Criminal liability Group or joint liability
Section 27 provides that where an offence is committed by a company, every person in charge of or responsible for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, will be held liable for the offence, unless they can prove that the offence was committed without their knowledge or that they exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.
Section 27. Offences by companies.
(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who, at the time the offences was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly: Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence under this Act has been committed by a company, and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Explanation. – For the purposes of this section, — (a) “company” means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and
(b) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.
Law /India / Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979
The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 was introduced to regulate the employment of inter-state migrant workers, and matters connected to such employment. The Act was introduced in response to the system of employment of inter-state migrant labour in certain states, used by contractors or agents (also referred to as Sardars or Khatadars) back in the 1970s, which led to the exploitation of migrant labourers.
The introduction to the Act explains the exploitative practices this legislation is intended to addres:
“At the time of recruitment Sardars or Khatadars promise that wages calculated in piece-rate basis would be settled every month but usually this promise is never kept (sic). Once the worker comes under the clutches of the contractor, he takes him to a far-off place on payment of railway fare only. No working hours are fixed for these workers and they have to work on all the days in a week under extremely bad working conditions. The provisions of the various labour laws are not being observed in their case and they are subjected to various malpractices.”