Shamsher Bahadur, J.
1. This appeal is directed against the order of the Employees' Insurance Court, Delhi, decreeing the claim of the Employees' State Insurance Corporation against the appellant, Panipat Woollen Mills Tent Factory and another, for recovery of Rs. 9,186 as employees' contribution due for the period intervening 11 March 1961 and 30 June 1963.
2. The application of the respondent was made under Section 75 of the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948 (hereinafter called the Act), for recovery of employees' contribution in respect of the following amounts:
(1) Rs. 21,470.03 said to have been paid to its workers by the Panipat Woollen Mills and Tent Factory (hereinafter called the company) between 11 March 1961 and 31 March 1962.
(2) Rs. 3.45.867.74 in respect of the amount paid to the labourers employed by the contractor of the company between 11 March 1961 and 30 June 1963.
Holding that the company was liable to make these payments computation has been made on the basis of 2 1/2 per cent of Rs. 3,67,437.77 and an order has been made for the company to pay the Employees' State Insurance Corporation a sum of Rs. 9,186.
3. The pleas raised by the company gave rise to two substantial matters for determination, one relating to limitation and the other whether the contribution can be claimed at all in respect of the two sums.
4. With regard to limitation, the relevant provision is Rule 17 of the Delhi Civil Administration Employees' Insurance Courts Rules, 1949, framed under Clauses (a) to (c) of Sub-section (1) of Section 96 of the Act. It says:
Every application to the Court shall be brought within twelve months from the date on which the cause of action arose or as the case may be the claim became due:Provided that the Court may entertain an application after the said period of twelve months if it is satisfied that the applicant has sufficient reasons for not making the application within the Bald period.
Manifestly, the claim which was made in the application of 22 July 1963, would be barred by time for the period prior to 22 July 1962. On its own showing the respondent claimed in respect of the sum of Rs. 21,470.03 for the period intervening 11 March 1961 and 31 March 1962. For entertainment of this claim sufficient cause would be necessary under the proviso to Rule 17, Likewise, in respect of the other claim which is for the period between 11 March 1961 to 30 June 1963, it will have to be shown how the extension of time is possible for the period up to 22 July 1962. In the application itself, there is no mention of the reasons which would constitute sufficient cause for the extension of time. A specious plea is raised in the end of the petition to this effect:
That if the period of limitation is exceeded, the same may please be waived in view of the continuing default by the employer and the need for inspection of his books by the Inspector.
5. The point is never elucidated by an affidavit and all that appears to have weighed with the learned Insurance Court was that the Inspector made a note in the inspection notes of 19 June 1963 (Ex. P) that certain reward payments had been made and reference was also made to the wages which had been paid to the labour employed by the contractor. It is well-known that condonation of delay has to be specially pleaded and the delay of every single day has to be satisfactorily explained. If the delayed report of the Inspector is to be construed as a sufficient cause it would mean that all that is necessary is to make an inspection to cover up the delay. I am not at all satisfied that any good cause has been pleaded, much less established. In the circumstances, it is not necessary to discuss the second matter. The proceedings would now go back to the Insurance Court to determine what amount is payable by the appellant-company to the respondent for twelve months prior to the date when the application was made on 22 July 1963. The parties have been directed to appear before the Insurance Court on 29 October 1965. After the determination of this question, the Court would send the file of this case to this Court for determination of the other question, if found necessary.