I think that you have got only one question as to whether an " employee" mentioned in the definition of " contractor" u/s 2(1)(b) of the ISMW Act,1979 can be the employee of the principal employer. Of course it is a valid question and as such bound to arise when one encounters various terms such as "employed", " recruited", "supply workmen" used in the Act in different contexts in relation to interstate migrant workmen.
I do hope that you will agree with me that no employer would allow his employee to don the dual role of employee and contractor to himself just because may be at times the employee happens to be a party on behalf of himself in the recruitment process. Hence, it implies that the "employee" mentioned in the definition clause u/s 2(1)(b) can not be a contractor within the meaning of the ISMW Act,1979.
The legal definition of certain common terms is bound to vary according to the objective of or the nature of mischiefs to be rectified by the respective legislations. If you compare the objectives of the CLRA Act,1970 and the ISMW Act,1979 you will understand why the definitions of the same term "contractor" u/ss 2(1)(c) and 2(1)(b) respectively are different.
The application aspect of the ISMW Act mentioned in Sec.1(4)(a)&(b) comes into play only when the employment of ISM workmen reaches or exceeds the specified number either at present or in the past stretch of period of time mentioned therein focussing on the factum of employment only. But, the definition aspect of " contractor" u/s 2(1)(b) and "ISM Workman" u/s 2(1)(e) comes into play at the very stage of recruitment itself focussing on its purpose only.
So, in my view, the word 'employee' occuring in Sec.2(1)(b) qualifies only the defined term "contractor" and neither the term "establishment" nor "principal employer".
From India, Salem
From India, Aizawl