3. DETERMINATION OF THE AMOUNT, INSPECTORS, RECOVERY (PoGA, 1972)

Section: 7 – Determination of the amount of gratuity.

(1) A person who is eligible for payment of gratuity under this Act or any person authorised, in writing, to act on his behalf shall send a written application to the employer, within such time and in such form, as may be prescribed, for payment of such gratuity.

(2) As soon as gratuity becomes payable, the employer shall, whether an application referred to in sub-section (1) has been made or not, determine the amount of gratuity and give notice in writing to the person to whom the gratuity is payable and also to the controlling authority specifying the amount gratuity so determined.

(3) The employer shall arrange to pay the amount of gratuity within thirty days from the date it becomes payable to the person to whom the gratuity is payable.

(3A) If the amount of gratuity payable under sub-section (3) is not paid by the employer within the period specified in sub-section (3), the employer shall pay, from the date on which the gratuity becomes payable to the date on which it is paid, simple interest at such rate, not exceeding the rate notified by the Central Government from time to time for repayment of long-term deposits, as that Government may, by notification specify:

Provided that no such interest shall be payable if the delay in the payment is due to the fault of the employee and the employer has obtained permission in writing from the controlling authority for the delayed payment on this ground.]

(4) (a) If there is any dispute as to the amount of gratuity payable to an employee under this Act or as to the admissibility of any claim of, or in relation to, an employee for payment of gratuity, or as to the person entitled to receive the gratuity, the employer shall deposit with the controlling authority such amount as he admits to be payable by him as gratuity.

(b) Where there is a dispute with regard to any matter or matters specified in clause (a), the employer or employee or any other person raising the dispute may make an application to the controlling authority for deciding the dispute.]

(c)The controlling authority shall, after due inquiry and after giving the parties to the dispute a reasonable opportunity of being heard, determine the matter or matters in dispute and if, as a result of such inquiry any amount is found to be payable to the employee, the controlling authority shall direct the employer to pay such amount or, as the case may be, such amount as reduced by the amount already deposited by the employer.

(d)The controlling authority shall pay the amount deposited, including the excess amount, if any, deposited by the employer, to the person entitled thereto.

(e)As soon as may be after a deposit is made under clause (a), the controlling authority shall pay the amount of the deposit –

(i) to the applicant where he is the employee; or

(ii) where the applicant is not the employee, to the nominee or, as the case may be, the guardian of such nominee or] heir of the employee if the controlling authority is satisfied that there is no dispute as to the right of the applicant to receive the amount of gratuity.

(5) For the purpose of conducting an inquiry under sub-section (4), the controlling authority shall have the same powers as are vested in a court, while trying a suit, under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), in respect of the following matters, namely :

(a) enforcing the attendance of any person or examining him on oath;

(b) requiring the discovery and production of documents,

(c) receiving evidence on affidavits;

(d) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses.

(6) Any inquiry under this section shall be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228, and for the purpose of section 196, of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860).

(7) Any person aggrieved by an order under sub-section (4) may, within sixty days from the date of the receipt of the order, prefer an appeal to the appropriate Government or such other authority as may be specified by the appropriate Government in this behalf:

Provided that the appropriate Government or the appellate authority, as the case may be, may, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from preferring the appeal within the said period of sixty days, extend the said period by a further period of sixty days.

Provided further that no appeal by an employer shall be admitted unless at the time of preferring the appeal, the appellant either produces a certificate of the controlling authority to the effect that the appellant has deposited with him an amount equal to the amount of gratuity required to be deposited under subsection (4), or deposits with the appellate authority such amount.]

(8) The appropriate Government or the appellate authority, as the case may be, may, after giving the parties to the appeal a reasonable opportunity of being heard, confirm, modify or reverse the decision of the controlling authority.

Section: 7A – Inspectors

(1) The appropriate Government may, by notification, appoint as many Inspectors, as it deems fit, for the purposes of this Act.

(2) The appropriate Government may, by general or special order, define the area to which the authority of an Inspector so appointed shall extend and where two or more Inspectors are appointed for the same area, also provide, by such order, for the distribution or allocation of work to be performed by them under this Act.

(3) Every Inspector shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860).

Section: 7B – Powers of Inspectors.

(1) Subject to any rules made by the appropriate Government in this behalf, an Inspector may, for the purpose of ascertaining whether any of the provisions of this Act or the conditions, if any, of any exemption granted there under, have been complied with, exercise all or any of the following powers, namely:

(a) require an employer to furnish such information as he may consider necessary

(b) enter and inspect, at all reasonable hours, with such assistants (if any), being persons in the service of the Government or local or any public authority, as he thinks fit, any premises of or place in any factory, mine, oilfield, plantation, port, railway company, shop or other establishment to which this Act applies, for the purpose of examining any register, record or notice or other document required to be kept or exhibited under this Act or the rules made there under, or otherwise kept or exhibited in relation to the employment of any person or the payment of gratuity to the employees, and require the production thereof for inspection;

(c) examine with respect to any matter relevant to any of the purposes aforesaid, the employer or any person whom he finds in such premises or place and who, he has reasonable cause to believe, is an employee employed therein;

(d) make copies of, or take extracts from, any register, record, notice or other document, as he may consider relevant, and where he has reason to believe that any offence under this Act has been committed by an employer, search and seize with such assistance as he may think fit, such register, record, notice or other document as he may consider relevant in respect of that offence;

(e) exercise such other powers as may be prescribed.

(2) Any person required to produce any register, record, notice or other document or to give any information by an Inspector under sub-section (1) shall be deemed to be legally bound to do so within the meaning of sections 175 and 176 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 (45 of 1860).

(3) The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) shall so far as may be, apply to any search or seizure under this section as they apply to any search or seizure made under the authority of a warrant issued under section 94 of that Code.]

Section: 8 – Recovery of gratuity.

If the amount of gratuity payable under this Act is not paid by the employer, within the prescribed time, to the person entitled thereto, the controlling authority shall, on an application made to it in this behalf by the aggrieved person, issue a certificate for that amount to the Collector, who shall recover the same, together with compound interest thereon at such rate as the Central Government may, by notification, specify,] from the date of expiry of the prescribed time, as arrears of land revenue and pay the same to the person entitled thereto :

Provided that the controlling authority shall, before issuing a certificate under this section, give the employer a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the issue of such certificate:

Provided further that the amount of interest payable under this section shall, in no case exceed the amount of gratuity payable under this Act.