Salary slip, IT Return acceptable as evidence to pay compensation: Bombay HC


MUMBAI: A salary slip which showed a standard deduction of professional tax was sufficient as proof of salary in the absence of a certificate issued by the relevant authorities to prove the salary being drawn by an individual, the Bombay high court ruled in a recent verdict, rejecting the appeal of an insurance company. The company had challenged the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal (MACT) ruling awarding 40.22 lakh compensation to the mother of a 26-year-old who died in an accident.

The insurance company’s lawyer Rahul Mehta told a bench of justice Bharati Dangre that MACT erred in calculating the quantum of compensation because it arrived at the amount solely on the basis of the salary slip.

Mehta argued that under section 65-B of the Evidence Act, the electronic record submitted by the mother in the form of the salary certificate should have been accompanied by a certificate identifying the electronic record and the manner in which it was produced.

Lawyer Baliram Kamble, appearing for the mother, submitted that apart from the salary slip, the MACT was also provided with the Form 16 which clearly stated the salary after deduction of professional tax and hence though a certificate as required under the Evidence Act was not submitted, the MACT had not erred in arriving at the quantum of compensation.

The man, who worked as an instructor at a Santacruz gym, was travelling on his motorcycle when a truck hit him on January 18, 2018 in Khardi village between Kalyan and Kasara. He succumbed to his injuries.

The judge ruled: “The learned counsel has justified in submitting that the salary certificate, which is extracted from the computer is not accompanied by the certificate issued under Section 65-B of the Evidence Act, making it inadmissible in evidence. However, the IT Return, which depicts the salary of the employee, is a conclusive proof of his earnings and by deducting the professional tax of Rs.200/- per month, which comes to Rs.2,400/-.”

“In my considered opinion, the tribunal was perfectly justified in computing the income based on IT Return Form No.16. Since no legal infirmity can be found in the impugned order, the appeal deserves a dismissal.”

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