The Supreme Court in Golla Rajanna vs. The Divisional Manager, has held that the high court cannot reassess the percentage of disability recorded by a Workmen’s Compensation Commissioner as it is a pure question of fact and the scope of the appeal before the high court under Section 30 of the workmen’s compensation Act is only to substantial questions of law.
Re-appreciating the evidence recorded by the Commissioner, the high court held that the disability would only be to the extent of 5% of the whole body, resulting in 5% of the loss of earning capacity.
On appeal, a bench comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice RF Nariman observed that under the scheme of the Act, being a welfare legislation, the Workmen’s Compensation Commissioner is the last authority on facts and scope of the appeal is restricted only to substantial questions of law.
Setting aside the high court judgment, the court observed: “Unfortunately, the high court has missed this crucial question of limited jurisdiction and has ventured to re-appreciate the evidence and recorded its own findings on percentage of disability for which also there is no basis. The whole exercise made by the high court is not within its competence under Section 30 of the Act.”
Read the Judgment here.
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