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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

40                                                  MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

section 118 of the Indian Evidence Act every person is competent to testify
unless the court considers that he is prevented from understanding the
questions put to him, or from giving rational answers to those questions by
tender years, old age, disease, whether of body or mind, or any other cause
of the same kind. Before a child of tender years is examined as a witness,
it is necessary for the court to be satisfied that the child is capable of under-
standing the difference between truth and falsehood, and the necessity of
speaking the truth. Under the Indian Oaths Amendment Act, 1939 (Act
No. XXXI of 1939), the unsworn evidence of a child under twelve years
of age is admissible, if the court or person having authority to examine such
witness is of opinion that, though he understands the duty of speaking the
truth, he does not understand the nature of an oath or affirmation.

7. Eligibility for Employment.—Twenty-five years is ordinarily the limit
for entering into Government service. The Indian Constitution provides
that a child below the age of fourteen years shall not be employed to work
in any factory or mine or engaged in other hazardous employment. Under
the Factories Act,53 1948 (Act LXIII of 1948) an " adult" is defined as a
person who has completed his eighteenth year, an " adolescent" is defined
as a person who has completed his fifteenth year but has not completed his
eighteenth year, and a ".child " is defined as a person who has not completed
his fifteenth year. A young person means a person who is either a child
or an adolescent. No child who has not completed his fourteenth year shall
be required or allowed to work in any factory. A child who has completed
his fourteenth year or an adolescent shall not be required or allowed to
work in any factory unless a certificate of fitness granted to him by a certify-
ing surgeon is in the custody of the manager of the factory, and such child
or adolescent carries, while he is at work, a token giving a reference to such
certificate. A young person who has completed his fifteenth year shall be
allowed to work in a factory as an adult, if a certificate has been granted to
Mm that he is fit for a full day's work in a factory. While at work in the
factory an adolescent who is granted a certificate of fitness to work in a
factory and carries a token giving reference to the certificate shall be deemed
to be an adult for all purposes. But an adolescent who has not been granted
such certificate of fitness to work in a factory as an adult shall be regarded
as a child for the purposes of this Act. No child shall be employed or
permitted to work in any factory for more than four and a half hours in
any day and between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. No adult worker shall
be required or allowed to work in any factory for more than nine hours in
any day and for more than forty-eight hours in any week. The period of
work of adults employed in a factory shall be so fixed for each day that no
period shall exceed five hours and that no worker shall work for more than
five hours before he has had an interval of at least half an hour.

India has ratified the convention concerning night work of young persons
employed in industry, which was adopted by the International Labour
Conference at its thirty-first session held in 1948. This convention provides
that young persons between 15 and 17 years of age shall not be employed
in factories, mines, railways and ports for a period of at least 12 consecutive
hours including an interval of at least 7 consecutive hours between 10 pm
and 7 a.m.34

The Bombay Shops and Establishments Act, 1948, provides that no child
who has not completed twelve years shall be employed in these establish-
ments. No employee shall be allowed" to work in any shop or commercial
establishment for more than nine hours in a day and forty-eight hours in

33.   Vids sections 2, 51, 54, 55T 67y 68, 69, 70 and 71.

34   See the Employment of Children Act, 1938, as amended in 1951 [The Employment
of Children (Amendment) Act, 1951].                                                                   F