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Workmen compensation Act – whether the employee’s ischemic heart condition developed as a consequence of any stress or strain of his employment with the Appellant-company. – remanded = The Commissioner, Workmen’s Compensation (1st Court), West Bengal held on 24.6.2010 that the Applicant/Respondent had met with an accident on 27.12.1999 while in the employment of the Appellant and that considering his age, wages and injury he was entitled to compensation computed at Rs.12,00,000/- (Rupees Twelve Lac) which is the maximum awardable, together with simple interest at the rate of twelve per cent per annum till the date of realization. = His argument is that this health malady has not arisen as a consequence of the Respondent’s services with the Appellant, and hence no compensation was payable under Section 3 of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 which comes into operation only in the event of an employee suffering personal injury caused by an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment.= whether the employee’s ischemic heart condition developed as a consequence of any stress or strain of his employment with the Appellant-company. There can be no gainsaying that the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 is a beneficial legislation requiring some play at the joints so far as considering a disabled employee’s claim is concerned. In these circumstances, parties shall appear before the Commissioner, Workmen’s Compensation (1st Court) West Bengal or its successor Court, as the case may be, on 11.11.2013. 4. The Appeal stands allowed accordingly.= A perusal of the impugned order makes it palpably clear that the Appellant-company’s Appeal was dismissed following the decision in FMAT No.1327 of 2010 (Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. v. P.K. Bhattacherjee). In these circumstances, this matter also requires to be remanded to the High Court of Calcutta for a fresh hearing in F.M.A. No.869 of 2010. Parties to appear before the High Court on 18.11.2013. 6. The Appeal stands allowed accordingly.

published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40779

 

English: The supreme court of india. Taken abo...

English: The supreme court of india. Taken about 170 m from the main building outside the perimeter wall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

NON-REPORTABLE

 
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8278 OF 2013
[Arising out of S.L.P.(C)No.26414 of 2011]

 

 

 
Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. …..Appellant

 
Versus

 
P.K. Bhattacherjee …..Respondent

 
W I T H
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8279 OF 2013
[Arising out of S.L.P.(C)No.13296 of 2012]

 
J U D G M E N T

 

 

 
VIKRAMAJIT SEN, J.

 
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8278 OF 2013
[Arising out of S.L.P.(C)No.26414 of 2011]

 
1. Leave granted. We have heard learned counsel for the parties in
detail. The Commissioner, Workmen’s Compensation (1st Court), West
Bengal held on 24.6.2010 that the Applicant/Respondent had met with
an accident on 27.12.1999 while in the employment of the Appellant
and that considering his age, wages and injury he was entitled to
compensation computed at Rs.12,00,000/- (Rupees Twelve Lac) which
is the maximum awardable, together with simple interest at the rate
of twelve per cent per annum till the date of realization. The
Appellant thereafter approached the High Court of Calcutta but
without success as the Division Bench, by its judgment dated
12.8.2011, has dismissed the Appeal. It held that the Respondent,
at the concerned time, was on duty on Board on one of the
Appellant’s vessels and that “this would mean that he was on duty,
any affliction or injury during such time would come within the
ambit of Section 3 of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 (the
erstwhile Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923, till its amendment by
Act 45 of 2009).” It is evident that the Respondent-employee has
succeeded concurrently both on facts as well as on law.
2. Mr. Jaideep Gupta, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of
the Appellant has laid emphasis on the fact that the
Respondent/Claimant was diagnosed immediately after 27.12.1999 to
be suffering an ischemic heart ailment, rendering it legally
impermissible for the Appellant-company to continue any further
with his services. His argument is that this health malady has not
arisen as a consequence of the Respondent’s services with the
Appellant, and hence no compensation was payable under Section 3 of
the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 which comes into operation
only in the event of an employee suffering personal injury caused
by an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment.
The contention on behalf of the Appellant-company is that an
ischemic heart condition is personal to the constitution of the
Respondent, totally unrelated to his service. Although ordinarily
we would be loathe to peruse the evidence led by the parties
especially encountering concurrent conclusions, we have done so in
the present case. The Employee’s Compensation Act is intended for
the benefit of an employee, and quintessentially is a no-fault
liability. It appears to us that both the Courts below have
misdirected themselves in law in that because the illness of the
employee was discovered while he was in actual service it has led
them to the conclusion that compensation is payable under Section 3
of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923. We are also mindful of
the fact that the Commissioner, being the Court of first instance,
has held that he met with an accident on 27.12.1999, and that he
suffered 100% loss of earning capacity as he was permanently unfit
for sea-service. It ought to have distinguished between the
discovery of the health condition while in service and the health
condition having occurred during service. So far as the arguments
of the Company are concerned, especially in the Appeals filed
assailing the decision of the Commissioner, the emphasis has been
that the ischemic heart condition of the employee discovered while
he was actually serving with the Appellant, was not related to his
service. The learned Commissioner ought to have satisfied himself
fully on this aspect of the case rather than come to a conclusion
that an accident had occurred, for which the evidence is extremely
scanty. Faced with this predicament, Mr. Rana Mukherjee, learned
counsel appearing for the employee has endeavoured to establish
that an ischemic heart condition can result from job stress which
was continuously encountered by the employee.
3. For these reasons, it appears to us to be expedient and just to set
aside the impugned order as well as the order of the Commissioner
and remand the matter back to the Court of the Commissioner for
fresh adjudication de novo. It would then be advisable that a
specific issue be struck as to whether the employee’s ischemic
heart condition developed as a consequence of any stress or strain
of his employment with the Appellant-company. There can be no
gainsaying that the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 is a
beneficial legislation requiring some play at the joints so far as
considering a disabled employee’s claim is concerned. In these
circumstances, parties shall appear before the Commissioner,
Workmen’s Compensation (1st Court) West Bengal or its successor
Court, as the case may be, on 11.11.2013.
4. The Appeal stands allowed accordingly. It is, however, made clear
that anything expressed hereinabove shall not be deemed to have an
expression of opinion on the merits of the case.

 
C.A.No._8279__of 2013
[Arising out of S.L.P.(C)No.13296 of 2012]

 
5. A perusal of the impugned order makes it palpably clear that the
Appellant-company’s Appeal was dismissed following the decision in
FMAT No.1327 of 2010 (Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. v. P.K.
Bhattacherjee). In these circumstances, this matter also requires
to be remanded to the High Court of Calcutta for a fresh hearing in
F.M.A. No.869 of 2010. Parties to appear before the High Court on
18.11.2013.
6. The Appeal stands allowed accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

………………………………………J.
[T.S. THAKUR]

 

 

 
New Delhi
………………………………………J.
September 17, 2013. [VIKRAMAJIT SEN]

 

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