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Report No. 62

Chapter 7

Commissioners, Their Jurisdiction and Procedure

7.1. Introductory.-

Sections 19 to 26 deal with the appointment of Commissioners, their jurisdiction and procedure. Of course, the Act does not contain all the law of procedure that is applicable to the Commissioners because many of the matters are left to, rules.1 A certain amount of uniformity in procedure would, no doubt, be desirable; but, at the same time, having regard to the fact that Commissioners are appointed by the State Governments, and also in view of the need to maintain a certain measure of elasticity in proceedings before the Commissioner, the present Act has left the matter mostly to the rules confining itself to a few important matters, such as, the venue, the form of application, the power to call witnesses, the appearance of parties, the method of recording evidence, and costs.

The provisions being sketchy, there is not much room for improvement, except that such of the provisions as are based on the corresponding sections of the Code of Civil Procedure, now require re┬Čexamination, in view of the changes proposed in that Code.2 We should also note that the provision relating to application3 to the Commissioner suffers from a basic flaw4. The elementary (but fundamental) proposition that a claim may be made is missing. If there is no bar of limitation5, then, a claim may be entertained by the Commissioner-this proposition is given only an indirect recognition elsewhere in the Act6. The matter should, we think be dealt with more directly. We shall deal with the point in detail7 under section 22.

1. Sections 32(2)(c), (d), (f), (i), (j) etc.

2. See discussion relating to section 25.

3. Section 22.

4. See para. 7.13, infra.

5. Section 10.

6. Section 10.

7. Para. 7.13, infra.

Workmens Compensation Act, 1923 Back

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