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Ratanlal Rajmistri Vs. Mohanlal Verma and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1(1984)ACC23
AppellantRatanlal Rajmistri
RespondentMohanlal Verma and anr.
Excerpt:
.....by appellant - however opinion of doctor proved that deceased had not died due to direct result of said injury held, appellant is therefore liable to be convicted under section 324 of i.p.c., sentence of 3 years imprisonment reduced to period undergone by appellant considering mental agony suffered by him - but, then, in the facts and circumstances of the present case, in which the medical evidence established beyond doubt that the injury complained of by the appellant was received not on 12.7.1974 but much afterwards, the above said delay in service of notice of claim by the appellant on the respondents assumed great significance. jain stated in his evidence in the court that at the time of his admission the appellant had complained of pain in his hip joints and expressed his..........the appellant had a very strange story to offer on the point as to why he could be treated for the injury received by him after such a long time at victoria hospital jabalpur. according to him, respondent dr. v.v. shrivastava had kept him in his dispensary and treatened him that in case he went to victoria hospital his leg would be amputated. the story given out by the appellant sounded as if he was under the confinement of dr. v.v. shrivastava during all this period. but, then, the said story appears to be highly imporbable and unnatural. it was not denied by the appellant that the members of his family and some of the labourers who had been allegedly working with him were visiting him in the dispensary of dr. v.v. shrivastava. it is impossible to believe that had there been any such.....
Judgment:

S.K. Seth, J.

1. Appellant Ratanlal Rajmistri made an application to the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation, Jabalpur on 7.5.1976 claiming a sum of Rs. 25,000/- as compensation for permanent disablement due to a personal injury, i.e. fracture in right thigh said to have caused to him on 12.7.1974 by accident arising out and in the course of his alleged employment as a mason with respondent Mohanlal Verma. Respondent Mohanlal Verma was a retired Post Master and resided in a house of his own situated in Galgala Ward of Jabalpur city. Respondent Dr. V.V. Shrivastava was son of Mohanlal Verma. It was alleged by appellant Ratanlal that respondent Dr. V.V. Shrivastava lived and kept his dispensary in the above said house belonging to his father. It was further alleged by him that the accident happened when he was working as a mason in the said house. It was for the said reason that he joined respondent Dr. V.V. Shrivastava also as a party in the claim. In their written-statement, the respondent denied both the things. They denied that they had employed the appellant as a mason during the relevant period. They also denied that any such injury as alleged had been caused to the appellant on 12.7.1974 in the manner alleged by him. The Commissioner for Workmen Compensation vide his award dated 30.11.1977 passed in Case No. 7/76 N.F. accepted the above said defence of the respondents and dismissed the application made by the appellant. Being aggrieved, the appellant has filed the present appeal under Section 30 of the Workmen Compensation Act in this Court.

2. From the facts and circumstances stated above, it is clear that the most important question arising for consideration in the case was whether the appellant had been working as a mason in the house belonging to respondent Mohanlal Verma on 12.7.1974 and whether while he was so working the particular personal injury as mentioned above was caused to him by an accident in the course of the said work.

3. It is significant that it was for the first time only on 27.2.1976 i.e. after about more than one and half years of the alleged accident that the appellant chose to serve a notice on the respondents claiming compensation from them under the provisions of the Workmen Compensation Act on the basis of the above said allegation. It is true that in the context of claims made under the provisions of the Workmen Compensation Act, mere delay in the service of notice on the employer did not necessarily lead to the conclusion that the claim made was not bona fide. But, then, in the facts and circumstances of the present case, in which the medical evidence established beyond doubt that the injury complained of by the appellant was received not on 12.7.1974 but much afterwards, the above said delay in service of notice of claim by the appellant on the respondents assumed great significance.

