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United India Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Bhairon and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1985)ACC49
AppellantUnited India Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd.
RespondentBhairon and ors.
Cases ReferredBhopal Sugar Indus. Ltd. v. Sumitra Bai
Excerpt:
- indian penal code, 1890.section 306 :[dalveer bhandari & harjit singh bedi,jj] abetment of suicide deceased, a married woman, committed suicide - allegation of abetment of suicide against appellant husband and in-laws - ocular evidence was sketchy - dying declaration recorded by tahsildar completely exonerated all accused in-laws of any misconduct dispelling any suspicion as to their involvement - letter of threat allegedly written by appellant to father of victim was concocted piece of evidence held, though presumption against appellant can be raised, it cannot be said that onus shifts exclusively and heavily on him to prove his innocence. conviction of appellant is liable to be set aside. - clearly, therefore, the risk is covered. 287 is clearly distinguishable......with its trolley no. mpk. 1975 belonged to the respondent no. 3 and was insured with the appellant insurance company. the tractor was being used for cultivation of the lands jointly owned by the respondents 2 to 4. the respondent no. 1 was engaged as a labourer by the respondents in their field and he was drawing a salary of rs. 135/- per month. on 16-5-1976 he along with other labourers was asked to bring sand for construction of a house by the respondents 2 to 4 for storing grains in their farm. on the way, 2 tyres of the trolley loaded with sand got punctured near the motor-stand. the respondent no. 1 tried to apply jack to the trolley and in that process the trolley fell down on his legs and he has been permanently disabled. the case of the respondent no. 1 is that he had not.....
Judgment:

C.P. Sen, J.

1. This is an appeal by the Insurance Company under Section 30 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923, against the award of compensation amount of Rs. 11,340/-.

2. The facts not in dispute are that tractor No. MPK. 6184 with its trolley No. MPK. 1975 belonged to the respondent No. 3 and was insured with the appellant Insurance Company. The tractor was being used for cultivation of the lands jointly owned by the respondents 2 to 4. The respondent No. 1 was engaged as a labourer by the respondents in their field and he was drawing a salary of Rs. 135/- per month. On 16-5-1976 he along with other labourers was asked to bring sand for construction of a house by the respondents 2 to 4 for storing grains in their farm. On the way, 2 tyres of the trolley loaded with sand got punctured near the motor-stand. The respondent No. 1 tried to apply jack to the trolley and in that process the trolley fell down on his legs and he has been permanently disabled. The case of the respondent No. 1 is that he had not previously handled any jack but he was asked by the respondent No. 4 to apply jack to the trolley in order to replace the tyres which were punctured. In spite of his protest, he was made to do the work and in that process the trolley fell down on him and his legs were injured causing permanent disability. After necessary notice, he filed this application for compensation before Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation claiming an amount of Rs. 18,900/- as the accident arose out of and in the course of his employment. The respondent No. 3 denied in his written statement that the respondent No. 4 had asked the respondent No. 1 to apply jack to the trolley but this work was done by the respondent No. 1 himself without anybody's asking. In the process of removing shaft of the trolley from the tractor, the trolley fell down and he was injured. Therefore, the accident did not arise out of and in the course of employment of the respondent No. 1. The appellant--Insurance Company in its separate written statement submitted that the liability is not covered by the policy inasmuch as the policy for the tractor and the trolley was issued only for agriculture and forestry purposes and since they were being used for building construction, the Insurance Company is not liable. The Claims Tribunal came to the conclusion that the respondent No. 1 has been permanently disabled in the accident which arose out of and in the course of his employment with the respondent Nos. 2 to 4. At that time, he was drawing a monthly salary of Rs. 135/-. The tractor and trolley were being used for agricultural purposes inasmuch as the building which was being constructed was for storing grains.

3. The only question for consideration is whether the Insurance Company is liable for the payment of compensation.

4. Admittedly, the respondent No. 1 was a labourer engaged in loading and unloading sand in the tractor and the trolley at the relevant time and in the process of carrying sand he met with an accident while trying to fix jack on the wheels of the trolley whose tyres were punctured. A person so employed in farming by tractors or other contrivances is covered within the definition of 'workman' under Clause XXIX of Schedule of the Workmen's Compensation Act. Under Clause (c) to proviso (i) to Section 95(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, Insurance Company is liable to caver the risk of a labourer who is being carried on a goods vehicle. The tractor and trolley were insured under a comprehensive policy with the appellant--Insurance Company. As per proviso (b) to Clause (1) of Section II of the policy, the policy covered the risk which is required to be covered Under Section 95 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, in respect of death or bodily injury to any person in the employment of the insured arising out of and in the course of such employment. Clearly, therefore, the risk is covered. It is true that the accident occurred when the tractor and trolley were stationary but the respondent No. 1 was travelling in the vehicle loaded with sand for unloading it and the vehicle had to stop because 2 tyres of the trolley got punctured. This happened on the public way. The case of Manojkumar v. Hari Gopalrao 1977 MPLJ. 287 is clearly distinguishable. There, the trolley was not moving but it was stationary and it was not attached to a tractor. A number of trolleys were parked in a public lane one over another and one of them slipped and caused injury to the applicant who was passing by the side of the trolleys. It is true that as per the terms of the policy issued in the present case the tractor and the trolley were insured for agricultural and forestry purposes. As per Clause 3 to general exceptions, the liability of the Insurance Company is excluded when the vehicle is used otherwise than in accordance with the limitation as to its use. Admittedly, the tractor and trolley were being used for bringing sand for construction of building for storage of grains in the farm of respondents 2 to 4. Therefore, purpose of use was in connection with the agriculture. The words used are not for 'agricultural operations' but 'agricultural purposes'. Construction of building for storing grains is a purpose connected with agriculture. A Division Bench of this Court in Bhopal Sugar Indus. Ltd. v. Sumitra Bai 1977 MPLJ 647 has held that 'farming' ordinarily means business of cultivating land which obviously does not mean merely ploughing but all other subsequent operations in which a farmer necessarily engages such as irrigating the fields, harvesting crops etc. Therefore, it cannot be said that the tractor and trolley were being used otherwise than for the purpose for which it was insured. There is no other question involved in this appeal.

5. Accordingly, the appeal fails and it is dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 250/-, if certified.


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