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Musterroll is a legal document and some employees evenafter
writting remarks for "dont mark attendance with Red pen and
use only blue/black pen" have kept marking attendance with Red
pen and sometimes Green pen.
What what ground to prevent them using red pen. Can marking
attendance with Red pen is legal by employee?
11th May 2012 From India, Ahmadabad
AFIK, there is no ruling on the use of red ink. But red ink fades over a period of time. It is suggested to recommend for use of blue/black ink pens. Pon
11th May 2012 From India, Lucknow
Your answer is not acceptable as Red colour is in use for
making remark by authority like employee muster roll remark
from h r dept.
No info on paper can be written by Red pen. you can take any legal form or
even your school college admission form/ if you filled up by using
Red Pen, its get cancelled Red and Blue colour pen are used by authority for remarks against filled up reports,etc.
11th May 2012 From India, Ahmadabad
Sounds like a storm in a teacup!
Not quite sure why muster roll is a Legal Document, sounds strange to me. Surely it is only used to record attendance for leave and payroll purposes. Payroll records would be a better legal document to my mind if it came to the crunch, but maybe things are different in India.
Simple solution - find a piece of string and tie a blue or black pen to the roll for employees to use.
Secondly send an email to all employees pointing out in a calm and good natured way that the roll needs to be signed in blue or black ink. End of discussion.
Try not to complicate simple things. I'm sure there are more important tasks for HR staff to deal with :-)
12th May 2012 From Australia, Melbourne
Dear Friend,
Usually three colours will be used to marking attendance to differentiate working shift. Blue for Day shift, Green for Half night shift and red for night shift.
Inspector of Facories also suggest the above.
Best Regards,
Kamalarathinam. M
12th May 2012 From India, New Delhi
Just an after thought (no offense please!) now a days electronic attendance systems are common ..... I have even seen finger print scanners .....
12th May 2012 From China, Shanghai
I agree with John in Oz: Sounds like a storm in a teacup!
But to correct John, there are many SMEs in India which still use the Muster Rolls for attendance marking [more to do with affordability than convenience/availability], which COULD become legal docs if any legal situation arises. Payroll records form the next step in the process [collated from the Muster Rolls].
And Pon is right--colors other than blue & black fade away after sometime--which becomes critical if the records have to be retained for a long time [years]. Also, between Blue & Black, Black is suggested since the pigments used in black ink resist water [while blue ink can get erased when water/rain/sweat falls over the writing].
The solution that John gave is really quite simple: tie a blue or black pen to the roll for employees to use.
12th May 2012 From India, Hyderabad
Hi Bharadwaj,

As far as my knowledge goes, attendance is a legal document because it contains evidence of an employee having attended the office. Many are not aware of it. In several cases, this has been produced as evidence in Court of Law.

And Courts have accepted it.

As to your point, usually the general convention is that only when an employee absents, it is marked in red ink in the muster roll. So if your employees do not heed to your advice, wherever they have marked in red ink, treat that as absent on that day! So simple. This may have a salutatory effect on them.

But a word of caution!! Please inform them well in advance that if they do not follow you advice and continue to mark in red ink, you will be constrained to mark those days as absent!After giving a reasonable time to mend their ways, if there is no change in their behavior, you can straight away mark absent wherever attendance is marked in red ink. Be tough. Don't compromise. This suggestion may sound harsh but this is one of the ways in which you can deal with recalcitrant employees.

You can also follow the advices given by other members also,which are mild.

12th May 2012 From India, Bangalore
I have not come across any legal provision or court ruling on the use of specific colours of ink for specified purposes. If some one has knwoledge of it, we shall be grateful for sharing with the memebrs. However the reason for such use and the solution to the problem is provided by the prudent suggestion of the members by themselves. there is no dispute about the fact that musteroll is a legal document as it si to be maintained under various labour laws as Mr.M.J Subramanyam said and may be, as kamalrathinam informed, difefrent colours may be used to indicate different shifts in a factory. However, I observed that the custom and practice in administration with regard to using different inks is that normal writing is done by employees in blue colour and any remarks are made by superiors in red ink to make them catch the attention of the subordinate officers and green ink is being used by senior executives and gazetted officers in government. Similarly in maintaining accounts, the credit balances are in blue and the debit baalances are in red in ink , while the figures to be totalled up are in blue , the totals are in red ink. It appears, custom and practice is the determinative factor rather than any rule or ruling by a court. However, the solution for the probelm came from aussiejohn and accordingly tieing a blue or black pen to some fixed object near the musteroll may probably solve most of the problem.

13th May 2012 From India, Mumbai
We can use different ink like red, blue & black for identification of the shifts & absentees There is nothing wrong. v.subbarao
13th May 2012 From India, Madras
I have gone through the discussions above. As far as legality is concerned, there is no law prevailing in this regard. However, it is a old practice that marking attendance in red is treated as absent. If you are willing to implement this as a part of discipline, you can go with the suggestion of Mr. Subramaniyam to mark them absent if signed in red, but with a proper communication in advance.
Hrishikesh Aponarayan
14th May 2012 From India, Pune
True there is no rule or court ruling to define which color should be used to mark the attendance. But in general we use red color to make a remark in the document. So use of red color should be avoided.
Generally late marks, half days etc are marked in red by the authorised person in the attendance register.
14th May 2012 From India, Pune
there is no legal rule but in indian government offices, legal judiciary the following rule is followed and only certain authorities are allowed to sign in red , green inks, for eg, gazetted officers can only sign in green ink. So at home you can sign in any ink but as mentioned by one member in school application form you have to sign use only blue / black ink.

