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Employees State Insurance Corporation Vs. Roopchand and Co. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberLetter Patent Appeal No. 133 of 1973
Judge
Reported in1981RLR50
ActsEmployees State Insurance Act - Sections 75(2); Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Sections 11
AppellantEmployees State Insurance Corporation
RespondentRoopchand and Co.
Advocates: K.N. Kataria,; D.S. Singh and; I.D. Gupta, Advs
Excerpt:
the case questioned whether principles of rest judicata were applicable to determination of claim made by employees insurance court under employees state insurance act, 1948 - it was held that principles of rest judicata were applicable to determination of claim by employees insurance court. - - he then held 'where either of the parties moves the insurance court u/s 75 of the act for adjudication of the dispute, a decision on the same would operate as rest judicata and where the court has dismissed the petition on the ground that the petitioner had stated that his claim had been satisfied out of court, the court would be justified in passing an order dismissing the petition and the same would operate as rest judicata in the present proceedings.s.b. wad, j. (1) a short question for determination in this appeal is whether principles of rest judicata are applicable to determination of claim by employees insurance court under employees' state insurance act, 1948. insurance court and the learned single judge (exercising the appellate power u/s 82 of the act) held that the principles are applicable and dismissed the appellant's claim. (2) the appellant started a proceedings against the respondents u/s 75(2) of the act for payment of contribution towards provident fund. the period for which the proceedings was initiated was 1st january, 1961 to 31st march, 1964 and period prior to january, 1961. the claim for the latter period was to be worked out on the production of books of account by the respondent. on 6.8.1965 one t.n. sharma,.....
Judgment:

S.B. Wad, J.

(1) A short question for determination in this appeal is whether principles of rest judicata are applicable to determination of claim by Employees Insurance Court under Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948. Insurance court and the learned single judge (exercising the appellate power u/s 82 of the Act) held that the principles are applicable and dismissed the appellant's claim.

(2) The appellant started a proceedings against the respondents u/s 75(2) of the Act for payment of contribution towards provident fund. The period for which the proceedings was initiated was 1st January, 1961 to 31st March, 1964 and period prior to January, 1961. The claim for the latter period was to be worked out on the production of books of account by the respondent. On 6.8.1965 one T.N. Sharma, Inspector of the Corporation made the following statement before Insurance Court : ''the realisation has been effected and so the application be dismissed.' Payment of Rs. 1118.32 was actually received by the corporation before making of the said statement. The Insurance Court, in terms of the said statement, dismissed the case In 1966, the appellant started the present proceeding demanding contribution for period between 1.1.1961 to 31.3.1964. This period was already covered in the first proceeding. The Insurance Court rejected the claim for contribution on the principles of Order 2 Rule 2 and rest judicata. The court held that in view of the statement of Sharma dt. 6.8.1965, it must be presumed that the appellant had abandoned the said claim. That order was passed on 28.10.1966. V.D. Misra, J. who heard the Corporation's appeal exparte, allowed the appeal and remanded the case. It appears that at the initiative of the respondents, the appeal was restored and reheard. This time by B.C. Misra, J. The learned Judge, reviewed the entire case law and the provisions of the Act. He then held 'where either of the parties moves the Insurance Court u/s 75 of the Act for adjudication of the dispute, a decision on the same would operate as rest judicata and where the court has dismissed the petition on the ground that the petitioner had stated that his claim had been satisfied out of court, the court would be justified in passing an order dismissing the petition and the same would operate as rest judicata in the present proceedings.'

(3) We are in entire agreement with the learned Judge in the enunciation of law and Law Reporter the re.sult of the proceedings. As pointed out by Supreme Court, rest judicata is not a mere technical rule of evidence. It incorporates a sound principle of public policy and is of universal application to all judicial proceeding. It is not necessary that the proceedings should be strictly civil proceedings, conducted according to Civil Procedure Code . in a proper civil court. la Burn & Co. v. Their Employees (A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 38), the principle was extended to industrial adjudication. In Shankar Sitaram Vs . Bulkrhana : [1955]1SCR99 it was applied to land acquistion proceedings. We have no hesitation in applying it to proceeding under Employees' State Insurance Act.

(4) Mr. Sharma, the inspector of the Corporation, admitted payment without any reservation. His was a plea of satisfaction of claim. He also went further to state that the petition should be dismissed.

(5) For the reasons stated above, we dismiss the appeal. Parties to bear their own costs.


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