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Sk. Jumman Sk. Amir Vs. Shahajahanbi Suleman - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 4 of 1968
Judge
Reported in(1972)74BOMLR65; 1972MhLJ261
AppellantSk. Jumman Sk. Amir
RespondentShahajahanbi Suleman
Excerpt:
.....of an employment injury, the commissioner will have to record evidence on the following relevant facts, namely, (i) the status of the family of the deceased and his dependants; (ii) in the ease of the widow the possibility of a remarriage in which case the workman would have altogether ceased to pay any money; (iii) the circumstances of the parents and the minor brothers and the extent to which they were provided maintenance by the deceased during his lifetime. in the case of the widow who has remarried, the commissioner may have to consider the status of the second husband and her need. - - the commissioner completely failed to see that the mother and minor brothers of the deceased were entitled to payment of separate compensation. as the learned commissioner failed to..........that from out of the compensation fixed at rs. 7,000, rs. 6,000 should be paid to the respondent widow of suleman and rs. 1,000 should be paid to shaikh jumman, the father of suleman. mr. bashiruddin ahmed has contended that the distribution of the compensation between the respondent widow of suleman and shaikh jumma is inequitable and without giving sufficient importance to the provisions in section 2(d) of the workmen's compensation act defining the phrase 'dependent'. the learned advocate submitted that in spite of the fact that the respondent had admitted in her statement exh. 4 that she had remarried within four months after the death of suleman, the learned judge made division of compensation in entirely inequitable manner.2. now, in connection with these submissions, it requires.....
Judgment:

K.K. Desai, J.

1. In this appeal by the father and the mother of deceased Suleman against the order dated October 28, 1967, made by the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation directing that from out of the compensation fixed at Rs. 7,000, Rs. 6,000 should be paid to the respondent widow of Suleman and Rs. 1,000 should be paid to Shaikh Jumman, the father of Suleman. Mr. Bashiruddin Ahmed has contended that the distribution of the compensation between the respondent widow of Suleman and Shaikh Jumma is inequitable and without giving sufficient importance to the provisions in Section 2(d) of the Workmen's Compensation Act defining the phrase 'Dependent'. The learned advocate submitted that in spite of the fact that the respondent had admitted in her statement exh. 4 that she had remarried within four months after the death of Suleman, the learned Judge made division of compensation in entirely inequitable manner.

2. Now, in connection with these submissions, it requires to be noticed that under Section 2(d), a widow Is a dependent who is in all circumstances entitled to payment of compensation. The parents and minor brothers are entitled to such payment only if they were wholly or in part dependent for their maintenance on the workman at the time of his death. In connection with the share in compensation that a widow must be paid, the Commissioner for Compensation would have ordinarily to bear in mind her age and whether by reason of a remarriage which might have taken, place or may take place, her share should not be much in excess of that payable to a dependent father or mother or a minor brother. Claims of all parties would have to be considered in the light of the above definition of 'dependent' and the ordinary circumstances in which the concerned parties may be leading their lives.

3. In giving the compensation of Rs. 6,000 to the respondent the Commissioner held that the lady would take the lion's share because she was the wife of the the deceased whilst he was alive. Her subsequent marriage with other person does not debar her from receiving the amount which became payable under the Act on the death of her husband. It requires to be noticed that provision for payment of compensation to the dependents is of the nature of an indemnity for the amount of maintenance which a deceased person might have provided to the dependents if he had not suffered death in consequence of employment injury. The question which under the circumstances arises before the Commissioner when allocating and/or distributing the compensation fixed would be to ascertain the amount of maintenance that would have been paid to the concerned parties by the deceased workman. In that connection, the relevant facts would be (i) the status of the family of the deceased and his dependents; (ii) in the case of a widow the possibility of a remarriage in which case the workman would altogether cease to pay any money; (iii) the circumstances of the parents and the minor brothers and to what extent they were provided maintenance by the deceased during his lifetime. For arriving at a reasonable decision on the question of allocation and distribution of compensation, the Commissioner would have to record evidence clarifying the above factors.

4. Now, Mr. Bashiruddin Ahmed is right that in the present proceedings the Commissioner has not asked any relevant questions to the parties concerned to find out relevant facts. Even without any evidence regarding the dependence of Shaikh Jumma on the earnings of deceased Suleman during his lifetime, the Commissioner awarded Rs. 1,000 to Shaikh Jumman. The Commissioner completely failed to see that the mother and minor brothers of the deceased were entitled to payment of separate compensation. It is however true that they would be so entitled only if it could be held that for their maintenance they were wholly or in part dependent on the income of the deceased Suleman. The Commissioner did not notice that the deceased Suleman would not have provided maintenance to the respondent due to her remarriage. In this very connection possibly the Commissioner would have to consider the status of the second husband and the need of the remarried widow. As the learned Commissioner failed to notice all the relevant matter whilst making allocation and/or distribution of the compensation amount the directions given by him for allocation and distribution are accordingly set aside. The Commissioner is directed to proceed to decide the question whether for their maintenance the parents and the minor brothers of the deceased Suleman were wholly or partly dependent upon the income of the deceased Suleman. In the event of his coming to the affirmative conclusion on the above matter, the Commissioner should find out the extent of the dependence and then allocate the amounts of compensation between these parties and the widow. In this connection, the Commissioner, should record necessary evidence by asking relevant questions to these concerned parties. The matter of the W.C. Application No. 24 of 1967 is restored to the board of the Commissioner after setting aside the order dated October 28, 1967. The appellants will bear the costs of this appeal for themselves and will also bear their own costs of the further hearing of the above application by the Commissioner. Because of interim order made in the present appeal, Rs. 4,000 of the compensation payable to the respondent have still continued in the office of the Commissioner. In no event any refund order should be passed against the respondent as regards the payments received by her.


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