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Satappa Gullyappa Parashatti Vs. Basappa Sangappa Karikatti - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. First Appeal No. 305 of 1966
Judge
Reported inAIR1967Kant207; AIR1967Mys207
ActsWorkmen's Compensation Act, 1923 - Sections 2(1), 5 and 30
AppellantSatappa Gullyappa Parashatti
RespondentBasappa Sangappa Karikatti
Appellant AdvocateV.S. Malimath, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateK.R. Swamy, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....of the act would be defeated therefore, all the decisions that have been cited before us have taken the view that the real purpose of the insistence on employment on monthly wages not exceeding rs 300 (now rs......2. therefore, it is contended by sri malimath that he does not come within the definition of the word 'workman' as defined in section 2(1)(n) of the act. his contention is that the respondent not being employed on monthly wages, is not entitled to have the benefit of the act. he relies in support of his contention on the terms of the definition of the word 'workman' which it as follows:--'workman' means any person (other than a person whose employment is of a casual nature and who is employed otherwise than for the purposes of the employer's trade orbusiness), who is (i) ***** (ii) employed on monthly wages not exceeding four hundred rupees in any such capacity as is specified in schedule ii. 3. the argument of sri malimath looks quite plausible if we confine our attention to a purely.....
Judgment:

1. This appeal filed under Sec tion 30 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1823. is against the order, dated 7-7-1966, gassed by the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation Belgaum. in W.C.A. 14/1962 on his file. It is found by the Commissioner that the appellant was the employer and the respondent was an employee, employed on daily wages of Rs. 2 The employee suffered an injury on 12-6-1961 and as a result of which his right forehand had to be amputated. The Commissioner has directed the employer to pay Rs. 3,024 by way of compensation to the employee; he also directed that the aforesaid sum should be deposited in Court within a period of two weeks from the date of the receipt of the order and that that amount should be despoiled in the Postal Savings Bank and the applicant (respondent herein) should be paid by monthly instalment of Rs. 40 the payment in shirt from July 1966.

2. Under Section 30 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923, an appeal lies only if a substantial question of law is involved. Therefore, Sri Malimath. the learned Counsel for the appellanl. urged only one question of law for our consideration It is undisputed that in this case the respondent was an employee getting a daily wage of Rs 2. Therefore, it is contended by Sri Malimath that he does not come within the definition of the word 'workman' as defined in Section 2(1)(n) of the Act. His contention is that the respondent not being employed on monthly wages, is not entitled to have the benefit of the Act. He relies in support of his contention on the terms of the definition of the word 'workman' which it as follows:--

'workman' means any person (other than a person whose employment is of a casual nature and who is employed otherwise than for the purposes of the employer's trade orbusiness), who is

(i) *****

(ii) employed on monthly wages not exceeding four hundred rupees in any such capacity as is specified in Schedule II.

3. The argument of Sri Malimath looks quite plausible if we confine our attention to a purely grammatical construction of the words in Clause (ii) of the definition of the word 'workman' But, this clause has been the subject matter of interpretation in several decisions commencing from the one reported In AIR 1938 Bom 110. City & Hall Lines v. Assis Thomas, in which the learned Chief Justice Beaumont made the following observations, after quoting the definition of the word--'workman' and referring to Section 6 of the Act as it then existed.-

'It is said that this workman was not employed on monthly wages, but in my opinion the reference to employment on monthly wages in Section 2(1), Sub-clause (n). means employment at wages which do not exceed an average of Rs. 300 a month It means to me quite impossible reading this Act as a whole, to say that It was limited to workman who are employed by month so that it would not include workman employed by the day or by the week or by the year If that were the meaning of the Act. every employer could get out of it by employing his workmen otherwise then by the month I feel no doubt whatever that the meaning of the expression 'monthly wages not exceeding three hundred rupees' means wages which do not exceed on an average of Rs. 300 a month '

This decision has been followed in a series of decisions of other High Courts. The decision in AIR 1943 Lab 52, Cooling Equipment Co. v. Zainab Bibi. takes the same view. In : AIR1946All473 . Bachia v Shanti their Lordships have followed the decision of the Bombay High Court reported in AIR 1938 Bom 110. Al page 470 their Lordships refer to the incongruity which, the acceptance of the argument of the appellant in this case would lead to. If a person employed for instance on Rs. 300 per quarter is to be excluded from the definition, whereas a person employed on Rs 100 per month is included, the real purpose of the Act would be defeated Therefore, all the decisions that have been cited before us have taken the view that the real purpose of the insistence on employment on monthly wages not exceeding Rs 300 (now Rs. 400) is merely to fix a financial upper limit of means in the case of the deceased workman. If we look at the legal provision from that point of view it would not make any difference whether theI employee had been paid daily, weekly, monthly or yearly

4. This view gets full support from Section 5 of the Act in which the meaning of 'monthly wages' is incorporated. Section 5 states :

'In this Act and for the purposes thereof the expression 'monthly wages' means the amount of wages deemed to be payable for a month's service (whether the wages are payable by the month or by whatever other period or a( piece rates and calculated as folllows. . . .' Now adopting the meaning of 'monthly wages' as given in this Section to the word 'monthly wages' as used in the definition of the word 'workman', the relevant portion of the definition would read as follows:-

'workman means' any person . . who is employed on the amount of wages deemed to be payable for a month's service (whether the wages are payable by the month or by whatever other period or at piece rates).

5. Therefore to determine whether the employee is a 'workman' who comes within the definition of the word under the Act, we have to see that the amount is to be deemed to be the wage payable for the month to the employee for the services rendered by him during the month If we read the definition of the word 'workman' substituting the meaning of the term 'monthly wages' as given in Section 5. there would be no difficulty in holding that the employee in this case is a workman entitled to the benefit of the provisions of the Act.

6. Therefore, we are unable to accept the contention of Sri Mallmath that the respondent in this case is not a 'workman' within the meaning of the term under the Act There is no decision taking a contrary view and in support of the appellant's contention. Section 5 of the Workmen's Compensation 1928 Ad was amended in the year 1939 and the object of the amendment was to remove doubts and it is for that purpose that formal definition of the expression 'monthly wages' was proposed in the amendment.

7. For these reasons this appeal is dismissed. Each party will bear his own costs.

8. Appeal dismissed.


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