Limited Jurisdiction In Appeals U/S 30 Workmen Compensation Act, Can't Re-Appreciate Evidence Or Venture Fact Finding: Rajasthan High Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK

11 Jun 2024 12:30 PM GMT

  • Limited Jurisdiction In Appeals U/S 30 Workmen Compensation Act, Cant Re-Appreciate Evidence Or Venture Fact Finding: Rajasthan High Court

    The Rajasthan High Court has reiterated that an appeal under Section 30 of the Workmen's Compensation Act confines jurisdiction of the High Court to only substantial questions of law wherein the court cannot re-appreciate the evidence for fact finding or answering factual questions. A bench of Justice Narendra Singh Dhaddha opined that Workmen Compensation Commissioner was the last authority...

    The Rajasthan High Court has reiterated that an appeal under Section 30 of the Workmen's Compensation Act confines jurisdiction of the High Court to only substantial questions of law wherein the court cannot re-appreciate the evidence for fact finding or answering factual questions.

    A bench of Justice Narendra Singh Dhaddha opined that Workmen Compensation Commissioner was the last authority on the question of facts.

    “It is a settled position of law that limited jurisdiction has been given to the High Court confined to the substantial question of law only and the High Court cannot venture and re appreciate the evidence and finding of fact recorded on the evidence led by both the parties.”

    Section 30 of the Act provides for appeal to the high court. It lays down 5 orders of the Commissioner against which appeal can lie before the high court. This is followed by a proviso. Proviso to Section 30 lays down that no appeal shall lie against any order unless it involves a substantial question of law.

    While hearing an appeal under Section 30 of the Act, the counsel for the insurance company (appellant) raised many arguments contesting factual findings in the case. However, the opposite party countered this by raising the argument that the appeal involved no question of law. Certain Supreme Court cases were cited by the counsel for the respondent.

    In the case of Golla Rajanna Etc. v The Divisional Manager and Anr., it was stated that the Act being a welfare legislation reveals Parliament's intention to restrict the scope of appeal to only substantial questions of law. The Supreme Court also frowned upon high court's act of re-appreciating evidence and recording its own findings on factual aspects. It stated that the high court was not competent to do such acts. Similarly, in North East Karnataka Transport Corporation v Smt. Sujatha, it was held that appeal under Section 30 of the Act was not like a first appeal akin to Section 96, CrPC which can be heard on both law and facts. The former is limited to questions of law.

    “Unless there is a question of public importance and there is no final interpretation available while the substantial question of law is arising, the appeal under the Workmen's Compensation Act cannot been entertained… Even if this definition is further extended, it will have to bear in mind that there is vast difference between the question of law and substantial question of law. It is only when the question of law is not well settled and it is of importance, it would become a substantial questions of law.”

    Accordingly, the Court found no ground to interfere with the factual findings of the Commissioner and since the petition involved no substantial question of law, it was dismissed.

    Title: HDFC Ergo General Insurance Co. Ltd. v Mota Ram

    Click Here To Read/Download Order

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