Report No. 62
6.17. Section 16.- Section 16 deals with returns as to compensation and needs no change.
6.18. Section 17.-
Under section 17, any contract or agreement whereby a workman relinquishes his right of compensation would be null and void in so far as it purports to remove or reduce the liability of any person to pay compensation. In a Gujarat case1, the heirs of a deceased workman accepted an ex-gratia payment of a sum of money from the employer, giving up whatever legal rights they had to claim the amount by reason of death by the accident. The question arose whether a contract entered into after the liability arose is hit by section 17. It was held that the agreement was hit by section 17 and was void. There is nothing in the section which limits its operation to a contract or agreement entered into before the liability has arisen. The section applies irrespective of whether the contract (of the nature contemplated by the section) is made before or after the accident.
1. Channbalben v. Burjorji Sethna, 1972 ACJ 440 (Guj) cited in the Yearly Digest (1971), Col. 2610 (Akbar S. Sarela J.).