14 October 1954
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (civil) 138 of 1954






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 14/10/1954


CITATION:  1955 AIR   25            1955 SCR  (1) 735  CITATOR INFO :  R          1960 SC 424  (10)  RF         1961 SC   4  (5,25)  RF         1961 SC 298  (12)  F          1962 SC  12  (11)  RF         1962 SC  97  (6)  R          1964 SC 648  (17,4)  R          1964 SC 980  (8)  R          1964 SC1260  (6)  RF         1966 SC1788  (38)  RF         1967 SC 669  (29)  RF         1967 SC 691  (66)  R          1970 SC2042  (10)  R          1974 SC1044  (6)  E          1980 SC 350  (5)  RF         1982 SC 149  (803)  D          1986 SC 872  (110)  R          1990 SC 560  (13)

ACT:       Constitution of India, Art. 372-Words "law in  force"- Meaning  of- Whether include regulation or order having  the force  of  law  --An  order  made  under  s.  94(3)  of  the Government  of India Act, 1935 -Whether "law in  force"  and capable  of  adaptation-Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (Act  XI  of 1948), s. 27-"Appropriate Government" -Given power to add to either  part of schedule-Any employment in respect of  which minimum  rates of wages should be fixed-Whether  such  power warranted and not unconstitutional and within the limits  of permissible  delegation-Advisory  committee-Appointment  of- Under  s.  5  of the Act-Extension of its  term  beyond  the period already expired-Validity-Proceduraral irregularities- Wlhether vitiate the final report. 736

HEADNOTE: The words ’law in force’ as used in Art. 372 of the  Consti- tution  are wide enough to include not merely a  legislative enactment  but  also any regulation or order which  has  the force of law.



   An order made by the Governor-General under s. 94(3)  of the  Government  of  India Act, 1935,  investing  the  Chief Commissioner with the authority to administer a province  is really  in  the  nature of  a  legislative  provision  which defines  the rights and powers of the Chief Commissioner  in respect  of that province.  Such an order comes  within  the purview of Art. 372 of the Constitution and being a ’law  in force’   immediately   before  the   commencement   of   the Constitution  would continue to be inforce under clause  (1) of the article.  Such an order is capa ble of adaptation  to bring  it in accord with the constitutional  provisions  and this  is precisely what has been done by the  Adaptation  of Laws Order, 1950.  Therefore an order made under s. 94(3) of the Government of India Act, 1935, should be reckoned now as an order made under Art. 239 of the Constitution and it  was within  the competence of the President under clause (2)  of Art. 372 to make the adaptation order.     Under  s. 27 of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948,  power  has been given to the "appropriate Government" to add to  either part  of the schedule any employment in respect of which  it is  of opinion that minimum wages shall be fixed  by  giving notification  in  a  particular manner,  and  thereupon  the scheme shall, in its application to the State, be deemed  to be  amended accordingly.  There is an element of  delegation implied  in  the  provisions of s. 27 of the  Act,  for  the Legislature,  in a sense, authorises another body  specified by  it, to do something which it might do itself.  But  such delegation,  if  it  can  be  so  called  at  all,  is   not unwarranted and unconstitutional and it does not exceed  the limits of permissible delegation.      The  legislative policy is apparent on the face of  the present  enactment.   What  it  aims  at  is  the  statutory fixation of minimum wages with a view to obviate the chances of  exploitation of labour.  It is to carry out  effectively the  purposes of the enactment that power has been given  to the appropriate Government to decide with reference to local conditions whether it is desirable that minimum wages should be  fixed in regard to a particular trade or industry  which is not already included in the list.     Therefore  in  enacting s. 27 the  legislature  has  not stripped  itself of its essential powers or assigned to  the administrative  authority  anything  but  an  accessory   or subordinate  power which was deemed necessary to  carry  out the purpose and the policy of the Act.     Rule  3  of  the rules framed under s.  30  of  the  Act empowers  the  State  Government  to fix  the  term  of  the committee  appointed under s. 5 of the Act and to extend  it from time to time as circumstances require.     The period originally fixed had expired and its term was extended subsequently.  It did not function and submitted no                             737 report  during  the period.  Assuming  that  the  subsequent order could not revive a committee which was already dead, a new committee could be held to have been constituted and the report,  submitted by it would be a perfectly  good  report. Apart  from this, a committee is only an advisory  body  and procedural  irregularities  of  this  character  could   not vitiate the final report which fixed the minimum wages.     Baxter  v.  Ah Way (8 C.L.R. 626) and Reg. v.  Burah  (3 App.  Cas. 889) referred to.




