Report No. 134
3.8. Need for amendment of the first proviso to section 30 providing that no appeal shall lie against an order for payment of compensation unless the amount in dispute is not less than three hundred rupees.-
The Legislature has, in its wisdom, engrafted a rider to the provision relating to appeals arising out of order for payment of compensation having regard to the pettiness of the amount involved. The concerned provision reads thus:-
"30. Appeals.-(1) An appeal shall lie to the High Court from the following orders of a Commissioner, namely:
(a) an order awarding as compensation a lump sum whether by way of redemption of a half-monthly payment or otherwise or disallowing a claim in full or in part for a lump sum;
(aa) an order awarding interest or penalty under section 4A;
(b) an order refusing to allow redemption of a half-monthly payment;
(c) an order providing for the distribution of compensation among the dependants of a deceased workman, or disallowing any claim of a person alleging himself to be such dependant;
(d) an order allowing or disallowing any claim for the amount of an indemnity under the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 12; or
(e) an order refusing to register a memorandum of agreement or registering the same or providing for the registration of the same subject to conditions:
Provided that no appeal shall lie against any order unless a substantial question of law is involved in the appeal and, in the case of an order other than an order such as is referred to in clause (b), unless the amount in dispute in the appeal is not less than three hundred rupees:
The Legislature had considered it appropriate not to confer a right of appeal when the sum involved is less than Rs. 300. This provision was made in 1923. Having regard to the fall in the value of the rupee and the erosion which has taken place in the wake of the inflation over a period of more than 50 years, the figure of Rs. 300 has become irrelevant and out of tune with the realities. Under the circumstances, in order that the provision serves some purpose, it requires to be modified by substituting the figure of Rs. 3,000 in place of Rs. 300 for two reasons.
Firstly, having regard to the steep rise in the litigation expenses, the parties are likely to spend nearly the amount involved (Rs. 3,000) in contesting the litigation. Ultimately, no party will gain from the transaction. Secondly, the appeal has been provided to the High Court and the High Court, being over-burdened with work, the dispute would remain in abeyance for very many years. In any case, in view of the changed circumstances, the figure of Rs. 300 in the first proviso to section 30(1) deserves to be substituted by the figure of Rs. 3,000 by a suitable amendment.