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Executive Engnieer R.C.P. Central Workshop Division (State of Rajasthan) Vs. Smt. Veera - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Misc. Appeal No. 62 of 1970
Judge
Reported in1975(8)WLN151
AppellantExecutive Engnieer R.C.P. Central Workshop Division (State of Rajasthan)
RespondentSmt. Veera
DispositionAppeal allowed
Cases ReferredRam Lal Jawahar Lal v. Leela Bai and Ors.
Excerpt:
.....of the workman had nothing to do with the nature of the work which he was required to perform. the deceased workman, therefore, did not suffer any injury in the course of his employment because on that particular day he was not asked to perform the duty for which he was employed, nor can it be said that he developed the disease because of the excessive heat of the town.;the nature of the employment of the deceased workman did not have any such risk which may cause a decease of the nature which the deceased workman suffered nor can the disease be said to be incidental to the duties which the workman wit required to perform.;if no such casual relation is established then the widow of the deceased workman cannot invoke the provisions of section 3 of the act.;(b) words and phrases -..........through the executive engineer of the rajasthan canal project mainly on the ground that the workman died a natural death according to the state, he did not meet during the course of his employment with any accident causing any injury to the deceased workman and therefore no claim under the provisions of the act could be made by his widow. the claimant smt. veera has filed a certificate of dr. g.d. goyal attached to the dispensary, suratgarh which shows that gurcharan singh died of haemorrhage of the brain.4. it is common ground between the parties that on the day when he did not drive the jeep on which he was appointed as a driver because the doctor with whom the jeep was detailed was not present on duty gurcharan singh complained of his ailment and he was immediately removed to.....
Judgment:

V.P. Tyagi, J.

1. This appeal is directed against the award given by the Commissioner appointed under the Workmens Compensation Act, 1923 in employed in the Rajasthan Canal Project and working on the relevant date as a driver on a jeep which was attached to the Medical Officer of the Project appointed in a dispensary at Suratgarh.

2. On 4th of May, 1968, Gurcharan Singh when he was on duty fulfill. He was removed to his house where he died at about 2.3.p.m. His widow Smt. Vera filed a claim in the court of the Rajasthan Workmens Compensation Commissioner for an amount of Rs. 8,000/- alleging that her husband Gurcharan Singh who was a workmen under the provisions of the Act suddenly collapsed while perform in his duty and instantaneously died and, therefore, she was entitled to receive a compensation of Rs. 8000/-.

3. This claim was contested by the State Government through the Executive Engineer of the Rajasthan Canal Project mainly on the ground that the workman died a natural death According to the State, he did not meet during the course of his employment with any accident causing any injury to the deceased workman and therefore no claim under the provisions of the Act could be made by his widow. The claimant Smt. Veera has filed a certificate of Dr. G.D. Goyal attached to the Dispensary, Suratgarh which shows that Gurcharan Singh died of haemorrhage of the brain.

4. It is common ground between the parties that on the day when he did not drive the jeep on which he was appointed as a driver because the doctor with whom the jeep was detailed was not present on duty Gurcharan Singh complained of his ailment and he was immediately removed to his house where he died at about 2.30 p.m. He was attended by Dr Goyal but the disease, as mentioned by Dr. Goyal, could not be controlled by him.

5. The question that parties for the determination of this Court in this appeal is whether under the circumstances mentioned above can it be said that Gurcharan Singh died of an injury received by him on account of Some accident arising out of and in the course of the employment.

6. Under the provisions of Section 3 of the Act, the employer can be held liable to pay compensation to the workman or his heir only when the personal injury is caused to a worksman by accident arising KU of and in the course of his employment. Whether in the present circumstances en it be said with any justification that Gurcharan Singh died on account of an injury caused to him by accident arising out of & in the course of his employment? As given above, the nature of the employment of Gurcharan Singh was to drive a vehicle attached to the medical unit of the project, but on that day he was not required to drive that vehicle as the doctor was not on duly. He was through sitting in the office when he felt uneasy & inspire of the medical aid made available to bum he died of brain haemorrhage.

7. It is urged by learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent that it was due to the excessive heat of Suratgarh that the workmen died and therefore, the death shall be attributed to an injury received by his body on account of an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment. I regret, I cannot accept this argument because the heat of the town where he was serving has no casual relationship with the discharge of his duties as a driver and especially when he was not asked to undergo any strenuous work on that particular day. He was all through sitting in the office and while doing so he got the brain haemorrhage and died.