of 1954.      Appeals under articles 132 and 133 of the  Constitution of  India  from  the  Judgment and  Order,  dated  the  16th February,  1953,  of  the Court  of  Judicial  Commissioner, Ajmer, in Civil Miscellaneous Petitions Nos. 260 and 263  of 1952.     N.C. Chatterjee (B.  D. Sharma and Naunit Lal, with him) for appellants Nos. 1 and 2 in C. A. No. 138 of 1954 (Edward Mills and Krishna Mills).      Achhru Ram (B.  D. Sharma and Naunit Lal, with him) for appellant No. 3 in C. A. No. 138 of 1954 (Mahalaxmi Mills).      H.N. Seervai, J. B. Dadachanji and Rajinder Narain  for the appellant in C. A. No. 139 of 1954.     C.    K. Daphtary, Solicitor-General of India (M.  M. Kaul and P. G. Gokhale, with him) for respondent  No.      2 (Union of India). 1954.  October 14.  The Judgment of the Court was  delivered by      MUKHERJEA  J.-These two appeals are directed against  a common judgment, dated the 16th of February, 1953, passed by the  Judicial  Commissioner  of  Ajmer,  on  two   analogous petitions  under article 226 of the Constitution, in one  of which  the  appellants in Appeal No. 138 of  1954  were  the petitioners,  while the other was filed by the appellant  in Appeal No. 139 of 1954.      The  petitioners  in  both  the  cases  prayed  for   a declaration that the notification, dated the 7th of October, 1952, issued by the State Government of 738      Ajmer,  fixing the minimum rates of wages in respect  of employment in the textile industry within that State,  under the  provisions of the Minimum Wages Act (Act XI  of  1948), was  illegal and ultra vires and for issue of writs  in  the nature of mandamus directing the respondents not to  enforce the same against the petitioners.     To appreciate the points that have been canvassed before us,  it will be convenient to narrate briefly  the  material facts  in chronological order.  On the 15th of March,  1948, the  Central Legislature of India passed an Act  called  The Minimum  Wages Act, 1948, the object of which, as stated  in the  preamble,  is to provide for fixing  minimum  rates  of wages in certain employments.  The schedule attached to  the Act  specifies, under two parts, the employments in  respect of  which the minimum wages of the employees can  be  fixed; and  section  27 authorises  the  "appropriate  Government", after giving three months’ notice of its intention to do so, to add to either part of the schedule, any other employment, in respect of which it is of the opinion that minimum  rates of  wages  should be fixed under the  Act.   The  expression "appropriate  Government" as defined in section 2(b)  means, in  relation  to  a scheduled  employment,  other  than  one carried by or under the authority of the Central Government, the  State  Government’  Under section  3  the  "appropriate Government"  is  to fix minimum wages payable  to  employees employed in any employment specified in the schedule at  the commencement  of  the Act or added to it  subseq  uently  in accordance  with the provisions of section 27.   Sub-section (1)  (a)  of  this  section provides  inter  alia  that  the "appropriate Government" may refrain from fixing the minimum rates  of  wages in respect of any scheduled  employment  in which there are in the whole State less than 1,000 employees engaged  in  such  employment.   Section  5  lays  down  the procedure   for  fixing  minimum  wages.   The   appropriate Government  can  appoint a committee to  hold  enquiries  to advise  it  in the matter of fixing minimum  wages;  in  the



