Telangana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

   

Telangana High Court: M Laxman, J. allowed the appeal and remanded the matter for adjudication on merits and held that the deceased beedi worker falls under the definition of ‘workman' as per Section 2(n)(ii) and Clause 2 of Schedule II of Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923 as well as Section 2(k) of Factories Act, 1948.

A claim was filed seeking compensation under Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923 on death of Yeddandi Yellavva, who is the daughter of the appellant herein which was thereby dismissed. Thus, the present appeal was filed assailing the dismissal order as the death happened during the course of employment while rolling the Beedies.

The Court observed that on perusal of Section 2(n) of the Employees' Compensation Act, 1923 states that any person employed in any such capacity as is specified in Schedule-II, comes under the definition of ‘Workman'. Clause 2 of Schedule-II clearly shows that any person employed otherwise than in clerical capacity in any premises or within the precincts where the manufacturing process is defined under Section 2(k) of Factories Act, 1948 will fall under the definition of ‘workman'.

Further, it was noted that Section 2(k) Factories Act, 1948 also makes it clear that the process of making any article or substance with a view to usage, sale, transport, delivery or disposal is constituted as manufacturing process. The rolling of Beedies is nothing but making of any article or substance with a view to usage or sale or transport. Therefore, the activity of the deceased being the Beedi roller, clearly falls within the definition of a workwoman.

The Court thus held “the order of the Commissioner for Employees Compensation and Assistant Commissioner of Labour at Karimnagar, requires being set aside. The matter requires to be remanded for adjudication of the claim on merits”

[Yeddandi Venkataiah v. Prabhudas Kishoredas Tobacco Products Ltd., C.M.A.No.2065 of 2002, decided on 09-06-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

K. Vasudeva Reddy, Advocate, for the Appellants;

B.G. Ravinder Reddy, Advocate, for the Respondents.


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: Bharati Dangre, J., Whether the Insurance Company can be absolved of its liability to pay compensation under the Employees Compensation Act, 1923, if the employee who has succumbed to an accident which took place during the course of employment, is a minor?

Appellants filed a claim based on the premise that the deceased was aged 18 at the time of the accident and was receiving wages of Rs 5,500 per month and compensation of Rs 6,22,545 was assessed.

The insurer opposed the above-said claim before the Commissioner/Labour Court, and it was disputed that the accident suffered by the deceased arose out of or in the course of employment with the OP.

Further, it was denied that there was any nexus between the alleged injury and the alleged accident and since the police papers revealed the deceased’s age was 15 years, it was stated that the claim was not maintainable under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923, hence the same shall be dismissed.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 does not prohibit payment of compensation to a minor.

There is no age limit for a person to be employed as an employee under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, though Article of the Constitution of India, employment of child labour before 14 years in any factory or mine or any hazardous employment, there are enactments in the form of Child & Adolescent Labour (Prohibition & Regulation Act), 1986 where engaging services of children below 14, in any hazardous avocation, is an offence.

Elaborating further, it was stated that Workmen’s Compensation Act is a beneficial piece of legislation and if a person engaged by an employer, as an employee is a minor and his appointment, though is prohibited by any law in existence, meet with an accident and sustain a disability which can be a total or partial disability, the moot question is:

Whether an employee should be denied the compensation merely on the ground that the employer had engaged him by contravening the law and he shall be kept out of the benefits which would have been otherwise available to him on account of an accident which he has suffered, which occurred in his workplace and out of the course of his employment or whether his family can be denied compensation on his death?

Bench expressed that the impugned decision took a harsh stand and refused to fasten liability of compensation on the Insurance Company by recording that the deceased was a minor and insurance company was not liable to pay compensation on the said ground.

The insurance policy in the present matter clearly covered two persons and the liability covered a person employed by the insured for operation and maintenance or loading/unloading which covered a cleaner.

Labour Court’s approach defeated the very spirit and rationale behind the Employees Compensation Act and the claimants who were the parents of the deceased were held entitled to recover compensation only from the employer with very negligible chance of recovering the compensation.

High Court disapproved the above approach of the labour court and opined that the Insurance Company cannot be absolved of its liability to pay compensation to the claimants, the dependents of the deceased. Therefore, the impugned judgment of the Commissioner was modified to the limited extent of fixing the liability jointly and severally upon the employer and the Insurance Company.

First Appeal No. 246 of 2015

In this matter, Insurance Company was aggrieved by the award of compensation to the parents of the deceased, who succumbed to the injuries in the accident.

Labour Court had directed the employer and the Insurance company jointly and severally liable to pay compensation.

Claimant 1 had set up a claim under the Workmen’s Compensation Act by filing the application claiming that his son was employed by the OP on his Motor Tempo as loader and the said tempo met with an accident due to which the son died.

High Court stated that when the written statement on oath before the Commissioner and the certificate issued by the employer is juxtaposed against his statement recorded by the police during the course of investigation, the statement recorded under oath, admitting that deceased Deepak was his employee, assumed importance.

Bench expressed that in view of the inconsistency in the statement given to the police by the employer, denying any employer-employee relationship on one hand and the statement on oath filed in the form of written statement before the Commissioner, the Commissioner has rightly given weightage to the statement on oath and accepted the employer-employee relationship.

In view of the above, Court found no reason to interfere with finding of the Commissioner. [Mohammed Ali Abdul Samad Khan v. Dawood Mohd. Khati, 2021 SCC OnLine Bom 6670, decided on 10-12-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr. Amol Gatne i/b Ms. Swati Mehta for the appellants in First Appeal No.169 of 2014 and for the respondents in First Appeal No.246 of 2015.

Mr. D.R. Mahadik for the appellant in FA No.246/2015 and for respondent in FA No.169/2014.

Tripura High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Tripura High Court: A Single Judge Bench of  S. Talapatra J., addressed a petition seeking claim under the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 by stressing upon the categories of employees constituted under the definition of ‘employee’ under Section 2(dd) of the said Act.

The deceased for whom the compensation was being claimed by the appellant was an employee working under the ‘MGNREGA’ scheme. The Appellant has claimed the compensation under Section 4 of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 stating that her husband died in the course of the employment as he suffered from chest pain during the time he was working on the land under the ‘MGNREGA’ scheme.

The Commissioner of Employee’s Compensation further in regard to providing clarity on the point of whether the employee was entitled to claim compensation under the above-referred act observed the definition of ‘employee’ under Section 2(dd) of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923, and in accordance to that in his opinion an employee under the scheme of ‘MGNERGA’ will not be covered under the said definition of ‘employee’ under the said Act.

Therefore, the Hon’ble Court, concluded by appreciating the submissions of the learned counsel of the parties along with no discrepancy on the submissions placed by the Commissioner of Employee’s stated that there is no material found which could cover the deceased under the definition of ‘employee’ in Section 2(dd) of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 which lead to the dismissal of the appeal. [Rirasatnai Halam v. State of Tripura,2018 SCC OnLine Tri 115, order dated 12-06-2018]