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Bhagat Singh Ram Saran Vs. Punjab State Through Officer-in-charge, Bhakra Nangal Dam - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberF.A.F.O. No. 106 of 1963
Judge
Reported inAIR1966P& H397
ActsWorkmen's Compensation Act, 1923 - Sections 4(1)
AppellantBhagat Singh Ram Saran
RespondentPunjab State Through Officer-in-charge, Bhakra Nangal Dam
Appellant Advocate Nagindar Singh and; I.S. Karwal, Advs.
Respondent Advocate M.R. Agnihotri, Adv.-General
DispositionAppeal allowed
Cases ReferredEast Indian Railway v. Maoris Cecil Ryan
Excerpt:
.....the period of limitation for filing an appeal would commence from the date when the parties concerned acquire knowledge of passing of the said order. - a surgeon might well estimate the loss of his physical capacity for work, but the loss of his earning capacity must be estimated by some other person and the best estimate can be given by the employer himself who has the opportunity of seeing the workmen's work before and after the accident......for duty. he was, as a matter of fact, discharged from ser vice. under these circumstances, his loss of earning capacity was 100 per cent and he was, therefore, entitled to the full compensation pay able in the case of permanent total disablement, that is, rs. 4,900.6. the facts are not disputed, namely, that it was a case of permanent partial disablement; that the appellant was earning rs. 105 per month; that the doctor had stated that his permanent disability was 20 per cent, but he was declared to be unfit for duty; and that he was discharged from service. it is common ground that if it was a case of permanent total disablement, the appellant would have got rs. 4,900. it is also not controverted that the injury, which the appellant received, is not specified in schedule i of the.....
Judgment:

P.C. Pandit, J.

1. This is a first appeal filed by Bhagat Singh under Section 30 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 8 of 1923 (hereinafter refer red to as the Act) against the order of the learned Senior Subordinate Judge, Hoshiarpur, who was acting as the Commissioner under the Act, holding that the appellant was entitled to receive only Rs. 980 as against Rs. 4,900 claim ed by him as compensation.

2. On 23-2-1962, the appellant was work ing at a machine in connection with the excava tion work of the Bhakra-Nangal Project, when a big stone fell on him, which fractured his head, resulting in his permanent disability as a workman. He remained in Nangal Hospital from 23-2-1962 to 1-9-1962. Later on, he was declared permanently unfit and was discharged from service. At that time he was 28 years old and his monthly wages were Rs. 105. His case was that he was entitled to receive compensation amounting to Rs. 4,900 on account of permanent disablement as mentioned in Section 4(1)(c)(ii) read with Schedule IV of the Act.

3. The position of the Punjab State, respondent, was that since the appellant's permanent disability was only 20 per cent, as mentioned in the medical certificate, he was entitled to 20 per cent of the compensation payable for permanent total disablement, which came to Rs. 980.

4. The learned Commissioner came to the conclusion that medical report, Ex. P-1, showed that the permanent disability of the appellant was only 20 per cent and not total. There was no evidence to show that this medical report was in any way wrong. That being so, accord ing to the learned Commissioner, the permanent disability was 20 per cent and not total. Under Section 4(1)(c) read with Schedule IV of the Act, the appellant was, therefore, entitled to 20 per cent of the compensation payable for permanent total disablement, that is, Rs. 980.

5. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the Commissioner had misinterpreted the provisions of Section 4(1)(c) and Schedule IV of the Act. According to the medical report, it was true that his client's permanent disability was mentioned as 20 per cent, but it was further stated therein that he was unfit for duty. He was, as a matter of fact, discharged from ser vice. Under these circumstances, his loss of earning capacity was 100 per cent and he was, therefore, entitled to the full compensation pay able in the case of permanent total disablement, that is, Rs. 4,900.

6. The facts are not disputed, namely, that it was a case of permanent partial disablement; that the appellant was earning Rs. 105 per month; that the Doctor had stated that his permanent disability was 20 per cent, but he was declared to be unfit for duty; and that he was discharged from service. It is common ground that if it was a case of permanent total disablement, the appellant would have got Rs. 4,900. It is also not controverted that the injury, which the appellant received, is not specified in Schedule I of the Act. The question then arises that under these circumstances, is the appellant entitled to the total amount of Rs. 4,900, as contended by him, or he can claim only 20 per cent of the same, as is the position of the Punjab State This case is, admit tedly, covered by the provisions of Section 4(1)(c)(ii), which are as follows:---

'Section 4. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the amount of compensation shall be as follows, namely:--

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(c) Where permanent partial disablement results from the injury--

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(ii) in the case of an injury not specified in Schedule I, such percentage of the compensation payable in the case of permanent total disablement as is proportionate to the loss of earning capacity permanently caused by the injury;

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A plain reading of these provisions will show that where a permanent partial disablement results from an injury which is not specified in Schedule I, then in the case of that injured person, the amount of compensation would be the sum payable in the case of permanent total disablement divided by the loss of earning capacity permanently caused by the injury. The amount of compensation payable in the case of permanent total disablement is mentioned in Schedule IV and the same in the present case would be Rs. 4,900. In the case of the appellant, so far as the loss of the earning capacity permanently caused by the injury is concerned, no finding has been given by the learned Commissioner. The loss of earning capacity due to the injuries specified in Schedule I has been given in Col. 3 of that Schedule, but with regard to the injuries which are not mentioned in that Schedule, a finding has to be given regarding the loss of earning capacity, before it can be decided as to how much amount of compensation the injured workman is entitled to. In the pre sent case, it is true that the Doctor has stated that the permanent disability of the appellant is 20 per cent, but that relates to his physical disability, whereas under the provisions of Section 4(1)(c)(ii) the loss of earning capacity permanently caused by the injury has to be determined. This has not been done in the present case. In cases of permanent partial disablement, what the Commissioner has to find for the purpose of assessing compensation is the fact as to whether the earning capacity of the injured workman has been reduced in every employment, which he was 'capable of under taking at the time of the accident and not merely in the particular job in which he was employed at that time. In the present case, all that has been established on the record is that the appellant was discharged, from service and he was declared to be unfit for duty and his permanent disability was recorded as 20 per cent by the Doctor. On these facts, the loss of earning capacity permanently caused by the injury cannot be settled. The view that, I have taken is supported by a Division Bench consisting of Derbyshire, C. J. and B.K. Mukherjee, J., in Agent, East Indian Railway v. Maoris Cecil Ryan, AIR 1937 Cal 526, where it was held thus--

'In awarding compensation under Section 4(1)(c)(ii), Workmen's Compensation Act, what has to be estimated is the loss of the workman's earning capacity caused by the injury and not the loss of his physical capacity. A Surgeon might well estimate the loss of his physical capacity for work, but the loss of his earning capacity must be estimated by some other person and the best estimate can be given by the employer himself who has the opportunity of seeing the workmen's work before and after the accident.'

7. In view of what I have said above, the appeal is accepted and the case is remitted to the learned Commissioner for deciding the same afresh in the light of the observations made above. There will, however, be no order as to costs.


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