alternative  it can, by notification in the official  public gazette,  publish  its  proposals  for  the  information  of persons likely to be affected thereby.  After                             739 considering   the   advice   of   the   committee   or   the representations  on  the proposals as the case may  be,  the ’appropriate  Government’  shall fix the  minimum  rates  of wages   in   respect  to  any   scheduled   employment,   by notification  in the official gazette, and such rates  would come into force on the expiry of three months from the  date of issue unless the notification directs otherwise.  Section 9 provides inter alia that an advisory committee constituted under  section 5 shall consist of persons nominated  by  the appropriate Government.  There shall be in the committee  an equal  number  of representatives of the employers  and  the employed  in  any scheduled employment and  there  shall  be independent persons as well, not exceeding one-third of  the total number, one of whom shall be appointed Chairman.      Section  30 confers on the appropriate  Government  the power  to  make rules for carrying out the purposes  of  the Act.     It  may  be mentioned at the outset that Part I  of  the schedule to the Act mentioned only 12 items of employment at the  time  when  the Act was passed and  employment  in  the textile  industry was not included in Chem.  On the 16th  of March,  1949, the Central Government issued a  notification, in  exercise  of  its  powers under  section  94(3)  of  the Government of India Act, 1935, directing that the  functions of  the  "appropriate Government" tinder the  Minimum  Wages Act,  would,  in  respect  of  every  Chief   Commissioner’s Province,  be exercised by the Chief Commissioner.   On  the 17th March, 1950, the Chief Commissioner of Ajmer,  purport- ing  to  act as the "appropriate Government" of  the  State, published  a notification in terms of section 27 of the  Act giving  three  months’ notice of his  intention  to  include employment  in  the textile mills as an additional  item  in Part  I of the schedule.  On the 10th of October, 1950,  the final  notification  was  issued  stating  that  the   Chief Commissioner  had directed "that the employment  in  textile industry" should be added in Part I of the schedule.    On  the  23rd November, 1950,  another  notification  was published under the signature of the Secretary to 740 the  Chief Commissioner containing the rules  purporting  to have  been framed by the Chief Commissioner in  exercise  of his powers under section 30 of the Act.  Out of these,  only rules 3, 8 and 9 are material for our present purpose.  Rule 3  provides  that the term of office of the  members  of  an advisory  committee shall be such, as in the opinion of  the State  Government, is necessary for completing  the  enquiry into  the  scheduled  employment  concerned  and  the  State Government  may,  at  the time of the  constitution  of  the committees, fix a term and may, from time to time, extend it as  circumstances may require.  Rule 8 provides for  filling up the vacancies occurring or likely to occur in the member- ship of the committee by resignation of any of its  members. Rule 9 lays down that if a member of the committee fails  to attend  three  consecutive meetings he would cease to  be  a member  thereof.  The rule further states that  such  member could,  if he so desires, apply, within a certain  time  for restoration of his membership and restoration could be  made if the majority of the members are satisfied that there were adequate reasons for his failure to attend the meetings.     On the 17th January, 1952, a committee was appointed  to hold  enquiries and advise the Chief Commissioner in  regard



