Satyanarayana Raju, Offg. C. J.
1. This is an appeal from the judgment of our learned brother Sanjeeva Row Nayudu J., which confirmed an order of the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation.
2. The facts which have given rise to this appeal are these : One Nagendram was worker in a rice mill belonging to the appellant. He met with an accident on the 7th March 1959 while he was returning from the railway station after unloading the rice bags. As he was pulling the cart along the public road, a lorry dashed against him and he died on the spot. The father of the deceased preferred a claim for compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act (8 of 1923) for a sum of Rs. 3,000. The Commissioner held that the workman died as a result of an accident while he was employed and that he was entitled to a sum of Rs. 1,350.
3. This award of compensation was confirmed on appeal by our learned brother.
4. The short point which arises for determination in this appeal is whether the case comes under Section 13(4) of the Workmen's Compensation Act. Section 12(4) reads :
'This section shall not apply in any case where the accident occurred elsewhere than on, in or about the premises on which the principal has undertaken or usually undertakes, as the case may he to execute the work or which are otherwise under his control or management.'
5. It is contended by the learned counsel for the appellant, Sri K. Srinivasamurthy, that as the deceased was in the employment of a contractor by name Narasimloo, the liability of the appellant could arise only if it is found that the deceased was employed in or about the premises on which the principal has undertaken to execute the work. It is contended that as the accident had occurred when the empty cart was being brought back from the railway station on a road, it cannot he said that the employer was liable to compensate the workman for the accident. The learned Judge has held that the words 'on, in or about' meant either on the land orpremises of the employer or the land or premises where he was engaged with his workmen in doing the work, or in close proximity to such places. In Powell v. Brown, (1899) 1 Q B 157, these words were construed as follows :
'The words 'on, in or about' have received judicial interpretation in connection with railways, factories, mines, engineering works and building operations, and have been held to be a geographical expression involving the idea of certain physical continuity to the premises or works in question.'
The same view was taken in Guruswami Mudaliar v. Executive Engineer, Mettur Canals Division, (1956) 2 Lab LJ 44 (Mad).
6. The question whether the place at which the workman met with the accident can be brought within the meaning of the words, 'on, in or about is thus concluded by authority. We are in agreement with the conclusion reached by the learned Judge that the workman was rightly awarded compensation.
7. Even so, the learned counsel for the appellant has argued that the primary liability being that of the contractor, the appellant is entitled to be indemnified by him. The learned counsel has contended that this question was not specifically put in issue and the finding recorded by the learned Judge is, therefore, not warranted. The question as to whether the appellant is entitled to be indemnified by the contractor for the sum that he was directed to pay to the respondent did not really arise for decision and, therefore, that question is left open.
(8) In the result, the appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.