Mines and Quarries Act, 1965



Provisions as to references upon notices served by inspectors.

146.—(1) The following provisions of this section shall apply in relation to any notice served under any provision of this Act or regulations by an inspector on the owner or manager of a mine or quarry, being a notice which is expressly declared to be one to which the provisions of this section with respect to references upon notices served by inspectors are to apply.

(2) (a) If the person on whom any such notice is served or, in a case where it is served on two or more persons, any of them, by a counter-notice duly served on the inspector who served the notice demands a reference upon the notice, it shall stand referred to a person or persons selected by the nominated selector (as hereinafter defined) from amongst the members of that one of the panels of persons appointed by the Minister under this section which is appropriate to the circumstances of the case.

(b) If the said selector is satisfied that special reasons exist which render it expedient for him to act as referee instead of a person or persons selected as aforesaid, he may direct that the notice shall stand referred to him.

(3) On a reference under this section upon any such notice, any of the following persons may appear in person or be represented, and may give evidence and call such witnesses as he thinks fit—

(a) any person on whom the notice was served;

(b) any inspector;

(c) any association or body representative of a majority of the total number of persons employed at the mine or quarry to which the notice relates;

(d) any other persons appearing to the referee or referees to be affected by the notice or any association or body representative of any such persons.

(4) The following provisions shall have effect with respect to the quashing or confirmation of any such notice upon a reference thereon under this section—

(a) if no relevant ground of objection to the notice is established to the satisfaction of the referee or referees, he or they shall confirm the notice;

(b) if a relevant ground of objection is so established, the referee or referees shall quash the notice unless he or they is or are of opinion that the objection can be met by modification of the notice, in which case the referee or referees shall confirm the notice subject to such modification as appears to him or them to meet the objection;

and where the notice is confirmed subject to any modification it shall take effect as modified.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (4)—

(a) in the case of any such notice served under a provision of this Act, any of the following grounds which are appropriate to the circumstances of the case shall be a relevant ground of objection—

(i) that compliance with a prohibition, restriction or requirement sought to be imposed by or by virtue of the notice is, wholly or to a particular extent, unnecessary, inadvisable for reasons of safety or impracticable;

(ii) that any period limited by the notice is insufficient for the purpose of enabling any works to be executed or other thing done;

(b) in the case of a notice served under any provision of regulations, the relevant ground or grounds of objection shall be such as may be prescribed.

(6) Save as otherwise expressly provided by this Act or regulations, any such notice shall not become operative in any event until the expiration of the period within which a reference thereon may be demanded under this section or, if within that period such a reference is so demanded, until the notice is confirmed by the referee or referees.

(7) The quashing under this section of any such notice shall neither be taken to prevent the service by an inspector of a fresh notice nor, if the notice became operative before it was quashed, affect the previous operation thereof.

(8) The Minister may—

(a) constitute such number as he thinks fit of panels of persons from whom referees may be selected for the purposes of references under this section and, as respects each panel, may designate the cases in which it is to be treated for the purposes of this section as the appropriate panel;

(b) make rules for regulating such references and, in particular, for making provision with respect to the costs of such references (including the payment of remuneration and allowances to referees) and for specifying the form of a counter-notice under subsection (2) and the period within which such a notice must be served;

and different periods may be specified by rules under paragraph (b) of this subsection in relation to the service of counter-notices relating to notices served under different provisions of this Act or regulations.

(9) The reference in subsection (2) to the nominated selector shall be construed as referring to such person as may for the time being be nominated by the Minister to discharge the duty of selecting referees to act upon references under this section.