Jharkhand High Court| Date of application or Date of death – From when is the monetary compensation on account of death of an employee to be paid?

Jharkhand High Court

   

Jharkhand High Court: S.N. Pathak, J., allowed the writ petition directing Central Coalfields Limited (‘CCL') to modify the monetary compensation in case of death or an employee who died in harness, calculating it from date of death of the husband of the petitioner.

The petitioner prayed to direct the respondents to pay the monetary compensation, arrear and interest from the date of death of her husband i.e., 02-09-2018, who was in service of CCL and died in harness.

Facts:

The husband of the petitioner was appointed in the service of CCL on 02-09-1985. The petitioner was left with 3 daughters after the death. One of the daughters applied for compassionate employment within the time limit as per National Coal Wage Agreement (‘NCWA'). However, the claim was accepted and the petitioner was advised to apply for monetary compensation in response to which the petitioner applied for grant on 14-02-2020. In response the respondent demanded to submit some documents and directed the petitioner to appear at Gandhi Nagar hospital. In spite of completion of all the formalities the respondent did not pay the compensation. Therefore, the petitioner preferred this writ petition.

Arguments:

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is entitled to receive monetary compensation and the respondent cannot delay the matter. It was also brought to the notice of the Court that the issue regarding the date of payment has already been decided by the Division Bench on 07-07-2020, wherein the Court has opined that the monetary compensation has to be paid from the date of death of the said employee and not from the date of making application for payment of monetary compensation.

The counsel for the respondent submitted that the petitioner submitted a representation on 05-09-2018 with regard to information of the death of the deceased. It was brought to the notice of the Court that the daughter who applied for compassionate employment is married and there are no provisions/rules/schemes for the employment of a married daughter in the respondent company. Therefore, the petitioner was advised to make an application for payment of monetary compensation. Further, it was argued that according to the guidelines of the respondent company, monetary compensation has to be made from the first day of the following month on which the application was made for monetary compensation. In this case, the application was made in the month of August hence the payment will be made w.e.f. 01-09-2020 and accordingly a sum of Rs.26,292.97 was granted.

Observation and Analysis:

The Court observed that there is no stipulation made in NCWA that monetary compensation will be paid from the date of application hence the Court directed to the respondent that monetary compensation will be payable from the date of cause of action, death of the employee. The Court also directed the respondent not to make any addition in NCWA making the monetary compensation payable from the date of application.

[Dibya Jani v. Central Coalfields Ltd, 2022 SCC OnLine Jhar 646, decided on 20-06-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Abhijeet Kr. Singh, Advocate, Counsel for the Petitioner;

Mr. Darshna Poddar Mishra, AAG-I, Advocate, Counsel for the Respondents.

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