No there is no legal rule but in manual of office procedure thereis some reference to use of different colour inks by different level of officers. Generally Blue & black is used at lowest level, green in middle level and red at highest level. But point pertinent to mention here is that no matter which colour is used by which level, ever official signs with either blue or green ink preferably. Read the following extract :-

"Every record creating agency, he wrote, in creating records of permanent nature should use fountain pen inks and ball point pen inks of permanent nature prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards as is: 221-1962, is: 220-1988, and is 1581-1975 in respect of fountain pen inks of blue/ black colour; and is: 8505-1993 in respect of ball point pen ink. So far as fountain pen ink of permanent nature is concerned, the National Archives declared, the prescribed colour is blue-black, while for ball point pens the colours are blue, black, red or green. Longevity clearly was not a sufficient criterion to clinch the question"

And Para 68, sub-para 5 of the Manual of Office Procedures now reads:

"Initial drafting will be done in black or blue ink. Modifications in the draft at the subsequent levels may be made in green or red ink by the offices so as to distinguish the corrections made."

" Para 32(9) of mannual of office procedure says that only officers of Joint Secretary level and above may use red or green ink, and that too only in rare cases. Para 68(5), on the other hand, does not limit the use of these colours to any particular rank; and it does not say that the corrections and amendments for which the colours are used have to be of an especially rare kind"


you can use any color you want, but yes, there are rules like that that can apply and sometimes agents will not take a document signed in red or green if they are wanting you to sign specifically as a "civilian" or "state person" or "driver" or "resident" or what-not. Different color inks can have specific meanings on legal documents.

in Law, red ink in a signature can mean that the author is a living man or woman, signing as a living man or woman. it means possessing blood, basically.

black & blue can mean that it was signed in the capacity as a corporate entity, which does not have the kind of authority and freedom and God-given rights that a living man or woman has. Examples are state statuses and offices such as those in quotes above

so that's part of why they want you to sign in blue or black. it's more evidence of your consent to a less-than-human status that can be controlled much more easily than a human can legally.

not sure what green represents, but according to wikipedia, chiefs of MI6 and Admirals in the Royal Navy use green ink. I'm not finding it now but I've seen some really good legal cites and case law explaining the legal significance of using different color inks.

I always sign in red, indicating that I have no intention of having myself considered less than human, and not possessing my own blood.


Black's Law Dictionary, 4th ed. -- "Monster"

wikipedia -- "green ink"


Is there any legal rule that green and red inks should only be used by higher government authorities? - Yahoo! Answers India
14th May 2012 From India, Madras
I appreciate accurate explanations by M.J.SUBRAMANYAM for 'muster roll' as legal document and presented in the labour court and utilised during disciplinary actions as proof for attendance/leaves,etc. & to B.Saikumar.
Its important to understand certain things as working and dealing HR and IR matter or any legal documents
for any organization.
some members replied on my stated equerry 'without understanding query and its seriousness' and my query refers to using Red colour Pen for marking 'in-out time with signature by employees' (Employees in General sense)and not 'by employees falling in certain grade'.
Now,no further comment from half knowledge person.
14th May 2012 From India, Ahmadabad

You can make it a rule in the office that all employees have to sign with a blue pen (or a black pen) and that marking with a red pen will not be considered or considered as absent. If this is communicated clearly to all employees (get signature on the letter, etc) then it is valid for you to mark such persons as absent. I am not sure how serious this will get if the matter goes to a court, however.

While there is no law that says a specific color needs to be used, the labour laws does give you the right to make reasonable rules of your own governing method of documentation, attendance, etc. I hope that clears the matter.

Having said that, perhaps you need to talk to the persons who are using red and green pen (I assume there are not too many) and find out why they are doing such a thing. Perhaps you can impress on them the problem faced with red ink. Finding a buy-in from the staff is always better than looking like a authoritarian boss forcing rules down someone's throat (however justified it may be)
15th May 2012 From India, Mumbai
This is true that Red pen utilise for absent and Blue or black pen utilise for present , as guidence by the labour department when i concerned with them..iN Delhi, Kolkata, MUMBAI I have already concerned with labour department regarding this and after that i also applied in my organisation where thet pratices was not follwed.
29th August 2012 From India, Delhi
can an employee signed on attendance register while he is on out station official visit. Employee is not present phsically at his base location but he is present at another location.
24th August 2015 From India, Delhi
Why are you posting your query as a reply to a thread that is 3 years old ?
Put a new query. Members will answer.
Also use the research button on top to find the answers as others have out similar query in the past.

25th August 2015 From India, Mumbai
Hi Members,
Please share your insights of how to use Etime to maintain such kind of the attendance record for inspector's reference, For the fact that the manual register might seem to be very cumbersome and tedious, your valued suggestions and ideas are very much appreciated.
Looking forward to hear on this.
Many thanks
31st August 2015 From Belgium,
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