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Sharma (R.L.) Vs. Employees' State Insurance Corporation (23.03.1966 - PHHC) - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1968)ILLJ441P& H
AppellantSharma (R.L.)
RespondentEmployees' State Insurance Corporation
Cases ReferredUnited India Timber Works v. Employees State Insurance Corporation
Excerpt:
- sections 80 (2) & 89 & punjab motor vehicles rules, 1989, rules 85 & 80: [t.s. thakur, cj, jasbir singh & surya kant, jj] appeal against orders of state or regional transport authority imitation held, a stipulation regarding the period of limitation available for invoking the remedy shall have to be strictly construed. that is because any provision by way of limitation is in the nature of a restraint on the remedy provided under the act. so viewed two inferences are clear viz., (1) sections 80 and 89 of the act read with rule 85 of the rules make it obligatory for the authorities making the order to communicate it to the applicant concerned and (2) the period of limitation for any appeal against the order is reckonable from the date of such communication of the reasons would imply..........the respondents, on the other hand, pleaded that the sum in dispute had been worked out on the wages paid to the workers and trainees as rewards for the hard work done by them at their homes which was not permissible under the law. they also urged that the application was time barred and that sri hnas raj had not been delegated the powers to sign verify and present the application. the following issues were framed;(1) whether the application of the petitioner is within time; if not, whether there are sufficient grounds to extend the limitation ?(2) whether the respondents are exempt from payment of the employees' contribution on the grounds as stated by them in para. 3 of the reply ?(3) whether the amount as claimed by the applicant is due from the respondents; if not, how much, if.....
Judgment:

P.D. Sharma, J.

1. This judgment will dispose of two First Appeals from Orders Nos. 62 and 63 of 1962 which emanate from the order of the Employees' Insurance Court, dated 12 February 1962.

2. An Application No. 12 of 1962 was filed on behalf of the Employees' State Insurance Corporation, hereinafter referred to as the Corporation, by its Regional Director, under Section 75(2) of the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948, hereinafter referred to as the Act, for the recovery of Rs. 1,015 against

(1) R.L. Sharma, manager of Instruments and Chemicals (Private), Ltd., and

(2) Instruments and Chemicals (Private), Ltd., Ambala City.

It was alleged that the sum in question was due from the respondents as the employees' contribution for the period from 1 October 1957 to 30 June 1960, and interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum. The respondents, on the other hand, pleaded that the sum in dispute had been worked out on the wages paid to the workers and trainees as rewards for the hard work done by them at their homes which was not permissible under the law. They also urged that the application was time barred and that Sri Hnas Raj had not been delegated the powers to sign verify and present the application. The following issues were framed;

(1) Whether the application of the petitioner is within time; if not, whether there are sufficient grounds to extend the limitation ?

(2) Whether the respondents are exempt from payment of the employees' contribution on the grounds as stated by them in Para. 3 of the reply ?

(3) Whether the amount as claimed by the applicant is due from the respondents; if not, how much, if any ?

(3A) Whether Sri Hans Raj has been delegated the powers to sign, verify and present the application?

(4) Relief.

3. The Employees' State insurance Corporation had also initiated proceedings is the same Employees' insurance Court for the recovery of R3. 509 as employers special contribution for the period from 31 December 1957 to 30 June 1959, against the aforesaid R, L. Sharma, manager or instruments and Chemicals, Ltd. This sum was calculated on the basis of the wages paid to the workers. Thereupon, R.L. Sharma as manager filed an Application No. 13 of 1962 under Section 75 of the Act against the Corporation for retraining it from recovering the said amount on the ground that it was in fact not duo. The Corporation resisted the applicant's prayer on various pleas. The insurance Court framed the following issues:

(1) Whether this authority has no jurisdiction to hear this application ?

(2) Whether the claim of the respondent is within time ?

(3) Whether the appellant has paid the amount due from the applicant to the respondent ?

(4) What amount is due from the applicant to the respondent as employees' appeal contribution for the period in dispute ?