4. It was not disputed by the appellant that after be had received the particular injury, he was treated for the same first at Victoria Hospital Jabalpur and then at Medical College Jabalpur. The medical evidence produced in the case indicated that the appellant was admitted in Victoria Hospital, Jabalpur during the period 26.9.1974 to 20.10.1974. It was N.A.W. 3 Dr. Ashok Kumar Jain who had examined him at the time of his admission in the hospital and made the relevant entries in the out-door and bed-head tickets. Dr. Jain stated in his evidence in the Court that at the time of his admission the appellant had complained of pain in his hip joints and expressed his inability to walk. The appellant had told him that he had sustained the injury from a fall about 2 days back. The evidence of Dr. Jain found support from the documents that were maintained in the hospital and were proved by him. This meant that the appellant had received the particular injury in the thigh sometime in the last week of September, 1974 and not on 12.7.1974 as alleged by him.

5. Again, in the above connection, the evidence of A.W. 7 Dr. R.C. Rallan of Medical College Jabalpur was also greatly relevant. It was clear from the evidence of Dr. Rallan that he had admitted the appellant in his ward in the Medical College on 7.2.1975. The appellant had complained of pain in the hip region for the last about four months and had difficulty in walking. It is significant that Dr. Rallan was examined as witness on behalf of the appellant and that the abovesaid facts were stated by him in his examination-in-chief. There was no reason to disbelieve the said statements. Moreover, the said statement of his stood supported by the documents maintained in the Medical College and proved by him. Thus, the evidence of Dr. Rallen also led to the conclusion that the appellant had not received the particular injury in his thigh on 12.7.1974 but much afterwards.

6. The appellant had a very strange story to offer on the point as to why he could be treated for the injury received by him after such a long time at Victoria Hospital Jabalpur. According to him, respondent Dr. V.V. Shrivastava had kept him in his dispensary and treatened him that in case he went to Victoria Hospital his leg would be amputated. The story given out by the appellant sounded as if he was under the confinement of Dr. V.V. Shrivastava during all this period. But, then, the said story appears to be highly imporbable and unnatural. It was not denied by the appellant that the members of his family and some of the labourers who had been allegedly working with him were visiting him in the dispensary of Dr. V.V. Shrivastava. It is impossible to believe that had there been any such confinement as alleged by the appellant the said visitors would have kept quiet and done nothing in the patter. The only reasonable inference to be drawn from his evidence was that he had received the injury in question only about two days prior to his admission in Victoria Hospital on 26.9.1974. In fact, it is difficult to believe from the type of injury (i.e. fracture of femur in right hip) received by the appellant that he could remain without immediate treatment of the nature given to him at Victoria Hospital Jabalpur for such a long time after the receipt of the particular injury by him.

7. In the above state of evidence produced in the case, the Commissioner for Workmen Compensation very rightly did not give any credence to the oral testimony of A.W. 1, A.W. 2, A.W. 3 and A.W. 5 who alleged in their evidence before him that they had been working as labourers along with the appellant on 12.7.1974 and seen the accident. It is needless to say that the appellant was a mistri and it was not difficult for him to procure the above said evidence to suit his purpose. As against the said evidence, there was the evidence, both documentary as also oral, produced on behalf of the respondents that the work of construction of their house had been completed long back and there was no construction going on in the said house on 12.7.1974. Similarly, there was ample evidence produced on behalf of the respondents establishing that during the relevant period respondent Dr. V.V. Shrivastava was working in a hospital at Panagar and did not live with his father in Jabalpur. The said evidence also falsified the case set up by the appellants against the respondents.

8. In our opinion, from the above said discussion, it is rightly found by the Commissioner, for Workmen Compensation that the appellant had not been working as a mason in the house belonging to the respondent No. 1 on 12.7.1974 and that he not receive any personal injury as alleged by him during the course of any accident happening on the said date. The particular injury was received by the appellant much afterwards and there was nothing on the record to establish that the same had been caused to the appellant by accident arising out and in the course of his employment as a mason with respondent No. 1.

9. For the reasons stated above, the appeal fails and is hereby dismissed. There shall, however, be no order as to costs.


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