By Akarsh Sharma
New Delhi, Jun 25 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court has modified the Employee’s Compensation Agreed Procedure (2015) with a special scheme for Employee’s compensation claims, which shall be implemented by the Commissioners, Delhi Police and Insurance Companies, with effect from August 2, 2021.
A Single-Judge Bench of Justice JR Midha, in an appeal filed by The New India Assurance Co Ltd, directed the Commissioners (Employee’s Compensation) and Delhi Police to file quarterly reports before the committee with respect to the adjudication of claim cases and further directed the commissioners to expedite the claim and penalty processes.
Upon submission by Amici Curiae Rajeev Aggarwal, Satyam Thareja, Saurabh Prakash and SP Jain that the procedure needs to be suitably modified and for that a committee needs to be formed to supervise the implementation of the new scheme and take remedial measures, the court directed to form a six-member committee for successful implementation of the new scheme, the following are the members, Principal Secretary (Law, Justice & Legislative Affairs), GNCTD as Convenor; Secretary-cum-Commissioner (Labour), GNCTD; Member Secretary, DSLSA; DCP – Legal Cell, Delhi Police; Ms. Nandita Rao, Additional Standing Counsel, GNCTD; Mr. Akshay Chowdhary, Advocate.
It is further directed that the committee shall consider the reports submitted by the commissioner and Delhi Police are necessary for the successful implementation of this scheme. Further, The commissioner shall make an endeavor to decide these cases within the given timelines. In the case of non-compliance with the directions of the court, the Committee shall send their report to be placed in the personal file of the officer in default to be considered at the time of their promotion.
The court took the note that in 2015, the court exercised its power to regulate the procedure for expeditious disposal of Employees Compensation cases and formulated the Employee’s Compensation Agreed Procedure for time-bound settlement of employee’s compensation cases within 90 days to be implemented with effect from 01st September 2015.
In May 2017 the court noted that the Commissioners (Employee’s Compensation) were not complying with the mandatory provision of imposition of penalty on the employer under Section 4A (3) of the Employee’s Compensation Act and directed the commissioners (Employee’s compensation) to initiate penalty proceedings wherever the amount had not been deposited by the employer within 30 days from the due date and on a later date, the court directed commissioners to file a compliance report with respect to action taken in this regard.
On 19th February 2018, the Delhi High Court noted from the compliance reports that a penalty was imposed only in 143 out of 1578 cases in the last three years and there were other non-compliances against the directions passed by the court. It was further noted that the Delhi Police are not complying with the directions given by the High Court with respect to the filing of the Employee’s Accidents Report (EAR).
In March 2019 the Delhi High Court issued fresh directions for the filing of the status reports. However, the Delhi High Court observed that the Employee’s Compensation Agreed Procedure which was formulated by the Delhi High Court was based on the scheme laid down in Rajesh Tyagi vs Jaibir Singh, I (2015) ACC 838 (Del), and since the scheme in the Rajesh Tyagi case is modified by a January 2021 order, the Employee’s Compensation Agreed Procedure also needs to be formulated by a Special Scheme.
A few aspects of the special scheme for employee’s compensation claims formulated by Delhi High Court,
- The Police Immediately upon the receipt of the information of an accident, from any source, the Investigating Officer of Police shall inspect the site of the accident, take photographs, prepare a site plan and collect the relevant evidence/documents.
- The police shall make complete the investigation and shall submit the Employee Detailed Accident Report (EDAR) with the Commissioner (Employee’s Compensation) within 30 days of the accident.
- Commissioner, Employee’s Compensation to treat EDAR as information under Section 10A(1) of the Employee’s Compensation Act
- Duty of the Investigating Officer to issue notice to produce the employee/legal representatives of the deceased employee, employer and the eyewitnesses before the Commissioner, Employee’s Compensation along with the EDAR not later than 30 days.
- Copy of EDAR to be furnished to the claimants, employer, and the Insurance Company.
- Where the Investigating Officer is unable to complete the investigation within 30 days for reasons beyond his control, he shall seek an appropriate extension of time to file EDAR from the Commissioner.
- Investigating Officer to seek necessary directions from the Commissioner, Employee’s Compensation within 15 days in the event of failure of the employer, Insurance Company, claimants to disclose the relevant information and documents required to complete the EDAR.
- The police shall make an endeavor to complete the investigation of the criminal case within 30 days and shall submit the copy of charge-sheet before Commissioner, Employee’s Compensation.
- The concerned hospital shall issue the MLC and Post-Mortem Report, if any, to the Investigating Officer within 30 days of the accident.
- In case of Insurance Policy, the Insurance Company shall appoint a Designated Officer within 10 days of the receipt of a copy of the EDAR.
- Duty of employer and/or Insurance Company to submit the response to EDAR within 30 days.
- Award to be passed by the Commissioner, Employee’s Compensation within 90 days of the intimation of the accident.
- Examination of the claimants before the passing of the award with respect to proof of residence, bank account details of the claimant, specimen signature, etc.
- The Commissioner, Employee’s Compensation shall, depending upon the financial status and financial need of the claimant(s), release such amount as may be considered necessary and direct the remaining amount to be kept in fixed deposits in a phased manner.
- Penalty for delay in deposit of the compensation amount under Section 4A(3) shall be decided within 30 days from the day it fell due.
- Recovery certificate to be issued within 30 days of the award. ILNS/AKS/RJ