85. PUNISHMENT FOR FAILURE TO PAY CONTRIBUTIONS, ETC. –
If any person – (a) fails to pay any contribution which under this Act he is liable to pay, or
(b) deducts or attempts to deduct from the wages of an employee the whole or any part of the employer’s contribution, or
(c) in contravention of section 72 reduces the wages or any privileges or benefits admissible to an employee, or
(d) in contravention of section 73 or any regulation dismisses, discharges, reduces or otherwise punishes an employee, or
(e) fails or refuses to submit any return required by the regulations or makes a false return, or
(f) obstructs any Inspector or other official of the Corporation in the discharge of his duties, or
(g) is guilty of any contravention of or non-compliance with any of the requirements of this Act or the rules or the regulations in respect of which no special penalty is provided,
1[he shall be punishable—
2[(i) where he commits an offence under clause (a), with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years but—
(a) which shall not be less than one year, in case of failure to pay the employee’s contribution which has been deducted by him from the employee’s wages and shall also be liable to fine of ten thousand rupees;
(b) which shall not be less than six months, in any other case and shall also be liable to fine of five thousand rupees :
Provided that the Court may, for any adequate and special reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a sentence or imprisonment for a lesser term; (ii) where he commits an offence under any of the clauses (b) to (g) (both inclusive), with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to four thousand rupees, or with both.
(i) Offences on the part of the employer for non-compliance of the provisions of the Act does not get wiped off with the belated payment; Sub-Regional Office, E.S.I. Corporation v. Krishchand Shetty, 2005 LLR 853.
(ii) As a partner of the firm owning the factory, he is liable to be prosecuted for non-distribution of the identity/contribution cards; Shankar Bhattacharjee v. Bholanath Ghosh, (1987) 1 CLR 413 (Cal).
1. Subs. by Act 38 of 1975, sec. 4, for certain words (w.e.f. 1-9-1975).
2. Subs. by Act 29 of 1989, sec. 33, for clauses (i) and (ii) (w.e.f. 20-10-1989).