M.S. Menon, J.
1. This is an appeal by the proprietor, Ferumal Lorries, Vadasseri, from the order of the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation, Trivandrnm, in W.C. Case No. 182 of 1955. The order directed the appellant to deposit a sum of Rs. 2,125 for payment to the respondents, the defendants of one Arumugham Pillai.
2. The Commissioner found that the accident in which Arumugham Pillai lost his life arose out of and in the coarse of his employment by the appellant. On the evidence on record that conclusion is correct and fully justified.
3. The only question that arises for consideration is whether the deceased was a workman as defined in Section 2(1)(n) of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923, read with Clause (1) in Schedule II to the Act. Clause (1), on the relevant date, reads as follows:
employed otherwise than in a clerical capacity or on a railway, in connexion with the operation or maintenance of a lift or a vehicle propelled by steam or other mechanical power or by electricity.
4. It is common ground that Arumugham Pillai was not either the driver or the conductor of the lorry; but a checker entrusted with the duty of ensuring that the proper freight for the goods transported was collected and credited to the appellant.
5. According to the appellant such an employment is not an employment 'in connexion with the operation' of the lorry as found by the Commissioner of Workmen's Compensation. The Commissioner said:
It is evident that the deceased met with his end while he was employed in for checking the lorry belonging to the opposite party under latter's instructions. Then the question to be decided is whether a checker of a lorry is a workman as defined in Section 2(1)(n) of the Workman's Compensation Act To me it appears that the terms of Schedule II(1) are sufficiently wide to cover the case of a checker of a lorry. It is to be noted that the expression used in Schedule II(1) is 'employed in connexion with' and that expression may be contrasted with the expression used in some of the other provisions in the schedule 'employed in.' The expression 'in connexion with' is certainly wider than the expression 'employed in.' A checker of a lorry though not employed in operating it, is employed in connexion with the operation of the lorry.
6. In (1937-38) 42 C.W.N. 123--the case of a conductor--Costello, A.C.J., said:
Tersely stated, the proposition is this: Was the deceased man employed in connexion with the operation of a mechanically propelled vehicle? It has been argued on behalf of the appellant, that is to say, the employer, that the learned Judge was wrong in coming to the conclusion that the terms of Schedule II(1) are sufficiently wide to cover the case of a conductor of a motor omnibus;
andMr. Sanyal asked us to say that the application of Schedule II(1) ought to be limited and construed as including only persons who are actually employed in connexion with the working of the mechanical parts of the vehicle or the maintenance of the mechanical parts. We find ourselves unable to accept that contention.
7. This decision was followed in A.I.R. 1938 Mad. 485.
8. The words 'otherwise than in a clerical capacity' in Clause (1), we think, are significant. The introduction of those words into the clause would indicate that but for such a specific exclusion the legislature thought that the clause will also take in employment in a clerical capacity. In (1937-38) 42 C.W.N. 123 Lethbridge, J., who agreed with Costello, A.O.J., dealt with the impact of those words as follows:
I agree, and would only like to add that the construction of Clause (1) of Schedule II which has been adopted by the learned Commissioner is reinforced by the words' otherwise than in a clerical capacity.' if the narrower construction is adopted, namely, that that clause includes only those employed in operating the mechanical part of a vehicle, then the words' otherwise than in a clerical capacity' would be redundant, but the clause should not be construed in such a way as to make any words redundant.
9. Both on the ground that the expression 'in connexion with' is an expression of wide content embracing activities which sub-serve or are ancillary to 'operation or maintenance' and the specific exclusion embodied in the words 'otherwise than in a clerical capacity' we must hold that the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation was correct in his conclusion and that this appeal should be dismissed. Our attention was drawn to various oases, for example, to (1950-51) 55 C.W.N. 496, wherein it was held that a building inspector was not a workman within the meaning of the Act. The decision in one case, in matters like this, is seldom of any use for the decision of another, and we do not think any useful purpose will be served by discussing those decisions in this judgment.
10. The appeal falls and is hereby dismissed with costs.