, however, that the total period of such adjournment does not exceed three months, and if, by the end of the said period, the person alleged as the actual offender cannot still be brought before the court, the court shall proceed to hear the case against the employer.
No court shall take cognizance of any offence under this Act except on a complaint made by any worker or an office bearer of a trade union of which such worker is a member or an inspector and no court inferior to that of a metropolitan magistrate or a judicial magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under this Act.
39A. 2*Protection of action taken in good faith.- No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act.
No court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this Act unless the complaint thereof has been made or is made within three months from the date on which the alleged commission of the offence came to the knowledge of an inspector: Provided that where the offence consists of disobeying a written order made by an inspector, complaint thereof may be made within six months of the date on which the offence is alleged to have been committed.
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