J.V. Gupta, J.
1. This appeal has been filed against the order of the Workmen's Compensation Commissioner, Kapurthala, dated November 19, 1979, whereby the application for the grant of compensation filed by the appellant, the mother of Chenna Singh, deceased workman, was dismissed.
2. The appellant filed the application under the Workmen Compensation Act (hereinafter called 'the Act'), claiming a sum of Rs. 18,000/- as compensation on the allegations that her son Chenna Singh son of Ujagar Singh was a workman, employed by the respondent-Corporation and that he received injury on his person on June 6, 1978, on account of the accident arising out of and in the course of his employment under the respondent. The injury resulted in his death the same day it was stated that Chenna Singh was employed as a boatman by the respondent and on the fateful day, he was rowing the boat from the island of well No. 19 to well No. 12 and when he was about 50 metres upstream of well Nos. 13 and 14, all of a sudden, he fell into the water probably because he could not keep his balance. Since the water current and the depth upstream-well No. 13 was too much, he could not get out of water and after half an hour, his body was found at a distance of 200 metres down-stream well No. 13. He was immediately rushed to the Fatehabad hospital from where he was redirected to Taran Taran hospital in an unconscious condition. There he was declared dead by the Medical Officer. According to the appellant, the monthly wages of the deceased were Rs. 240/- and he was over 15 years of age at the time of his death and that she alone was entitled to the grant of compensation.
3. Notice of the application was given to the respondent. In reply thereto, it was stated by it that as per the advice received by them from the Labour Commissioner, they had been advised to pay a compensation of Rs. 8,000/- and, therefore, it was requested that the matter be considered so that there may not be any loss to it. No other plea was taken. However, the learned Commissioner framed the following issues:
(1) To what amount of compensation is the applicant entitled?
Evidence was led by both the parties, but at the time of the arguments, the learned Counsel for the respondent raised two points, namely, (i) that the Court had no territorial jurisdiction to emertain the application because the death in this case was caused beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the Court, and not in Kapurthala District, and (ii) that Chenna Singh, deceased, was not a workman within the meaning of Section 2(1)(n) of the Act and as such, the appellant was not entitled to any compensation.
4. It is unfortunate that the learned Commissioner accepted both the above-said contentions raised on behalf of the respondent and dismissed the application. As stated earlier, there was no dispute as to the territorial jurisdiction of the Court or as to whether Chenna Singh, deceased, was a workman or not. The only contention was regarding the amount of compensation. Under the circumstances, the respondent could not be allowed to raise any other point beyond the pleadings as given in the reply to the notice. Moreover, both the contentions raised on behalf of the respondent required the leading of evidence and unless the same were specifically pleaded and issues framed, the respondent could not be allowed to raise this point at the stage of arguments. Under the circumstances, I am of the considered opinion that instead of sending the case back for decision on merits to the learned Commissioner, it would be in the interest of justice to grant a sum of Rs. 8,000/- by way of compensation to the appellant to which the respondent itself admitted in reply to the notice.
5. Consequently, this appeal succeeds and is allowed. The order of the learned Commissioner is set aside and the appellant is found entitled to a sum of Rs. 8,000/- by way of compensation. The respondent is further directed to deposit this amount with the Commissioner at Kapurthala within two months from today failing which the appellant will be entitled to interest at the rate of nine per cent per annum from the date of the application, i.e., April 23, 1979, till realisation. The appellant will also be entitled to the cost which are assessed at Rs. 500/-.