In the present scenario no proof is available then ultimately the employer is responsible. If you are able to investigate and get a proof then check for his ESI card etc., and support the family in getting related benefits from various offices like ESI / PF / Labour welfare fund etc., etc., Pl do it fast failing which this will become a big issue.
A contractor cannot employ excess no of labour than he is licensed. And he is responsible to maintain different registers prescribed by the CLRA 1970. You should go by one of the register named Muster Roll cum Attendance Register.
In this case it seems that you are a Principle Employer, so you must have given the undertaking/declaration in Form V of the said Act. In my opinion the contractor has the responsibility to pay the compensation, and you are responsible to ensure that the right compensation has been paid to heirs of the workmen. And if contractor refuses then responsibility of compensation is yours.
2. What was the cause of death, whether natural or accident while on duty? Compensation will depend on this fact.
3. As a principal employer Government is under obligation to compensate if Contractor refuses.
4. If he was covered under ESI Scheme, then it will be a saving grace otherwise the Compensation will be decided on the basis of Workmen Compensations Act by the authority under the Act.
5. Please be liberal with the bereaved family.
As principal Employer you are liable for settling Death Claim of a Contract Employee.It is a Death while on duty.The following Benefits are payable to the deceased Family:
Gratuity Payable by Principal Employer
EPF,EPS &EDLI-Claim from EPF Department
If Employee was covered under ESI-Pension to Spouse & Funeral Benefit of Rs10,000/- Payable by ESIC
If Deceased Employee is not covered under ESI, Deceased Family should be Paid Compensation as per The Employees Compensation Act by The Principal Employer.
If the deceased worker has not be on rolls of any licensed contractor, please ensure that his name is included in the muster of that licensed contractor, from the first date of the month in which accident happened i.e., June 17, and immediately cover his name and particulars in the ESIC, through the licensed contractor. Also submit the detailed accident report to the ESIC Branch office and the nearby ESI dispensary. If there is no ESI coverage in your area, please check whether you already have Insurance coverage under Employees' compensation Act.
This would save you from your liability to a certain extent and also ensure reasonable amount of compensation is provided to the dependent family members.