8. The law on this subject is now settled. The Supreme Court in Mackenze and Co. Private Ltd. v. Ibrahim Mohammad Issak A.I.R. 1970 S.C. 1906 has laid down that in order to attract the provision of Section 3 of the Act two things are necessary, namely, (1) injury by accident, and (2) such an injury must arise both out of and in the course of an employment. The learned Judges have explained the meaning of the term 'in the course of the employment' and they have laid down that this expression means 'in the course of the work which the workman is employed to do and which is accidents to it'. The other expression 'arising out of employment' he also been explained by the learned Judges to mean that 'during the course of the employment, injury has resulted from some risk incidental to the duties of the service, which, unless engaged in the duty owing to the master, it is reasonable to believe the workman would not otherwise have suffered.'

9. The explanation of the aforesaid two expressions used by the legislature while enacting Section 3 of the Act makes it abundantly clear that the injury which has ultimately proved to be the cause of death of a workman must be incidental to the nature of the work which a workman is required to do under the term of his employment and that the nature of the duty involves a particular risk which is incidental to the duties of the service and which, unless engaged in that duty, would not have otherwise suffered. Applying this test to the circumstances of the present case it can safely be laid down that the disease which was the cause of death of the workman had nothing to do with the nature of the work which ha was required to perform. The deceased workman, therefore, did not suffer any injury in the course of his employment because on that particular day he was Dot asked to perform the duty for which he was employed, nor can it be said that he developed the disease because of the excessive heart of the town as argued by learned Counsel for the respondent because heat of the place has nothing to do with the brain haemorrhage of the deceased and, therefore, even if he got the bruin haemorrhage during the duty bouts, it is difficult to say that he sustained that injury during the course of tae employment.

10. The nature of the employment of the deceased workman did not have any such risk which may cause a disease of the nature which the deceased workman suffered, nor can the disease be said to be incidental to the duties which the workman was required to perform. In the words of the learned Judges of the Supreme Court 'there must be a casual relationship between the accident and the employment.' If no such casual relation is established then the widow of the deceased workman cannot invoke the provisions of Section 3 of the Act.

11. In Sarat Chatterjee & Co. (Private) Ltd v. Khairunnessa 1968 (1) L.L.J. 329, the deceased workman was discharging his duties to lift the bates of jute in the hands of the coolies. During the course of this duties the workman complained of giddiness. He was given a drink of water and allowed to lie down and thereafter he died. There was no post-mortem examination but the doctor diagnosed the case as one of cerebral haemorrhage. It is said that the workman never made complaint of such an illness before. The learned Judges of the Calcutta High Court after discussing certain authorities on the point laid down:

For making out a claim under the Workmens' Compensation Act it is necessary to establish definite casual connection between the work & the accident leading to death. The mere fact that death takes place while the deceased is on the job or immediately after he was on the job is not enough.

12. Relying on a Bombay decision reported in Bal Diva Koluji v. Silver Cotton Mills Ltd. A.I.R. 1956 Bom. 424, learned Counsel for the respondent urged that if the workman died during the course of his duty then in that event his heirs are entitled to compensation under Section 3 of the Act. In that case the workman Kalu was working in the weaving department of a mill and that he went to his duties on the first shift that started at 7.30 a.m. and that he collapsed at about 3:30 p.m. in the department itself where he was working He was removed to the hospital where he was given amount which restored consciousness to him & thereafter he was removed to his home where be died at 12.00 O'clock bock in the night. It was discovered that he had heart disease and the learned Judges came to the conclusion that where a workman suffering from heart disease after working for 8 hours on a hot day in a mill dies that is proper to hold that he died of injury on account of an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment. The facts of that case which led the learned Judges to lay down the law have no similarity with the facts of the present case. In the instant case, the workmen was not even required to discharge his duties of driving the jeep on that day because the doctor in whose duty the jeep was detailed was absent & therefore it is difficult to urge on behalf of the claimant that it was on account of the strenuous work done by the workman that he died and, therefore, his death can be attributed to an injury caused by an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment.

13. This Court in Ram Lal Jawahar Lal v. Leela Bai and Ors. 1973 A.C.J. 476 in the circumstances of that case has held that unless a casual relationship between the nature of the employment and the cause of death is established, no compensation can be awarded. In that case, a minimum who had pone out for the realisation of the outstandings caught pneumonia and died when be was in a bus from one place to another. The learned Judge held that the cause of death had no casual relationship with the nature of the duty to be performed by the workman.

14. The result is that I do not find any casual connection with the nature of the duty performed or to be performed by the workman and the cause of his death and, therefore, the widow of the deceased workman cannot claim any compensation under the provisions of the Act and, therefore, in the present circumstances I find it difficult to sustain an award of Rs. 8,000/- given by the Workmens' Compensation Commissioner in favour of the widow of the deceased workman. The appeal of the State is allowed and the award of the court below is set aside. I lave the parties to bear their own costs throughout.


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