(5) Whether the appellant is exempt from payment of the amount on the grounds as stated in Para. 2 of the petition?

(6) Relief.

4. The proceedings in both these applications were consolidated as common questions of law and fact wore involved in them. The insurance Court, after considering the material placed on the record by both the parties and giving his findings on the issues framed, allowed the Application No. 12 of 1960 made on behalf of the Corporation and dismissed the Application No. 13 of 1960 made by R.L. Sharma, manager, instruments and Chemicals (Private), Ltd., with costs.

5. There is no dispute about the fact that the sums in dispute, namely, Rs. 1,015 as employees' contribution and Rs. 609 as employer's special contribution had been calculated by the Corporation on the wages paid by the appellants to their trainees and workers for the period from 1 October 1957 to 30 June 1960, and 31 December 1957 to 30 June 1959, respectively. The learned counsel for the appellants contended that the sums, on which these two contributions had been calculated, were paid by the appellants to their workers and trainees as reward for the hard work done by them at their homes for the completion of jobs entrusted to them and as such the same could not be termed ' wages ' as defined in the Act. The learned counsel for the Corporation-respondent pleaded to the contrary. The term ' wages' has been defined in Section 2(22) as follows:

wages' means all remuneration paid or payable in cash to an employee, if the terms of the contract of employment, express or implied, were fulfilled and includes other additional remuneration, if any ...but does not include:

(a) any contribution paid by the employer to any pension fund or provident fund under this Act;

(b) any traveling allowance or the value of any traveling concession;

(c) any sum paid to the parson employed to defray special expenses entailed on him by the nature of his employment; or

(d) any gratuity payable on discharge.

A cursory reading of the above definition of the term ' wages' will show that the amounts paid by the appellants as rewards can be classified as wages. The other additional remuneration paid to the workers as has been done in the present case has been described as wages in the Act. The learned counsel for the appellants was not justified in arguing that the amounts paid to the workers and trainees as rewards could not be termed as wages.

6. The next point urged by him was that Application No. 12 of 1960 filed by the Corporation was defective because it did not mention names of the workers in regard to whose wages the employees' contribution had been claimed. Although this point was not taken in the written statement filed by the appellants, but the Insurance Court dealt with the same in detail in the impugned order and found the omission of no consequence. Rule 13 of the Employees' Insurance Court Rules, 1949, framed under the Act enumerates the contents of the application which the Corporation was required to file under Section 75 of the Act and it is nowhere laid down that names of the workers in relation to whose wages the employees' or employers' contribution was claimed should have also been given. Farther, the Insurance Court observed that the appellants had already paid its employees' contribution and employers' special contribution in relation to the sums which they admittedly paid as regular wages to the employees and, as such, they were in the know of their names. Hence, it could not be said that they did not know the nature of the claim made by the Corporation against them. I agree with the Insurance Court that the Corporation's omission to mention the names of the employees in relation to whose wages the sum of Rs. 1,015 had been claimed in the application under Section 75(2) of the Act is not fatal to the proceedings.

7. The third point argued before me was of the limitation which has been settled by the decision of a Full Bench of this Court in United India Timber Works v. Employees State Insurance Corporation 1967-II L.L.J. 658, decided on 31 January 19S6, according to which the application made by the Corporation No. 12 of 1960, and the proceedings instituted by it for the recovery of Rs. 509, were in time.

8. The learned counsel for the appellants made a feeble attempt to show that Sri Hans Raj was not competent to sign, verify and present Application No. 12 of 1960. The Insurance Court, after referring to copies of the relevant orders placed on the record, came to the conclusion and rightly too that Sri Hans Raj had been appointed as Insurance Inspector, Ambala, and that Insurance Inspectors had been empowered by the competent authority to present such applications. The finding of the Insurance Court on issue (3A) that Sri Hans Raj was competent to sign, verify and present the application is affirmed.

The two appeals being without force are dismissed with costs.


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