Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Another unusual feature of the Act is the method of payment for fatal accidents to adults. A list of dependants is given, but the amount of compensation is independent of both the number of dependants and the degree of their dependence. If any relative named in the list of dependants is found, the whole of the compensation must be disbursed, even though no surviving relative was actually dependent. The Commissioner has the sole responsibility of deciding which of the dependants should receive compensation and how the compensation should be divided among them. These arbitrary provisions naturally produce anomalies in some cases; it has happened that substantial sums were given to persons who were not dependent on the deceased. But this is rare; the great majority of adult Indian workmen leave widows and other close relations: and the absence of any requirement of proof of dependence is ordinarily a great boon to those who have the best title to compensation. Various modifications in the present system are possible and we have received a number of suggestions, but we agree with the view of the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation, Bengal, that the choice lies between the maintenance of the present system and a complete change to a system such as that of the British Act, which makes compensation vary with the degree of dependence and the number of dependants and requires proof of dependence. Each system has obvious advantages; but we are of opinion that for India a continuance of the system at present in force is, for some time at any rate, much the wiser course. The only change we suggest is the addition of widowed sisters and widowed daughters to the list of relatives ranking as " dependants ".