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Badan Bai Vs. Bhom Singh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. First Appeal No. 22 of 1966
Judge
Reported inAIR1968Raj39; [1967(15)FLR13]; (1967)IILLJ340Raj
ActsWorkmen's Compensation Act, 1923 - Sections 10(1); Rajasthan Workmen's Compensation Rules, 1960 - Rule 8(2) and 8(3)
AppellantBadan Bai
RespondentBhom Singh and ors.
Appellant Advocate D.K. Soral, Adv.
Respondent Advocate Nahar Singh, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
.....of the accident or, in case of death, within two years from date of death'.there is a proviso empowering the commissioner to entertain and decide any claim to compe but the commissioner can entertain a claim preferred beyond two years if he is satisfied that the failure to prefer it was due to sufficient cause......to be preferred within two years of the accident ordinarily. but the commissioner can entertain a claim preferred beyond two years if he is satisfied that the failure to prefer it was due to sufficient cause. the commissioner has thus no power to make payment of any part of the compensation to a dependant who! has not preferred a claim at all before the; commissioner. sub-rule 8(3) of the rajasthan workmen's compensation rules, 1960, is therefore, void. the proper procedure which the commissioner should follow in a case in which all the dependants have not preferred a claim, is that indicated in the proviso to sub-rule 8(2).6. i accordingly hold that smt. chhatar kuar, roopsingh and chhotesingh are not entitled to receive any compensation. i therefore, accept the appeal set. aside the.....
Judgment:

Jagat Narayan, J.

1. This is an appeal under Section 30(1)(c) of the Workmen's Compensation Act against an order of the Workmen's Compensation Commissioner distributing compensation amongst the dependants of the deceased workman.

2. The relevant facts are these. M/s. Gannon Dunkerley and Co. Ltd., reported to the Workmen's Compensation Commissioner that a workman named Vijay Singh son of Bhom Singh had died on 30-1-63 as a result of an accident during the course of his employment. On 4-2-63 Vijay Singh's widow Smt. Badan Bai filed a claim before the Workmen's Compensation Commissioner under Section 10 of the Workmen's Compensation Act. Another claim xvas filed on 25-2-63 by the workman's father Bhomsingh who claimed that he was dependant on Vijaysingh. On 4-5-63 a sum of Rs. 2400/- was deposited by the employer with the Workmen's Compensation Commissioner under Section 8(1).

The Commissioner held an enquiry as to who were the dependants of the workman and came to the finding that besides Smt. Badan Bai--the widow and Bhomsingh the father, Chhatar Kuar--the mother and Roopsingh and Chhotesingh--the minor brothers of the deceased were also his dependants. He accordingly awarded Rs. 800/- as compensation to Smt. Badanbai and Rs. 1600/- to Bhomsingh, Smt. Chhatar Kuar, Roopsingh and Chhotesingh. Against that order Smt. Badanbai has filed the present appeal. On her behalf it is contended mat no amount could be paid to Smt. Chhatar Kuar, Roopsingh and Chhotesingh by the Commissioner out of the money deposited as compensation by the employer as they had not filed any claim under Section 10.

3. On behalf of the respondents on the other hand it is argued that there is nothing in the Act to debar the Commissioner from making payment to the dependants who had not filed any application under Section 50. Reliance is placed on Rule 8(3) of the Rajas-than Workmen's Compensation Rules, 1960 which runs as follows :--

'If after completing the enquiry into the application, the Commissioner issues an order requiring the employer to deposit compensation in. accordance with Sub-section (1) of Section 8, nothing in Sub-rule (2) shall be deemed to prohibit the allotment of any part of the sum deposited as compensation to a dependant of the deceased workman who failed to join the application'.

Sub-rule (2) runs as follows :--

'If compensation has not been deposited, the Commissioner shall dispose of such application in accordance with the provisions of Part V of these rules : Provided that :--

(a) the Commissioner may, at any time before issues are framed, cause notice to be given in such manner as he thinks fit to all or any of the dependants of the deceased workman who have not joined in the application, requiring them, if they desire to join therein, to appear before him on a date specified in this behalf;

(b) any dependant to whom such notice has been given and who fails to appear and to join in the application on the date specified in the notice shall not be permitted thereafter to claim that the employer is liable to deposit compensation unless he satisfies the Commissioner that he was prevented by any sufficient cause from appearing when the case was called for hearing'.

4. On behalf of the appellant it is contended that Sub-rule (3) of Rule 8 is ultra vires of the provision contained in Section 10(1) of the Act which lays down that :

'No claim for compensation shall be entertained by a Commissioner unless notice of the accident has been given in the manner hereinafter provided as soon as practicable after the happening thereof and unless the claim is preferred before him within two years of the occurrence of the accident or, in case of death, within two years from date of death'.

There is a proviso empowering the Commissioner to entertain and decide any claim to compensation in any case notwithstanding that the notice has not been given, or the claim has not been preferred, in due time, if he is satisfied that the failure so to give the notice or prefer the claim, as the case may be, was due to sufficient cause.

5. Having considered the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the parties. I am of the opinion that no claim for compensation can be allowed by the Commissioner unless it is preferred before the Commissioner under Section 10. Such a claim has to be preferred within two years of the accident ordinarily. But the Commissioner can entertain a claim preferred beyond two years if he is satisfied that the failure to prefer it was due to sufficient cause. The Commissioner has thus no power to make payment of any part of the compensation to a dependant who! has not preferred a claim at all before the; Commissioner. Sub-rule 8(3) of the Rajasthan Workmen's Compensation Rules, 1960, is therefore, void. The proper procedure which the Commissioner should follow in a case in which all the dependants have not preferred a claim, is that indicated in the proviso to Sub-rule 8(2).

6. I accordingly hold that Smt. Chhatar Kuar, Roopsingh and Chhotesingh are not entitled to receive any compensation. I therefore, accept the appeal set. aside the order of the Workmen's Compensation Commissioner distributing compensation and award it to Smt. Badan Bai and Bhom Singh in equal shares.

The Workmen's Compensation Commissioner is directed to pay the compensation to Smt. Badanbai and Bhomsingh in accordance with the above order.


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