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Section 15 – Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923

Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923



15. Special provisions relating to masters and seamen. —


15. Special provisions relating to masters and seamen. —This Act shall apply in the case of workmen who are masters of 1[***] ships or seamen subject to the following modifications, namely:—


(1) The notice of the accident and the claim for compensation may, except where the person injured is the master of the ship, be served on the master of the ship as if he were the employer, but where the accident happened and the disablement commenced on board the ship, it shall not be necessary for any seaman to give any notice of the accident.


(2) In the case of the death of a master or seaman, the claim for compensation shall be made within 2[one year] after the news of the death has been received by the claimant or, where the ship has been or is deemed to have been lost with all hands, within eighteen months of the date on which the ship was, or is deemed to have been, so lost:


3[Provided that the Commissioner may entertain any claim to compensation in any case notwithstanding that the claim has not been preferred in due time as provided in this sub-section, if he is satisfied that the failure so to prefer the claim was due to sufficient cause.]


(3) Where an injured master or seaman is discharged or left behind in any part of 4[India or] 5[in any foreign country] any depositions taken by any Judge or Magistrate in that part or by any Consular Officer in the foreign country and transmitted by the person by whom they are taken to the Central Government or any State Government shall, in any proceedings for enforcing the claim, be admissible in evidence—


(a) if the deposition is authenticated by the signature of the Judge, Magistrate or Consular Officer before whom it is made;


(b) if the defendant or the person accused, as the case may be, had an opportunity by himself or his agent to cross-examine the witness; and (c) if the deposition was made in the course of a criminal proceeding, on proof that the deposition was made in the presence of the person accused,


and it shall not be necessary in any case to prove the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed any such deposition and a certificate by such person that the defendant or the person accused had an opportunity of cross-examining the witness and that the deposition if made in a criminal proceeding was made in the presence of the person accused shall, unless the contrary is proved, be sufficient evidence that he had that opportunity and that it was so made.


7[(4)] No 8[half-monthly payment] shall be payable in respect of the period during which the owner of the ship is, under any law in force for the time being 9[***] relating to merchant shipping, liable to defray the expenses of maintenance of the injured master or seaman.


10[(5) No compensation shall be payable under this Act in respect of any injury in respect of which provision is made for payment of a gratuity, allowance or pension under the War Pensions and Detention Allowances (Mercantile Marine, etc . ) Scheme, 1939, or the War Pensions and Detention Allowances (Indian Seamen, etc.) Scheme, 1941, made under the Pensions (Navy, Army, Air Force and Mercantile Marine) Act, 1939 (2 &3 Geo. 6, c. 83), or under the War Pensions and Detention Allowances (Indian Seamen) Scheme, 1942, made by the Central Government.


(6) Failure to give a notice or make a claim or commence proceedings within the time required by this Act shall not be a bar to the maintenance of proceedings under this Act in respect of any personal injury, if—


(a) an application has been made for payment in respect of that injury under any of the schemes referred to in the preceding clause, and


(b) the State Government certifies that the said application was made in the reasonable belief that the injury was one in respect of which the scheme under which the application was made makes provision for payments, and that the application was rejected or that payments made in pursuance of the application were discontinued on the ground that the injury was not such an injury, and


(c) the proceedings under this Act are commenced within one month from the date on which the said certificate of the State Government was furnished to the person commencing the proceedings.]



1. The word “registered” omitted by Act 15 of 1933, sec. 10.


2. Subs. by Act 8 of 1959, sec. 11 for “six months” (w.e.f. 1-6-1959 ).


3. Added by Act 8 of 1959, sec. 11 (w.e.f. 1-6-1959 ).


4. Ins. by the A.O. 1950.


5. Subs. by Act 22 of 1984, sec. 4, for “His Majesty’s dominions or in any other foreign country” (w.e.f.1-7-1984).


6. Clause (4) omitted by Act 9 of 1938, sec. 7.


7. Clause (5) re-numbered as clause (4) by Act 9 of 1938, sec. 7


8. Subs. by Act 7 of 1924, sec. 2 and Sch. I, for “monthly payment”.


9. The words and letters “in Part A States and Part C States” omitted by Act 3 of 1951, sec. 3 and Sch.


10. Subs. by Act 1 of 1942, sec. 2, for clause (5) (w.e.f. 3-9-1939 ). Earlier clause (5) was inserted by Act 42 of 1939, sec. 2.



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Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923


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