84. Punishment for false statement.— Whoever, for the purpose of causing any increase in payment or benefit under this Act, or for the purpose of causing any payment or benefit to be made where no payment or benefit is authorised by or under this Act, or for the purpose of avoiding any payment to be made by himself under this Act or enabling any other person to avoid any such payment, knowingly makes or causes to be made any false statement or false representation, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 1[six months] or with fine not exceeding 2[two thousand] rupees, or with both.
3[Provided that where an insured person is convicted under this section, he shall not be entitled for any cash benefit under this Act for such period as may be prescribed by the Central Government.]
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 of 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].]
3[85-A. Enhanced punishment in certain cases after previous conviction. — Whoever, having been convicted by a Court of an offence punishable under this Act, commits the same offence shall, for every such subsequent offence, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 1[two years and with fine of five thousand rupees]:
Provided that where such subsequent offence is for failure by the employer to pay any contribution which under this Act, he is liable to pay, he shall, for every such subsequent offence, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2[five years but which shall not be less than two years and shall also be liable to fine of twenty-five thousand rupees].
85-B. Power to recover damages. — (1) Where an employer fails to pay the amount due in respect of any contribution or any other amount payable under this Act, the Corporation may recover 3[from the employer by way of penalty such damages, not exceeding the amount of arrears as may be specified in the regulations] :
Provided that before recovering such damages, the employer shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard :
4[Provided further that the Corporation may reduce or waive the damages recoverable under this section in relation to an establishment which is a sick industrial company in respect of which a scheme for rehabilitation has been sanctioned by the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction established under section 4 of the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985 (1 of 1986), subject to such terms and conditions as may be specified in regulations.].
(2) Any damages recoverable under sub-section (1) may be recovered as an arrear of land revenue 1[or under section 45-C to section 45-I].
*85-C. Power of Court to make orders. — (1) Where an employer is convicted of an offence for failure to pay any contribution payable under this Act, the Court may, in addition to awarding any punishment, by order, in writing, require him within a period specified in the order (which the Court may if it thinks fit and on application in that behalf, from time to time, extend), to pay the amount of contribution in respect of which the offence was committed 2[and to furnish the return relating to such contributions].
(2) Where an order is made under sub-section (1), the employer shall not be liable under this Act in respect of the continuation of the offence during the period or extended period, if any, allowed by the Court, but if, on the expiry of such period or extended period, as the case may be, the order of the Court has not been fully complied with, the employer shall be deemed to have committed a further offence and shall be punishable with imprisonment in respect thereof under section 85 and shall also be liable to pay fine which may extend to 3[one thousand] rupees for every day after such expiry on which the order has not been complied with.]
86. Prosecutions. — (1) No prosecution under this Act shall be instituted except by or with the previous sanction of the Insurance Commissioner 4[or of such other officer of the Corporation as may be authorised in this behalf by the 5[Director-General of the Corporation]].
1[(2) No Court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate of the First Class shall try any offence under this Act.]
(3) No Court shall take cognizance of any offence under this Act, except on a complaint made in writing in respect thereof 2[***].
3[86-A. Offences by companies.— (1) If the person committing an offence under this Act is a company, every person, who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly :
Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to, any neglect on the part of, any director or manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Explanation.— For the purposes of this section, —
(i) “ company ” means any body corporate and includes a firm and other associations of individuals ; and
(ii) “ director ” in relation to –
(a) a company, other than a firm, means the managing director or a whole-time director ;
(b) a firm means a partner in the firm.]