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Ogeti Pedda Ranganna Vs. Zaleka Bee and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberW.P. No. 2388 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1970AP124
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 110F; Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 - Sections 19
AppellantOgeti Pedda Ranganna
RespondentZaleka Bee and anr.
Appellant AdvocateA. Gangdhararao and ;P. Sitaramaraju, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateT. Venkatarappa, Adv. and ;Govt. Pleader
Excerpt:
- .....the commissioner questioning his jurisdiction to entertain the claim in view of section 110 of the motor vehicles act under which a claims tribunal (district judge) was specifically constituted to adjudicate upon all claims for compensation arising out of accidents involving motor vehicles. this objection was overruled by the tribunal under the workmen's compensation act. against the said order, the petitioner has come up to this court stating that the tribunal has no jurisdication to proceed with the enquiry.2. the contention of the learned counsel is that the tribunal under the motor vehicles act is constituted under a special enactment relating to accidents under a special enactment relating to accidents arising in connection with the motor vehicles and that therefore the jurisdiction.....
Judgment:

1. This is an application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issue of a Writ of Certiorari to quash the order of the second respondent, Commissioner for Workmen Compensation, Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad in W. C. Case No. 283 of 1966 dated 2-8-1967 overruling an objection as to the maintainability of the claim for compensation before him. The first respondent herein filed the application before him. The first respondent herein filed the application before the Commissioner for Workmen Compensation, Andhra Pradesh under, the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Ac, being the legal representative of the deceased workmen employed under the petitioner. The petitioner herein raised an objection before the Commissioner questioning his jurisdiction to entertain the claim in view of Section 110 of the Motor Vehicles Act under which a Claims Tribunal (District Judge) was specifically constituted to adjudicate upon all claims for compensation arising out of accidents involving motor vehicles. This objection was overruled by the Tribunal under the Workmen's Compensation Act. Against the said order, the petitioner has come up to this Court stating that the tribunal has no jurisdication to proceed with the enquiry.

2. The contention of the learned counsel is that the tribunal under the Motor Vehicles Act is constituted under a special enactment relating to accidents under a special enactment relating to accidents arising in connection with the motor vehicles and that therefore the jurisdiction of the tribunal under the Workmen's Compensation Act, which should be regarded as a general Act, is excluded. Section 110-F of the Motor Vehicles Act in express terms excludes only the jurisdiction of a civil Court with respect to any action taken or to be taken before the Claims Tribunal under the Motor Vehicles Act. The legislature is certainly aware of the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act the tribunal constituted therein for adjudication of claims under the said Act. The provisions of Sec. 110-F, while expressly barring the jurisdiction of civil courts as such, do not contain any indication that he jurisdiction of any other tribunal is barred. Turning to the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act, the jurisdiction of a civil Court alone is barred with respect to adjudication of claims falling under the purview of the said Act. It is therefore a clear case where the provisions of each of the enactments operate independently of one another having concurrent jurisdiction to entertain claim or compensation. In such a case, the option lied with the workman to choose one or the other tribunal. It is therefore a clear case where the provisions of each of the enactments operate independently of one another having concurrent jurisdiction to entertain claim or compensation. In such a case, the option lies with the workman to choose one or the other tribunal. It is of course undisputed that if the workman chooses a particular tribunal, it will not be open to him to choose the other tribunal under the Motor Vehicles Act. In present case, the workman or the claimant having chosen the tribunal under the Workmen's Compensation Act, it is not open to the employer to ask him to choose a different tribunal, for, the choice lies with the claimant and not with the employer. The decision of the Punjab High Court in Ram Sarup v. Gurdev Singh, (1968) 1 Lab LJ 80 = (1969 Lab IC 371), directly supports the contention of the respondent that the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act do not exclude the jurisdiction of the tribunal under the Workmen's Compensation Act. The learned counsel for the petitioner placed reliance on a ruling of the Supreme Court reported in Damji v. Life Insurance Corporation of India, : [1965]3SCR665 , wherein it was held that when the jurisdiction of the tribunal under Section 41 of the Life Insurance Corporation Act, which is a special enactment, was invoked, the provisions under the Companies Act, which is a special enactment, was invoked, the provisions under the Companies Act containing general provisions regarding winding up of companies, appointment of liquidators and bar of do suits or other legal proceedings except with the leave of the Court etc,. are not applicable. In the said case, reference was made to Section 41 of the Life Insurance Corporation Act which provides that no civil Court shall have jurisdiction to entertain or adjudicate upon any matter which a tribunal is empowered to decide or determine under Section 15 of that Act. In view of the clear provisions of Section 41 of the Life Insurance Corporation Act barring the jurisdiction of Civil Courts, it was held by the Supreme Court that the jurisdiction of the Company Court was expressly excluded. I do not see how the petitioner can place any reliance upon this ruling. Though it was observed that the provisions of the Life Insurance Corporation Act were in the nature of a special enactment creating a special tribunal, reliance was placed on the provisions of Section 41 of the Life Insurance Corporation Act barring the jurisdiction of the Company Court to entertain identical matters. But in the instant case, Section 110-F of the Motor Vehicles Act, as already pointed out, does not bar the jurisdiction of any other tribunal to decide claims as to compensation.

3. It was next contended on behalf of the petitioner that if the claimant applies for compensation before the Tribunal under the Motor Vehicles Act, there is a provision for issuing notice to the insurer in which case, the employer can work out his rights against the insurer also in the same proceeding and that he would be deprived of such an opportunity if the claim for compensation is not made before the tribunal under the Motor Vehicles Act. In a case where there are two tribunals having concurrent jurisdiction, their claimant who is in the position of a plaintiff is the dominos limits and has the right to choose his own forum and he cannot be compelled to choose a forum which would be convenient to the defendant. Though the application for compensation is filed under the Motor Vehicles Act, the employer's remedy against the insurer under the contract of insurance is always available under the general law. I am not therefore inclined to accept this contention of the petitioner that the claimant should choose a particular forum which would be convenient to the opposite party.

4. For the above reasons, this writ petition fails and is dismissed with costs of the first respondent. Advocate's fee Rs. 100.

5. Petition dismissed.


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