to  the  fixation of minimum wages relating to  the  textile industry  within  the  State.  Ten  members  were  nominated consisting  of four represeiitatives of the employers,  four of  the employees and two independent members, one  of  whom Shri  Annigeri  was  to  act as  an  expert  member  of  the committee  and the other, Dr. Bagchi, as its Chairman.   The term  of office of the members was fixed at-six months  from the  date  of the notification ending on the 16th  of  July, 1952.   The first meeting of the committee was held  on  the 29th February, 1952.  The expert member was present at  that meeting and it was resolved that the minimum wages must  not merely  provide for the bare subsistence of life but  should be  adequate  for the maintenance of the efficiency  of  the worker.   The  second meeting was held on  the  29th  March, 1952,  and the third on the 14th of June, 1952.  The  expert member was not present at any other meeting except the first and on the 27th of 741 May,  1952,  he  wrote a letter to  the  Chief  Commissioner stating  that he was proceeding to Europe on the 3rdd  June, 1952,  for  a  period of three months.   He  expressed’  his willingness to assist the Chairman in the preparation of the report  after he came back from Europe by the first week  of September,  next,  provided the term of  the  committee  was extended.   If however that was not possible,  he  requested that his letter might be treated as a letter of  resignation from the membership of the Committee.  No action appears  to have  been taken on receipt of the letter.  The  fourth  and the  fifth meetings of the committee were held  respectively on the 8th and the 15th of July, 1952.  On the 20th  August, 1952,  the the Chairman of the Committee informed the  Chief Commissioner that Shri Annigeri had ceased to be a member of the  committee  by  reason of his failing  to  attend  three consecutive  meetings.  He had also desired that his  letter to  the Chief Commissioner dated the 27th May, 1952,  should be treated as a letter of resignation.  In the circumstances the Chief Commissioner was requested to fill up this vacancy in the membership.  On the very next day, that is to say, on the  21st August, 1952, a notification was issued  by  which the Chief Commissioner ordered the extension of the term  of the committee up to the 20th of September, 1952, and on  the 28th  of  August, following, another notification  was  made appointing Shri Annigeri as a member of the committee.   The term of the committee was extended by a further notification till the 5th of October, 1952.  In the meantime a meeting of the committee was held on the 10th September, 1952, in which Shri  Annigeri was not present.  The only resolution  passed was, that all relevant papers might besent to Shri  Annigeri as desired by him.  It appears that some time after the 14th of September, 1952, the Chairman himself took the papers  to Nagpur  where  Shri Annigeri was staying and a  draft  final report was prepared by the Chairman in consultation with the expert member and both of them signed the report at  Nagpur. The  report was placed before the other members on  the  4th October,  1952,  and  on the 7th of  October,  following,  a notification was issued fixing 95 742 minimum  rates  of wages for the employees  in  the  textile industry  in the State of Ajmer, under the signature of  the Secretary  to the Chief Commissioner and stating that  these rates  should  be  deemed to be in force  from  the  1st  of September, 1952.     Feeling   aggrieved  by  this  notification  the   three appellants   in  Appeal  No.  138  of  1954   presented   an



application under article 226 of the Constitution before the Judicial  Commissioner of Ajmer on the 31st  October,  1952, praying  for a writ in the nature of mandamus  ordering  the State  of  Ajmer  not  to  enforce  the  same.   A   similar application  was  filed  by  the  Bijay  Cotton  Mills,  the appellant in the other appeal, on the 6th of November, 1952. Both the petitions were heard together and a common judgment was  passed  by  the Judicial Commissioner on  the  16th  of February, 1953.  The applications were dismissed except that the  Chief Commissioner was held to have exceeded his  legal authority in giving retrospective effect to the notification of  the  7th of October, 1952, and the State of  Ajmer,  was restrained  from  enforcing the notification from  any  date earlier  than the 8th of January, 1953.  It is against  this judgment  that these two appeals have come up to this  Court on  the  strength of certificates granted  by  the  Judicial Commissioner, Ajmer.     Mr.  Chatterjee, appearing for the appellants in  Appeal No. 138, has put forward a three-fold argument on behalf  of his  clients.   He  has contended in the  first  place  that without  a  delegation of authority by the  President  under article  239 of the Constitution, the Chief Commissioner  of Ajmer  was  not competent to function  as  the  "appropriate Government" for purposes of the Minimum Wages Act.  All  the steps  therefore that were taken by the  Chief  Commissioner under the provisions of the Act including the issuing of the final notification on the 7th of October, 1952, were illegal and ultra vires.    The  second  contention raised is that the  provision  of section 27 of the Act is illegal and ultra vires inasmuch as it amounts to an illegal and unconstitutional delegation  of legislative  powers  by  the Legislature in  favour  of  the "appropriate Government" as defined in the                             743 Act.   The third and the last contention is, that the  Chief Commissioner had no authority to extend retrospectively  the term of the Advisory Committee after it expired on the  16th of July, 1952.    Mr. Seervai, who appeared in support of the other appeal, adopted  all  these arguments on behalf of his  client.   He however   raised  some  additional  points  impeaching   the constitutional  validity of the Minimum Wages Act itself  on the   ground  that  its  provisions  conflicted   with   the fundamental  rights  of  the appellants  and  its  employees guaranteed  under  article 19(1) (g)  of  the  Constitution. These points were argued elaborately by the learned  counsel in connection with the two petitions filed on behalf of  the Bijay  Cotton  Mills Ltd., and a number of  employees  under them  under article 32 of the Constitution and we will  take them up for consideration when dealing with these petitions. We  will now proceed to consider the three points  mentioned above which have been raised in support of the appeals. So far as the first ground is concerned the argument of  Mr. Chatterjee in substance is that the expression  "appropriate Government"  has  been defined in section 2(b) (ii)  of  the Minimum  Wages  Act to mean, in relation  to  any  scheduled employment, not carried on by or under the authority of  the Central   Government,   the   State   Government.     "State Government" has been defined in section 3(60) of the General Clauses Act as meaning, in regard to anything done or to  be done after the commencement of the Constitution in a Part  C State, the Central Government.  Prior to the commencement of the  Constitution, under section 94(3) of the Government  of India  Act, 1935, a chief commissioner’s Province  could  be administered  by the GovernorGeneral acting to such  extent,



