4. PENALTIES, EXEMPTION OF EMPLOYER, COGNISANCE, PROTECTIONS (PoGA, 1972)

Section: 9 – Penalties

(1) Whoever, for the purpose of avoiding any payment to be made by himself under this Act or of enabling any other person to avoid such payment, knowingly makes or causes to be made any false statement or false representation shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.

(2) An employer who contravenes, or makes default in complying with, any of the provisions of this Act or any rule or order made there under shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to one year, or with fine which shall not be less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to twenty thousand rupees, or with both:

Provided that where the offence relates to non-payment of any gratuity payable under this Act, the employer shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than [36] [Six months but which may extend to two years] unless the court trying the offence, for reasons to be recorded by it in writing, is of opinion that a lesser term of imprisonment or the imposition 01; a fine would meet the ends of justice.

Section: 10 – Exemption of employer from liability in certain cases.

Where an employer is charged with an offence punishable under this Act, he shall be entitled, upon complaint duly made by him and on giving to the complainant not less than three clear days notice in writing of his intention to do so, to have any other person whom he charges as the actual offender brought before the court at the time appointed for hearing the charge; and if, after the commission of the offence has been proved, the employer proves to the satisfaction of the court –

(a) that he has used due diligence to enforce the execution of this Act, and

(b) that the said other person committed the offence in question without his knowledge, consent or connivance, that 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 discharged from any liability under this Act in respect of such offence:

Provided that in seeking to prove as aforesaid, the employer may be examined on oath and 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 as the actual offender and by the prosecutor:

Provided further that, if the person charged as the actual offender by the employer cannot be brought before the court at the time appointed for hearing the charge, the court shall adjourn the hearing from time to time for a period not exceeding three months and if by the end of the said period the person charged as the actual offender cannot still be brought before the court, the court shall proceed to hear the charge against the employer and shall, if the offence be proved, convict the employer.

Section: 11 – Cognizance of offences

(1) No court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act save on a complaint made by or under the authority of the appropriate Government:

Provided that where the amount of gratuity has not been paid, or recovered, within six months from the expiry of the prescribed time, the appropriate Government shall authorise the controlling authority to make a complaint against the employer, whereupon the controlling authority shall, within fifteen days from the date of such authorisation, make such complaint to a Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the offence.

(2) 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.

Section: 12 – Protection of action taken in good faith

No suitor other legal proceeding shall lie against the controlling authority or any other person in respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or any rule or order made there under.

Section: 13 – Protection of gratuity

No gratuity payable under this Act and no gratuity payable to an employee employed in any establishment, factory, mine, oilfield, plantation, port, railway company or shop exempted under section shall be liable to attach-ment in execution of any decree or order of any civil, revenue or criminal court.

Section: 14 – Act to override other enactments, etc.

The provisions of this Act or any rule made there under shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any enactment other than this Act or in any instrument or contract having effect by virtue of any enactment other than this Act.

Section: 15 – Power to make rules

(1) The appropriate Government may, by notification make rules for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(2) Every rule made by the Central Government under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session ii-immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both

Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall, thereafter, have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.