Write an short note on Commissioners under Workmens Compensation Act.

Commissioners under Workmen’s Compensation Act

Appointment of Commissioners [Section 20] :

  1. The State Government may appoint any person to be a Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation for the specified areas.
  2. If more than one Commissioner has been appointed for any area, the State Government may, by general or specific order regulate
    the business between them.
  3. Every Commissioner shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code.
  4. Any Commissioner may choose one or more persons possessing special knowledge to assist him in holding the inquiry.

Jurisdiction of Commissioners : The parties are free to settle the matter amicably by the agreement. If the parties concerned could not settle the matter by mutual agreement, they may refer the matter for decision to the Commissioner for workmen’s compensation. According to, Section 19 of this Act, the Commissioner has jurisdiction over the following matters:

  1. Liability of any person to pay compensation,
  2. Whether a person injured is or is not .a workman,
  3. The nature and extent of disablement,
  4. The amount or duration of compensation.

No Civil Court has jurisdiction to settle, decide or deal with any question which is under this Act, required to be settled, decided or dealt by a commissioner.

Venue of Proceedings and transfer for Proceedings : As per Section 21, any matter under the Act to be done by or before a Commissioner, the same shall be done for the area in which

  • The accident took place which resulted in the injury or
  • The workman or in case of this death, the dependent claiming the compensation ordinarily resides or
  • The employer has his registered office.

Where any proceeding pending before the Commissioner is sought to be transferred before any other Commissioner, such transfer cannot be ordered by the Commissioner himself unless prior sanction of the State Government is obtained. If the second Commissioner works for another State, then prior approval of the Government of the State is required to be obtained for transfer.

Powers and Duties of the Commissioner: The powers and duties of the commissioner are:

  • To deposit and distribute compensation [Section 8].
  • Powers to require from employers statement regarding fatal accident (Section 10A).
  • Power of settlement of disputes [Section 19(1)].
  • Power of transfer [Section 21 (2)].
  • Power to require further deposit in case of fatal accident [Section 22A].
  • Power of Civil Court [Section 23].
  • Power to order costs [Section 26].
  • Power to submit cases [Section 27].
  • Power to withhold certain payments pending decisions of an appeal [Section 30A].
  • Power of recovery [Section 31].
  • Power and duty to record evidence.

The Commissioner shall have all the powers of a Civil Court for the following purposes:

  • Taking evidence on oath,
  • Enforcing the attendance of witnesses, and
  • Compelling the production of documents and material objects.

Appearance of Parties [Section 24] : Any appearance, application or act which is required to be made by any person before a Commissioner, may be made or done on behalf of such person by a legal practitioner or by an official of the insurance company or a registered trade union or by an Inspector appointed under the Factories Act 1948 or under Mines Act or any other officer authorized by the State Government.

Method of recording evidence: Section 25 provides that the Commissioner shall make a brief memorandum of the substance of the evidence of every witness. The memorandum should be written and signed by the Commissioner with his own hand and shall form past of the record.

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