as  he  thought  fit, through a  Chief  Commissioner  to  be appointed  by him in his discretion; and under section  3(8) of  the General Clauses Act, as it stood before the 26th  of January, 1950, the expression "Central Government" included, in  the case of a Chief Commissioner’s Province,  the  Chief Commissioner  acting within the scope of authority given  to him under section 94(3) of the Government of 744 India  Act,  1935.  Article 239 of  the  Constitution  which corresponds to section 94(3) of the Government of India Act, though  it  is much wider in scope, provides  that  a  State specified  in  Part  C  of  the  First  Schedule  shall   be administered  by the President acting, to such extent as  he thinks  fit,  through a Chief Commissioner or  a  Lieutenant Governor to be appointed by him or through the Government of a   neighbouring  State.   Agreed  to  this   constitutional provision section 3(8 ) (b) (ii) Of the General Clauses Act, as  amended  by the Adaptation Laws Order, 1950,  lays  down that the expression "Central Government" shall include inter alia the Chief Commissioner of a Part C State acting  within the scope of the authority given to him under article 239 of the  Constitution.   Ajmer was admittedly  a  Chief  Commis- sioner’s  Province under section 94(1) of the Government  of India  -Act, 1935.  It has become a Part C State  after  the coming  into force of the Constitution.  As has been  stated already, the Central Government issued a notification on the 16th  of March, 1949, under section 94(3) of the  Government of   India   Act,  directing  that  the  function   of   the "appropriate Government" under the Minimum Wages Act  would, in   respect  of  any  Chief  Commissioner’s  Province,   be exercised  by  the Chief Commissioner.  There  was  no  such delegation  of  authority however under article 239  of  the Constitution  after the Constitution came into  force.   Mr. Chatterjee  contends that in the absence of such  delegation under article 239 the Chief Commissioner of Ajmer cannot  be regarded as "Central Government" as defined in section  3(8) (b) (ii) of the General Clauses Act as it stands at  present and consequently he could not be held to be the "appropriate Government"  within the meaning of section 2(b) (ii) of  the Minimum Wages Act.  The Government of India Act, it is said, stands  repealed  by article 395 of  the  Constitution.   An order issued under section 94(3) of the Government of  India Act  cannot possibly be operative after the inauguration  of the Constitution, nor could it be regarded as an order  made under article 239 of the Constitution.    The  contention  does not appear to us to  be  sound.   A complete reply to this argument is furnished, in our                      745 opinion, by the provisions of clauses (1) and (2) of article 372 of the Constitution.  Article 372 runs as follows:     "372.   (1)   Notwithstanding   the   repeal   by   this Constitution  of the enactments referred to in  article  395 but  subject to the other provisions of  this  Constitution, all  the law in force in the territory of India  immediately before the commencement of this Constitution shall  continue in  force therein until altered or repealed or amended by  a competent Legislature or other competent authority.     (2)   For the purpose of bringing the provisions of  any law in force in the territory of India into accord with  the provisions of this Constitution, the President may by  order make such adaptations and modifications of such law, whether by  way  of  repeal or amendment, as  may  be  necessary  or expedient, and provide that the law shall, as from such date as may be specified in the order, have effect subject to the adaptations   and  modifications  so  made,  and  any   such



