The Karnataka High Court has actually dismissed an appeal by Group 4 Securitas questioning the order of the Staff members State Insurance coverage Court, in which it turned down the application of the appellant that it was not accountable to pay a contribution of Rs.65,20,855.18 figured out by the ESI Corporation.
A Department bench of Justice K S Mudagal and Justice Ramachandra D Huddar dismissed the appeal with an expense of Rs 1 lakh, payable to the Karnataka State Legal Provider Authority.
It stated “ The ESI Court on taking a look at all the pertinent files and sound gratitude of the oral and the documentary proof held that the appellant has actually not shown that the payments pointed out in the column “OT earnings” were the repayment of the conveyance charges, which is not liable for contribution. In reality the appellant was needed to negate the order under Area 45A of the Act and the products relied for the stated function. The ESI Court neither counted on inadmissible proof nor left out the factor to consider of any product files or proof.”
It was sent that on 03.08.2000, 29.08.2000, 12.09.2000 and 13.09.2000 the Inspector of the Corporation checked out the appellant’s facility at Bangalore and required for production of records for confirmation of contributions. After assessment, the ESI Inspector provided an observation slip dated 13.09.2000. According to the Inspector’s observation, the appellant was paying overtime earnings to its staff members in the camouflage of conveyance allowance to prevent payment of ESI contribution and had actually not accounted that for ESI contribution.
The Corporation appropriately served a notification on 19.10.2000 to the appellant declaring that based on their computation, the appellant was accountable to pay Rs.65,20,855, as ESI contribution in regard of its staff members and hired the appellant to justify why the stated quantity will not be recuperated. The appellant participated in the hearing on 20.11.2000 and asked for time to produce the files.
Afterwards, it was sent that the appellant did not produce the files. Eventually, the participants passed an order under Area 45A of the Act upon 08.02.2002 identifying that the appellant was accountable to pay Rs.65,20,855, towards contribution on overtime earnings of its staff members.
The appellant competed that the quantity shown under the head overtime wage was payment towards conveyance allowance of the staff members and not the overtime earnings. The appellant even more competed that it was not offered sensible chance of hearing. The appellant even more competed that the notification of hearing was not served on it.
The corporation opposed the plea stating that the appellant neither produced any records nor analyzed any of the staff members to reveal that such head portrayed the payment of conveyance charges or repayment of the conveyance charges. If such payment was made, definitely the appellant must have gathered the coupons from the staff members, however no such coupons were produced, it was argued.
The bench on going through the records kept in mind that participant’s Inspector provided notification outdated 12.09.2000 hiring the appellant to produce the following files for identifying the accuracy of the contribution. The stated notification was gotten by the appellant. The participants provided another notification dated 18.10.2000, explaining particular abnormalities in the payment of contribution and to correct the exact same.
It was kept in mind that the Regional Director of the Corporation provided notification outdated 19.10.2000 repairing the hearing date on 20.11.2000, however the appellant did not produce the files. Another notification dated 19.12.2000 was provided by the Corporation to the appellant offering the last chance of individual hearing on 09.01.2001, yet the appellant did refrain from doing the needful. Eventually, it was discovered that the Deputy Director of the Corporation passed an order dated 08.02.2002 under Area 45A of the Act identifying the contribution payable at Rs.65,20,855, for the duration April 1997 to July 2000.
Following which the bench observed “The above situations reveal that more than one year time was given to the appellant which makes up not just sensible chance pondered under Area 45A of the Act however considerable chance … the contention that the participants have actually not offered appropriate chance to the appellant throughout the hearing of the procedures under Area 45A of the Act brings no benefit.”
Court held that it was for the appellant to negate the accuracy of decision made under Area 45A of the Act.
The bench stated ” In today case because the records were not produced before the Corporation throughout decision under Area 45A of the Act, the ESI Court needed to accept such decision unless and up until the exact same was negated by the appellant.”
Describing the findings of the ESI court on the concern of proof led by the appellate to negate the claim of the participant, the bench held that the ESI Court on taking a look at all the pertinent files held that the appellant had actually not shown that the payments pointed out in the column “OT earnings” were the repayment of the conveyance charges, which is not liable for contribution.
” In reality the appellant was needed to negate the order under Area 45A of the Act and the products relied for the stated function. The ESI Court neither counted on inadmissible proof nor left out the factor to consider of any product files or proof” it held.
Turning down the prayer of the appellant to remand back the matter for fresh factor to consider, the court stated that the records of the case revealed that the appellant had actually stopped working to release its concern of negating decision made under the order under Area 45A of the Act which the impugned judgment was handed down weighing the proof and other products on record in a cautious way.
Appropriately it dismissed the appeal.
Look: Supporter J.Pradeep Kumar for Appellant
Supporter M N Kumar for Participant
Citation No: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 500
Case Title: M/s GROUP 4 SECURITAS GUARDING LIMITED AND The Regional Director, ESI Corporation.
Case No: Miscellaneous First Appeal No 7749/2013