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G.T.R. Co. Private Ltd. Vs. the Certificate Officer, 24 Parganas and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 565 (W) to 567 (W) of 1961
Judge
Reported inAIR1964Cal285,68CWN485,(1965)ILLJ380Cal
ActsEmployees' State Insurance Act, 1948 - Sections 73A, 73D, 75(2) and 75(3); ;Constitution of India - Article 227
AppellantG.T.R. Co. Private Ltd.
RespondentThe Certificate Officer, 24 Parganas and ors.
Appellant AdvocateKashikanta Moitra, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateN.C. Chakraborty and ;Satyasanti Mookerjii, Advs. (for Nos. 1 to 3 and 5) and ;Amiya Kumar Mookerjee, Adv. (for No. 4)
Excerpt:
- .....was started against the petitioner for a sum of rs. 3069.75 n.p., representing the employers' special contribution payable under the provisions of the employees' state insurance act 1948 thereinafter referred to as the 'said act'). the petitioner filed objection and it is stated that ultimately this certificate was set aside and cancelled. thereafter, the amount was split up and three different certificate proceedings were started, being nos. 64, 65 and 66 of 1959-60. it appears that the petitioner filed objections to these three certificates, but failed to appear at the hearing and the certificate officer disposed of the cases ex parte. against that, there was an application for review which failed. no appeals seem to have been preferred, but these applications have been taken out.....
Judgment:
ORDER

D.N. Sinha, J.

1. The petitioner in these cases is G. I. R. Company Private Ltd. which, it is stated, came into existence in 1934. A certificate case under the Public Demands Recovery Act, being Case No. 65 of 1959-60 was started against the petitioner for a sum of Rs. 3069.75 n.P., representing the employers' special contribution payable under the provisions of the Employees' State Insurance Act 1948 thereinafter referred to as the 'said Act'). The petitioner filed objection and it is stated that ultimately this certificate was set aside and cancelled. Thereafter, the amount was split up and three different certificate proceedings were started, being Nos. 64, 65 and 66 of 1959-60. It appears that the petitioner filed objections to these three certificates, but failed to appear at the hearing and the Certificate Officer disposed of the cases ex parte. Against that, there was an application for review which failed. No appeals seem to have been preferred, but these applications have been taken out in the writ jurisdiction.

2. Before me, Mr. Maitra appearing on behalf or the petitioner has taken two objections. He does not dispute that the employer's special contribution arises under Chapter V-A of the said Act the charging section being 73-A. He however argues that a certificate proceeding cannot be taken in respect of any special contribution stated to be due from the employer, without proceedings being taken first to adjudicate upon the same. He points out the provisions of Chapter VI of the said Act. This Chapter is headed 'adjudication of disputes and claims'. under Section 74, an Employees' insurance Court has been constituted, under Sub-section (2) of Section 75, a list has been set out or claims that are to be decided by the Employees Insurance Court. Clause (a) of Sub-section (2) relates to a claim, for the recovery of contribution from the principal employer. Clause (f) deals with any claim for the recovery of any benefit admissible under the said Act. Sub-section (3) of Section 75 lays down that no civil court shall have jurisdiction to decide, or to deal with, any question or dispute set out in Sub-sections (1) or (2) of Section 75 or to adjudicate on any liability which by or under the Act was to be decided by the Employees' Insurance Court. Mr. Maitra argues that the proper procedure was to determine the amount or liability of special contribution under Section 73A and if there is a dispute, to refer it to the Employees' Insurance Court. Plausible as this argument may seem, it is without any substance. Chapter V-A of the said Act was inserted as a special provision of a transitory r.afure, by Act 53 of 1951. The objects and reasons for introducing the legislative enactment shows that it was introduced for a temporary purpose and that the Chapter 'was to be considered as self-contained'. It is permissible to look into the objects and reasons for discovering the background of a particular legislation and to find out the evil which it is intended to remedy. The statemy it of objects and reasons contains the following sentence :--

'A new self-contained chapter is proposed providing for collection or employees' special contribution through-out the Union ..... Chapter can be withdrawnfrom the operation by the Central Government after giving three months' notice.'

3. If we look into the Chapter V-A, it will not only appear that it is headed with the expression 'Transitory provisions', but that the Chapter is intended to be a self-contained one. The general previsions in the said Act with regard to contribution by employers is to be found in Chapter. 17, commencing with Section 38. While that liability is described as a mere 'contribution', the liability under Section 73-A is called 'special contribution'. In Chapter V-A is laid down not only the nature of this special contribution to be paid by the employer, but it also contains the mode of recovery. In other words, the liability is created by the Chapter and the mode of enforcement of the liability is also contained therein. That mode is to be found in Section 73D, who provides that the employers special contribution payable judge this chapter may be recovered as were an arrear of land revenue.

This provision is not applicable to ordinary contributions, butonly regulate the matter of the liability created by chapter VA,namely, 'special contribution'. That being so, it followsthat the provisions of Chapter VI are not attracted andthat it is not necessary in such cases to have recourse tothe employees' insurance Court for the adjudication ofdisputes. The method to be adopted is the ordinary methodfor recovery of land revenue. As is well know, provisionslike the Revenue Recovery Act and the Public DemandsRecovery Act are applicable in such cases. In this case,the authorities proceeded under the Public Demands Recovery Act and notice having been given to the petitioner,it preferred an objection, which was subsequently heardand decided by the Certificate Officer, although thepetitioner, failed to be present. Any objection that thepetitioner had should have been ventilated under Section 9of the Public Demands Recovery Act, and in fact the petitionerdid prefer those objections under Section 9 of the saidAct. It is unfortunate that it failed to appear at thehearing, but that is a matter which I cannot take note of,for the purposes of this application. The petitioner had,or may still have, its remedies under the Public DemandsRecovery Act and may pursue it. This point accordinglyfails.

4. Mr. Maitra next put forward the point therequisitions in these cases were issued under the RevenueRecovery Act of 1890; but further proceedings were takenunder the Bengal Public Demands Recovery Act and that isnot permissible. This is a point which was not taken inthe courts below, and we do not know as to in what mannerrequisitions were made. It is a mixed questionof law and fact, and I cannot permit the petitioner totake this point for the first time in this applicable. Asa point of law, I do not see why a requisition cannotbe made under the Revenue Recovery Act and furtherproceedings taken order the Public Demands Recovery Act.But the form in which the question is raised involves anumber of facts. For example, Mr. Maitra has indicatedthat the requisition was made by the wrong person.Such questions cannot be decided without an investigationas to the facts. No such question was raised in the courtsbelow, and even in this application it has been taken byway of a 'ground' only. The necessary facts have notbeen stated in the body of the petition, under the circumstances,this point cannot be allowed to be urged and nodecision can be arrived at upon such pleadings.

5. The result is that these applications must fail.The Rules are discharged, interim orders, if any, are vacated.There will be no order as to costs. But this writbe without prejudice to the petitioner's right to agitateits objections in the certificate proceedings, in accordancewith law.


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