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Report No. 62

1.4. Need for revision of the Act.-

It is hardly necessary to emphasise the need for revision of the Act. There have been far-reaching developments in the field of social security and industrial relations in India since the Act was passed, and it is obviously desirable that this beneficial piece of social legislation should be reviewed in the context of those developments. The Directive Principles in the Constitution1, to which we have briefly referred2, also lay emphasis, in particular, on the need to protect the health and strength of workers, the need to make effective provision for public assistance in cases of unemployment, sickness and disablement, and oil endeavours to secure to all workers decent conditions of work and on ensuring a decent standard of life.

It is not often realised that the provision for dependants in the Workmen's Compensation Act is specially intended to avoid want and penury, and is of direct relevance with reference to these directive principles. The concept of equality, which is one of the basic principles of the Constitution, has also provided inspiration for a revision of provisions resting on discrimination.

1. Articles 38, 39(e), 41 and 43 of the Constitution.

2. Para. 1.3, supra.

1.5. Apart from this, it may be noted that even before the Constitution, significant developments took place. India took a big step in 1948 towards social security for industrial employees, when the Employees' State Insurance Act was passed. Some of the provisions of that Act are of an enlightened nature, and naturally suggest the desirability of exploring the possibility of their being adopted in the Workmen's Compensation Act.

Workmens Compensation Act, 1923 Back

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