Rolling of Beedies is a Manufacturing Process under Workmen’s Compensation Act, making a person doing so liable for compensation: Telangana High Court

 In the case of Yeddandi Venkataiah v. M/s.Prabhudas Kishoredas Tobacco Products Ltd.( C.M.A.No.2065 OF 2002) decided through the learned bench led by Justice M.Laxman, answering whether Beedi workers are “workmen” under Section 2(n) of Workmen’s Compensation Act.

Facts of the case:  The appellant filed a civil miscellaneous appeal, after the dismissal of his claim for compensation for the death of his daughter in the course of employment that was beedi rolling, which was made against Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation and Assistant Commissioner of Labour. According to the commissioner, the main issue is that the scope of a beedi maker does not fall under the purview of workmen under sec 2(n) of the Workmen’s Compensation Act and consequently, the claim petition was dismissed.

Judgment: Under this case, there exists a clear issue of whether a Beedi Roller is a workman within the definition of workmen in sec 2(n) of the workmen compensation act but the counsel of the respondent strongly argued that there was no question or need of interpretation as it is clear that there was no manufacturing process, so as per the definition the deceased women who made beedie does not fall under this category.

Justice M. Laxman referred to Section 2(n)(ii) and Clause 2 of Schedule II of Workmen’s Compensation Act as well as Section 2(k) of Factories Act and came to a conclusion that” A glance at the definition of Clause 2(n) of the Workmen’s Compensation Act shows that any person employed in any such capacity as is specified in Schedule-II, comes under the definition of Workman. Clause 2 of Schedule-II clearly shows that any person employed otherwise than in clerical capacity in any premises or within the precincts where the manufacturing process as defined under the Clause-k of Section 2 of Factories Act is coming under the definition of workman. The definition of 2(k) also makes it clear that the process of making any article or substance with a view to usage, sale, transport, delivery or disposal is constituted as manufacturing process.”

Therefore, the appeal was allowed and the commission was asked to make good the loss as by reading of provision the rolling of Beedies is nothing but making of any article or substance done in a view to make usage or sale or transport and hence the deceased clearly falls under the definition of Beedi roller.

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