14. Insolvency of employer.—
(1) Where any employer has entered into a contract with any insurers in respect of any liability under this Act to any workman, then in the event of the employer becoming insolvent or making a composition or scheme of arrangement with his creditors or, if the employer is a company, in the event of the company having commenced to be wound up, the rights of the employer against the insurers as respects that liability shall, notwithstanding anything in any law for the time being in force relating to insolvency or the winding up of companies, be transferred to and vest in the workman, and upon any such transfer the insurers shall have the same rights and remedies and be subject to the same liabilities as if they were the employer, so, however, that the insurers shall not be under any greater liability to the workman than they would have been under the employer.
(2) If the liability of the insurers to the workman is less than the liability of the employer to the workman, the workman may prove for the balance in the insolvency proceedings or liquidation.
(3) Where in any case such as is referred to in sub-section (1) the contract of the employer with the insurers is void or voidable by reason of non-compliance on the part of the employer with any terms or conditions of the contract (other than a stipulation for the payment of premia), the provisions of that sub-section shall apply as if the contract were not void or voidable, and the insurers shall be entitled to prove in the insolvency proceedings or liquidation for the amount paid to the workman:
Provided that the provisions of this sub-section shall not apply in any case in which the workman fails to give the notice to the insurers of the happening of the accident and of any resulting disablement as soon as practicable after he becomes aware of the institution of the insolvency or liquidation proceedings.
(4) There shall be deemed to be included among the debts which under section 49 of the Presidency-towns Insolvency Act, 1909 (3 of 1909), or under section 61 of the Provincial Insolvency Act, 1920 (5 of 1920), or under 1[section 530 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956)], are in the distribution of the property of an insolvent or in the distribution of the assets of a company being wound up to be paid in priority to all other debts, the amount due in respect of any compensation the liability wherefor accrued before the date of the order of adjudication of the insolvent or the date of the commencement of the winding up, as the case may be, and those Acts shall have effect accordingly.
(5) Where the compensation is a half-monthly payment, the amount due in respect thereof shall, for the purposes of this section, be taken to be the amount of the lump sum for which the half-monthly payment could, if redeemable, be redeemed if applications were made for that purpose under section 7, and a certificate of the Commissioner as to the amount of such sum shall be conclusive proof thereof.
(6) The provisions of sub-section (4) shall apply in the case of any amount for which an insurer is entitled to prove under sub-section (3), but otherwise those provisions shall not apply where the insolvent or the company being wound up has entered into such a contract with insurers as is referred to in sub-section (1).
(7) This section shall not apply where a company is wound up voluntarily merely for the purposes of reconstruction or of amalgamation with another company.
Section 14 does not operate as a prohibition against any proceeding
Section 14 does not operate as a prohibition against any proceedings before the Workmen’s Compensation Commissioners invoking the insurer who is liable under a contract of insurance to discharge the liability of the employer to compensate the workmen, according to the provisions of the Workmen’s Compensation Act. United India Insurance Co. v. Gangadharan Nair, (1987) LLJ 448.
1. Subs. by Act 30 of 1995, sec. 7, for “section 230 of the Indian Companies Act, 1913 (7 of 1913)” (w.e.f. 15-9-1995).