adaptation  or modification shall not be questioned  in  any court of law."     Thus clause (1) of the article provides for continuance, in force, of the existing laws notwithstanding the repeal by the Constitution of the enactments mentioned in article  395 and clause (2) provides for their adaptation with a view  to bring   them  into  accord  with  the  provisions   of   the Constitution.    The   Government  of   India   Act,   1935, undoubtedly   stands   repealed  by  article  395   of   the Constitution,  but  laws  made  thereunder  which  were   in existence   immediately  before  the  commencement  of   the Constitution  would continue under article 372(1) and  could be  adapted :under the second clause of that  article.   Mr. Chatterjee argues that article 372 has no application to the present  case  inasmuch  as the order made  by  the  Central Government  under section 94(3) of the Government  of  India Act  could  not be regarded as "a law in force"  within  the meaning of article 372.  A distinction is sought to be  made by the learned counsel between an "existing law" as  defined in  article  366(10) and a "law in force" and it  is  argued that though an "order" can come within the definition 746 of  "existing  law",  it  cannot  be  included  within   the expression  "law  in force" as used in article 372.   It  is argued  next that even if the word "law" is wide  enough  to include an order, that order must be a legislative and not a mere  executive  order  promulgated  by  an   administrative authority,  and  in support of this contention  the  learned counsel has relied on a number of cases decided by the Privy Council and the different High Courts in India.      The first point does not impress us much and we do  not think  that  there is any material difference between  "  an existing  law"  and  "a law in  force".   Quite  apart  from article 366(10) of the Constitution, the expression  "Indian law" has itself been defined in section 3(29) of the General Clauses Act as meaning any Act, ordinance, regulation, rule, order,  or  bye-law  which before the  commencement  of  the Constitution  had the force of law in any province of  India or  part thereof.  In out opinion, the words "law in  force" as used in article 372 are wide enough to include not merely a  legislative  enactment but also any regulation  or  order which  has the force of law.  We agree with  Mr.  Chatterjee that  an  order must be a legislative and not  an  executive order  before it can come within the definition of law.   We do not agree with him however to ’ at the order made by  the Governor-General  in the present case under section 943)  of the Government of India Act is a mere executive order.  Part IV  of the Government of India Act, 1935, which begins  with section  94, deals with Chief Commissioners’  Provinces  and sub-section  (3)  lays  down  how  a  Chief   Commissioner’s Province  shall be administered.  It provides that it  shall be  administered  by the Governor-General acting  through  a Chief  Commissioner  to such extent as he  thinks  fit.   An order  made  by  the Governor-General  under  section  94(3) investing  the  Chief  Commissioner  with-the  authority  to administer  a province is really in the nature of  a  legis- lative provision which defines the rights and powers of  the Chief  Commissioner  in respect to that  province.   In  our opinion  such order comes within the purview of article  372 of  the Constitution and being "a law in force"  immediately before the commencement of the 747 Constitution would continue to be in force under clause  (1) of the article.  Agreeably to this view it must also be held that  such  order is capable of adaptation to  bring  it  in



