Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd. Vs. E.S.I. Corpn.& Ors. on 29th February, 2016, Supreme Court of India: Case Brief – Read Judgement

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Can Turf Club’s employees covered under Employees State Insurance Act, 1948?
Civil Appeal No. 49 of 2006
Bench: Justice V. Gopala Gowda; Justice Arun Mishra

Case Brief: The present case is brought as an appeal by the appellant where two issues were to be decided. However, the first major issue in the litigation was that whether the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 is having applicability in connection with the said Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd. This issue was decided by the Three- Judges bench and considered that the Turf club would fall under the meaning of the ‘Shop’ as per notification issued under the Act of 1948, thus having appellant covered under that Act. The another issue is placed before this bench that, whether casual workers are covered under the definition of employee under Section 2(9) of the Act of 1948 and whether Turf Club is liable to pay, pertaining to period for which, from 1978- 79 or from 1987. It is held by the concerned Bench in this case that the definition of employee under the Act is bringing various types of employees within its ken and as the law is welfare one its interpretation required to be done for ensuring extension of benefits to the employees and not to deprive them of the same. Moreover, the Section 36 of the Act is making provisions for the Contribution payable with respect to the employee. Moreover, this section is making it clear that the employees employed for a part of wage period is also covered for the purpose of contribution. Thus, the definition is observed as wide to cover ‘casual employees’ who are employed for part of wage period. Moreover, further the court observed that if the contribution is not paid, then it will carry 12 per cent per annum or higher rate of interest. Moreover, the court considered further more provisions under the Act, and observed that the casual employees cannot be deprived of beneficial provisions of the Act. Moreover, referring to the concerned Regulation, the Court further observed that the intendment of the said regulation is clear to cover the work rendered in part of wage period. Now, for the another issue of payment, the Court observed that as the departments in question of the Turf Club were covered under the Act and also the notification of 1978 is clear. Moreover, the Court observed looking to the proved facts that the Turf Club was covered under the Act since from 1968 as it was apparent from consent terms and by 1978’s notification, the race club departments are included. And also notably the Turf Club had complied the provisions of the Act from 1968. Thus, the court held that the Turf Club is liable to make the contribution as per notification 1978 with interest at given rates till actual payment.

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Read the Judgement: Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd. Vs. E.S.I. Corpn.& Ors.