Offences and Penalties in Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923

Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 incorporates provisions for offences and penalties to ensure compliance with the Act’s requirements. These provisions act as a deterrent against non-compliance and encourage employers to adhere to their obligations under the Act. Offences primarily involve the failure to pay compensation as required by the Act or failure to comply with other statutory requirements. The penalties are designed to enforce the provisions of the Act and ensure timely and fair compensation to workers who suffer from injuries arising out of and in the course of employment.

Key Offences and Penalties:

  1. Failure to Maintain NoticeBook (Section 20):

The Act requires employers to maintain a notice-book, which is accessible to workmen for entering details of accidents that could give rise to a compensation claim. Failure to maintain such a notice-book is punishable with a fine that may extend to five hundred rupees.

  1. Failure to Report Accidents (Section 10B):

Employers are required to report certain types of accidents to the authorities as prescribed under the Act. Failure to do so can result in penalties, though the Act specifies the exact fines for non-compliance under different state amendments and regulations.

  1. Obstruction (Section 21):

Any person who willfully obstructs a Commissioner in the discharge of his duties under the Act, or who willfully fails to produce on demand by a Commissioner any document in his power or control which the Commissioner believes to be relevant to any matter being investigated under the Act, is punishable with a fine that may extend to five hundred rupees.

  1. Non-Compliance with Orders (Section 22):

Employers who fail to comply with an order of a Commissioner under the Act can face enforcement actions, including the imposition of fines and other legal measures to ensure compliance.

  1. Penalties for False Statements (Section 23):

Making false statements or representations for the purpose of obtaining any benefit or affecting the entitlement of any person to a benefit under the act is punishable with a fine that may extend to five thousand rupees.

  1. General Provision for Penalties (Section 30A):

For offences for which no specific penalty is provided elsewhere in the Act, a general provision exists for a fine that may extend to a specified amount, ensuring a broad coverage for enforcing compliance with the Act’s provisions.

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