accord  with the Constitutional provisions under clause  (2) of  article 372 and this is precisely what has been done  by the  Adaptation  of Laws Order, 1950.  Paragraph 26  of  the Order runs as follows:      "Where any rule, order or other instrument was in force under any provision of the Government of India Act, 1935, or under   any   Act  amending  or  supplementing   that   act, immediately before the appointed day, and such provision  is re-enacted   with   or   without   modifications   in    the Constitution,  the said rule, order or instrument shall,  so far  as  applicable,  remain in  force  with  the  necessary modifications  as  from the appointed day as if  it  were  a rule, order or instrument of the appropriate kind duly  made by the appropriate authority under the said provision of the Constitution, and may be varied or revoked accordingly."      Thus  the  order  made  under  section  94(3)  of   the Government  of India Act should be reckoned now as an  order made under article 239 of the Constitution and we are unable to  agree  with  Mr.  Chatterjee  that  it  was  beyond  the competence of the President under clause (2) of article  372 to  make  the adaptation order mentioned above.   The  first contention of Mr. Chatterjee therefore fails.     Coming  now to the second point.  Mr. Chatterjee  points out  that the preamble to the Minimum Wages Act as  well  as its  title  indicate  clearly  that  the  intention  of  the Legislature  was  to  provide for fixing  minimum  wages  in certain  employments only and that the Legislature  did  not intend  that  all employments should be brought  within  the purview of the Act.  The schedule attached to the Act  gives a  list  of  the employments and it is  in  respect  to  the scheduled  employments  that  the minimum wages  are  to  be fixed.  Under section 27 of the Act however’ power has  been given to the "appropriate Government" to add to either  part of the schedule any employment in respect to which it is  of opinion  that  minimum  wages  shall  be  fixed  by   giving notification in a particular manner, and 748 thereupon  the  schedule shall, in its  application  to  the State,  be deemed to be amended accordingly.  It  is  argued that  the  Act  nowhere  formulates  a  legislative   policy according  to which an employment shall be chosen for  being included   in  the  schedule.   There  are   no   principles prescribed and no standard laid down which could furnish  an intelligent  guidance  to the  administrative  authority  in making  the selection.  The matter is left entirely  to  the discretion  of the "appropriate Government" which can  amend the  schedule  in any way it likes and  such  delegation  of power virtually amounts to a surrender by the Legislature of its essential legislative function and cannot be held valid.      There  is undoubtedly an element of delegation  implied in  the  provision  of  section  27  of  the  Act,  for  the Legislature  in a sense, authorises another body,  specified by  it,  to do something which it might do itself  But  such delegation,  if it can be so called at all, does not in  the circumstances  of  the  present  case appear  to  us  to  be unwarranted  and unconstitutional.  It was said by  O’Connor J.  of the High Court of Australia in the case of Baxter  v. Ah Way (1):    "The aim of all legislatures is to project their minds as far as possible into the future, and to provide in terms  as general as possible for all contingencies likely to arise in the  application  of  the law.  But it is  not  possible  to provide   specifically   for  all  cases   and,   therefore, legislation  from the very earliest times, and  particularly in   modern  times,  has  taken  the  form  of   conditional



legislation,  leaving  it  to some  specified  authority  to determine  the  circumstances  in which  the  law  shall  be applied, or to what its operation shall be extended, or  the particular  class of persons or goods to which it  shall  be applied."     The facts of this Australian case, in material features, bear  a  striking resemblance to those of the  present  one. The question raised in that case related to the validity  of certain  provisions  of the Customs Act of  1901.   The  Act prohibited  the  importation  of certain  goods  which  were specifically mentioned and then gave power to the  Governor- General in Council to include, by (1)  8 C.L.R. 626 at 637.                             749 proclamation,  other goods also within the prohibited  list. The  validity of the provision was challenged on the  ground of  its being an improper delegation of legislative  powers. This  contention was repelled and it was held that this  was not  a  case  of  delegation of  legislative  power  but  of conditional legislation Of the type which was held valid  by the  Privy Council in the case of Reg v. Burah (1).  It  can indeed be pointed out that in Burah’s case what was left  to the   Lieutenant  Governor  was  the  power  to  apply   the provisions  of an Act to certain territories at  his  option and  these  territories to which the Act could  be  extended were  also specified in the Act.  The Legislature  could  be said  therefore to have applied its mind to the question  of the  application of the law to particular places and it  was left to the executive only to determine when the laws  would be  made operative in those places.  According to  the  High Court of Australia the same principle would apply even  when the  executive  is given power to determine  to  what  other persons  or  goods the law shall be extended  besides  those specifically  mentioned therein.  Whether a  provision  like this strictly comes within the description of what is called "conditional   legislation"  is  not  very  material.    The question  is, whether it exceeds the limits  of  permissible delegation.  As was said by O’Connor J. himself in the above case, when a Legislature is given plenary power to legislate on a particular subject there must also be an implied  power to  make laws incidental to the exercise of such power.   It is  a  fundamental  principle  of  constitutional  law  that everything necessary to the exercise of a power is  included in  the grant of the power.  A Legislature cannot  certainly strip itself of its essential functions and vest the same on an extraneous authority.  The primary duty of law making has to  be discharged by the Legislature itself  but  delegation may be resorted to as a subsidiary or an ancillary  measure. Mr.  Chatterjee  contends  that  the  essential  legislative function  is to lay down a policy and to make it  a  binding rule  of conduct.  This legislative policy, he says, is  not discernible anywhere in the (1)  3 App.  Cas. 889. 96 750 provisions of this Act and consequently there is no standard or  criterion to guide the administrative authority  in  the exercise of the subsidiary legislative powers.    We do  not think that this is the correct view to take. The legislative policy  is apparent on the face   of the present  enactment. What  it aims at is the statutory fixation of minimum  wages with a view to obviate the chance of exploitation of labour. The  Legislature undoubtedly intended to apply this Act  not to  all  industries but to those industries  only  where  by reason of unorganized labour or want of proper  arrangements



