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Cooking of foodstuff in clubs amounts to manufacturing process and they are liable to pay contribution to employee under ESI Act, the Supreme Court today said directing the Delhi Gymkhana Club to pay the amount to its workers retrospectively from 1986.

A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur dismissed the appeal filed by the Club, one of the oldest clubs in the country, challenging Delhi High Court’s order directing it to pay ESI contribution for its employees.

“It is very unfortunate that the appellant-club has not paid the ESI contribution of its employees for more than three decades and is not justified in seeking prospective operation of the order,” the bench said, adding, “ESI contribution ought to have been paid when the demand was made in 1986.

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