All HC | Employees Compensation Act, 1923 is a piece of social security legislation, reiterated

Allahabad High Court: Dr Yogendra Kumar Srivastava, J., dismissed the petition on the ground that the Employees Compensation Commissioner has rightly observed that the respondents have duly complied with the provisions of Section 10 of the Employees Compensation Act and from the facts of the case it was clear that the petitioner wanted to linger the proceedings however the Bench was of the view that Employees Compensation Act, 1923 is a piece of social security legislation providing for a speedyEmployeesicient machinery for determination and payment of compensation to the employees. Thus, the impugned has been correctly passed as ex-parte.

In the pertinent case, the petitioner has moved to this Court to challenge the order dated 29.3.2019 passed by the Employees Compensation Commissioner/Assistant Labour Commissioner U.P. Gorakhpur whereby the application filed by the petitioner for recall of the orders dated 5.8.2016 and 28.7.2017 has been rejected.

The facts of the case are that the claim petition as Case No. WCC 2/2015, a registered notice dated 08.01.2016 was duly sent to the petitioner and it was only thereafter on 05.08.2016 that an order was passed for proceeding ex parte. 

The counsel for the petitioner had submitted that the orders in question were passed in proceedings which were ex-parte hence the same ought to have been recalled by the Employees Compensation Commissioner and the rejection of the recall application in the said circumstances is erroneous.

The Standing Counsel appearing for the State submitted that upon registration of the claim petition as Case No. W.C.C. 2/2015, a registered notice dated 08.01.2016 was duly sent to the petitioner and it was only thereafter on 05.08.2016 that an order was passed for proceeding ex parte. Therefore, the petitioner was fully aware of the proceedings and despite due notice it deliberately allowed the case to proceed ex-parte and as such there was no sufficient reason made out for the orders to be recalled. 

The High Court held that “…the order dated 28.7.2017 indicate that the Employees Compensation Commissioner has duly taken note that before filing of the claim petition the requisite notice of claim under Section 10 had been duly served upon the petitioner-employer and upon registration of the claim also a registered notice dated 8.1.2016 had been sent to the petitioner and only thereafter the order dated 5.8.2016 was passed directing the case to proceed ex-parte. It was subsequent thereto that the Employees Compensation Commissioner upon taking into consideration the facts of the case and the evidence on record had proceeded to allow the claim petition of the claimant respondent. 

The order dated 29.3.2019 passed upon the recall application filed by the petitioner also takes note of the fact that prior to filing of the claim petition the claimant had served a registered notice under Section 10 upon the petitioner-employer and in response to the same a reply had also been submitted by the employer admitting the factum of employment of the claimant with the petitioner. The order also records that after filing of the claim petition and despite issuance of notice the petitioner did not appear and allowed the case to proceed exparte and only after passing of the order dated 28.7.2017 awarding compensation and upon issuance of a show cause notice dated 9.12.2017 pursuant thereto the petitioner-employer filed the recall application. The Employees Compensation Commissioner has accordingly drawn an inference that the petitioner deliberately wanted to linger the proceedings and in the facts of the case where the claimant had suffered 100% disability and was not in a position to contest the proceedings further, taking into considering the larger interest of justice the recall application has been rejected. [Vasu Infrustucture Private Ltd. v. State of U.P.,  2019 SCC OnLine All 3535, decided on 23-09-2019]

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