for  effective regulation of wages or for other  causes  the wages  of labourers in a particular industry were very  low. It is with an eye to these facts that the list of trades has been  drawn up in the schedule attached to the Act  but  the list  is not an exhaustive one and it is the policy  of  the Legislature  not  to lay down at once and for  all  time  to which  industries the Act should be applied.  Conditions  of labour vary under different circumstances and from State  to State and the expediency of including a particular trade  or industry within the schedule depends upon a variety of facts which  are  by  no  means uniform  and  which  can  best  be ascertained  by  the person who is placed in charge  of  the administration  of a particular State.  It is to  carry  out effectively  the  purpose of this enactment that  power  has been  given to the "appropriate Government" to decide,  with reference to local conditions, whether it is desirable  that minimum  wages  should be fixed in regard  to  a  particular trade or industry which is not already included in the list. We do not think that in enacting section 27 the  Legislature has  in  anyway stripped itself of its essential  powers  or assigned  to  the administrative authority anything  but  an accessory or subordinate power which was deemed necessary to carry out the purpose and the policy of the Act.  The second contention of Mr. Chatterjee cannot therefore succeed.      The  third and the last point raised by Mr.  Chatterjee is  directed  against  the notification of  the  Chief  Com- missioner  by  which he extended the term  of  the  Advisory Committee  till the 20th of September, 1952.  It  is  argued that the term of the committee, as originally 751 fixed,  expired on the 16th of July, 1952, and on  and  from the  17th  of July all the members of the  committee  became functus   officio.   The  Commissioner  therefore  was   not competent  to  give a fresh lease of life to  the  committee which was already dead.  We do not think that there is  much substance  in this contention.  Rule 3 of the  rules  framed under  section  30 of the Act expressly lays down  that  the State  Government may fix the term of the committee when  it is  constituted  and  may from time to  time  extend  it  as circumstances require.  The State Government had therefore a right to extend the term of the committee in such way as  it liked.   The only question is whether it could do  so  after the  period  originally  fixed  had come  to  an  end.   Mr. Chatterjee  relied, in this connection,. upon certain  cases which held that the Court could not grant extension of  time in  an arbitration proceeding after the award was filed  and an award made after the prescribed period is a nullity.   In our  opinion  this  analogy is not at  all  helpful  to  the appellants in the present case.  It is not disputed that the committee did not function at all and did no work after  the 16th of July, 1952, and before the 21st of August next  when its term was extended.  No report was submitted during  this period and there was no extension of time granted after  the submission  of the report.  Assuming that the order  of  the 21st  August, 1952, could not revive a committee  which  was already  dead,  it  could  certainly  be  held  that  a  new committee  was  constituted on that date and even  then  the report  submitted  by it would be a perfectly  good  report. Quite  apart from this, it is to be noted that  a  committee appointed  under  section 5 of the Act is only  an  advisory body  and that the Government is not bound to accept any  of its      recommendations.      Consequently,      procedural irregularities of this character could not vitiate the final report  which  fixed  the minimum wages.   In  our  opinion, neither  of  the  contentions raised  in  support  of  these



appeals  can succeed and both the appeals  therefore  should fail and stand dismissed with costs.                                         Appeals dismissed. 752