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Appeal Under Section 30 Of Workmen's Compensation Act Not Maintainable In Absence of Framing Any Substantial Question of Law: Rajasthan High Court

ANIRUDH VIJAY
23 Jan 2022 7:34 AM GMT
Appeal Under Section 30 Of Workmens Compensation Act Not Maintainable In Absence of Framing Any Substantial Question of Law: Rajasthan High Court
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Rajasthan High Court has recently ruled that appeal under Section 30 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 is not maintainable in absence of framing any substantial question of law. Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand, while dismissing the appeal, observed, "I do not find any ground to call for any interference on the factual findings recorded by the learned Commissioner. Since no...

Rajasthan High Court has recently ruled that appeal under Section 30 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 is not maintainable in absence of framing any substantial question of law.

Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand, while dismissing the appeal, observed, "I do not find any ground to call for any interference on the factual findings recorded by the learned Commissioner. Since no substantial question of law has been formulated in the memo of appeal, hence, this appeal is not maintainable in view of the proviso attached to Section 30 of the Act of 1923."

The court pursued the proviso attached to Section 30 of the Act of 1923 and observed that appeal shall lie against any order passed by the learned Commissioner unless a substantial question of law is involved in the appeal.

Essentially, a workman Gopiram was employed as a cleaner of a truck with respondent No.6- Mangal Chand. The former sustained injuries while discharging his duties. Thereafter, he died during the course of treatment at a hospital. The claimants-respondents filed a claim petition before the learned Commissioner seeking compensation of Rs. 3,38,888/- with interest and penalty on account of loss suffered for the death of the workman.

In furtherance, the learned Commissioner allowed the claim petition and awarded a compensation of Rs. 3,38,880/- with interest @ 12% per annum to the claimants-respondents. Feeling aggrieved, the appellant-Insurance Company preferred this appeal under Section 30 of the Act of 1923 without framing any substantial question of law in the memo of this appeal.

As per the court, the issue involved in this appeal is "whether appeal under Section 30 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 is maintainable without framing any substantial question of law?"

The court opined that the extent of disability caused to the employee due to injuries suffered in an accident - whether there was any insurance coverage obtained by the employer to cover the incident etc - are some of the material issues which arise for the just decision of the Commissioner in a claim petition when an employee suffers any bodily injury or dies during the course of his employment and he/his legal representatives sue his employer to claim compensation under this Act. The aforementioned questions are essentially the questions of fact and, therefore, they are required to be proved with the aid of evidence, added the court.

The court observed that the appeal provided under Section 30 of the Act of 1923 to the High Court against the judgment and award passed by the Commissioner shall lie only against the specific orders set out in clause (a) to (e) of Section 30 of the Act of 1923 with a further rider contained in first proviso to the Section that the appeal must involve substantial question of law. The court relied on Ramsakhi Devi v. Chhatra Devi JT 2005 (6) SC 167, where Apex Court held that without formulating the substantial question of law, the appeal cannot be sustained.

The court further relied on Gollarajanna v. The Divisional Manager 2017(1) SCC 45 and North East Karnataka Transport Corporation v. Sujatha 2019 (11) SCC 514, wherein Apex Court held that the appeal filed against the award passed by the Workmen's Compensation Commissioner is not maintainable if any substantial question of law is not involved in the same. The court opined that the appeal has been filed by the appellant-Insurance Company without framing any substantial question of law on the material issues in the memo of appeal.

The counsel appearing for the appellant-Insurance Company argued that the deceased was not working under the employment of the vehicle owner, hence, the deceased was not a workman and the claimants are not entitled to get any amount of compensation. He denied the averments made in the claim petition and objected that no notice under Section 10 of the Act of 1923 was given. Respondents also denied that the deceased was working under the employment of the vehicle owner- Mangal Chand.

In contrast, the learned counsel appearing for the respondents-claimants argued that the present appeal filed under Section 30 of the Act of 1923 is not maintainable as no substantial question of law has been framed. Hence, the instant appeal is liable to be rejected only on this ground. He further admitted that the deceased was employed with him and was getting a monthly salary of Rs. 4,000/. He further stated that since the vehicle was insured with "The National Insurance Co. Ltd", hence, the Insurance Company is liable for compensation.

Adv. Mr. Ram Singh Bhati appeared on behalf of appellant-Insurance Company, whereas Adv. Bhanu Prakash Verma appeared on behalf of respondents-claimants.

Case Title: The National Insurance Co. Ltd, through its Regional Manager, Jaipur v. Mohini Devi & Ors.

Case No: S.B. Civil Miscellaneous Appeal No. 615/2007

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 30

Click Here To Read/ Download Judgment


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