Workers should be involved in a plea before ESIC, concerning their interests

Employees State Insurance Corporation - Appellant


Bhakra Beas Management Board and Another – Respondent

Facts of the Case:
Appellant issued a notice under the Act (Employees State Insurance Act, 1948) for making employer's contribution towards the employee’s state insurance to respondent (respondent board). Respondent challenged the notice before the Employees State Insurance Court, Delhi. The Employees State Insurance Court decided in favour of the appellant and directed the respondent to pay its contribution towards employees insurance.

Respondent filed an appeal before High Court against the said order. The Court too approved of the appeal claiming that the sub-stations of the respondents do not fall under the purview of the Factories Act. Thus, appellant approached the Supreme Court by special leave.

Supreme Court pointed out that Labour statutes are meant for the benefit of the workmen and thus the respondents should have incorporated atleast some of the workmen in a representative capacity, or the trade-union representing the concerned workmen as a party. To this, it was argued by the respondent that as none of the concerned person was their employee it was becoming difficult to identify them. Then, the Supreme Court clarified that where there is question of or dispute as to whether any person is an employee of the employer concerned, or whether the employer is liable to pay the employer's contribution towards the said persons' insurance; it becomes a matter which has to be decided by the Employees Insurance Court.

Supreme Court while allowing the appeal held that the concerned person has to be heard before a determination is made of him not being an employee of the employer concerned. No order as to costs was mentioned.


Source: Labour Law Reporter, pg. no. 1262, Supreme Court of India, November 2009.


Also Check: Other Legal Aspects


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