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Is ‘Appointment Letter’ or ‘Identity Card’ mandatory to receive compensation under the Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923

Recently the Delhi High Court (the Court) in the case of Maha Laxmi Hosiery v. Govind Singh and Anr, has clarified that an ‘Appointment Letter’ or the ‘Identity Card’ are not mandatory to be produced for receiving compensation under the Employee Compensation Act.

In the instant case, the Respondent was an employee of the Appellant, M/s Laxmi Hosiery. The Respondent met with an accident in 2008 that resulted in 62% disability. Aggrieved by the accident, he filed for compensation under the Employee Compensation Act, 1923 (Act). The Commissioner granted a compensation of Rs 2,87,136/ along with 12% interest. The Appellants then filed the present appeal against the decision of the Commissioner under Section 30 of the Act before the Court.

The Court while deciding whether an Employer-Employee relationship existed between the parties, observed that while the nature of the ‘Employer and Employee’ relationship is often established by copies of ‘Appointment Letter’ or ‘Identity Card’(documentation), it cannot be taken as the primary factor to judge the existence of such relationship. The Court held that the Respondent was a workman and the same could be adduced from the evidence provided by his co-workman and the reports of the Labour Inspector.  Further, referencing the Supreme Court judgement in Om Prakash Batish v. Ranjit, the High Court also stated that the Commissioner has the freedom to lay down procedures while adjudicating the claim on compensation, to rely upon such documents which are produced before it and there is no mandate to use procedural laws for the same.


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