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The Union of India (Uoi) Vs. Smt. Kamla Devi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Misc. Appeal No. 34/1977
Judge
Reported in1980WLN(UC)111
AppellantThe Union of India (Uoi)
RespondentSmt. Kamla Devi
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredSuratgarh v. Sent. Veera
Excerpt:
.....pain due to fall. he very much stressed that the burden to establish casual connection between fall and pain resulting to death, is on the applicant, and the applicant has failed to discharge that bur den, he pointed out that mere possibly would be only a conjecture until and unless there is a high degree of probability or preponderance of probability, this casual relationship cannot be inferred legitimately, or such a justifiable inference cannot be drawn in the facts and circumstances of the case. pathak as well as dr. pathak and urged that shock can be the reault of fall and the deceased died due to heart failure by shock. 6. having considered the rival contentions, advanced by both the learned counsel, i am of the opinion that the finding of the learned commissioner does not..........which resulted on account of fall. the immediate and the proximate cause of abdominal and chest pain is fall, which ultimately resulted in death. he submitted that this casual relationship has been rightly inferred by the learned commissioner from the circumstances appearing in this case. he referred to the statements dr. s.k. pathak as well as dr. gulshan; particularly of dr. s.k. pathak and urged that shock can be the reault of fall and the deceased died due to heart failure by shock. according to him, it is not a case of simple possibility or remote probability, but it is a case of con plete chain of cassation that the fall ultimately resulted into death.6. having considered the rival contentions, advanced by both the learned counsel, i am of the opinion that the finding of the.....
Judgment:

M.C. Jain, J

1. This appeal under Section 30 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, is directed against the judgment and award dated January 31, 1977, passed by the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation, Jodhpur, whereby, a sum of Rs. 8,000/- was awarded by way of compensation together with Rs. 5,00/- as the cost of the application, to respondents, Smt. Kamla Devi.

2. The facts giving rise to the present appeal may briefly be stated. Respondent, Smt. Kamla Devi presented a claim-application under the Workmen's Compensation Act with the allegation that her husband Arjun Singh was a second Fireman in the Loco shed, Northern Railway, Jodhpur. He went on duty on November 12,1971, at 6.30 A.M, and started working on Engine No. 2389 YP, which was scheduled for 210 Dn. While filling water in the water-tank of the said engine by standing on the tanker, he slipped from the engine, from about 10 feet and fell on the ground. Immediately thereafter, he complained of pain in the chest and abdomen. After the fall, he was immediately removed to the Railway Hospital in an ambulance. Dr. Gulshan, a defence witness, attended him. It is said that there were two vomits at about 8.40 A M., and soon thereafter, he collapsed. The dead body of the deceased, Arjun Singh was sent for post mortem examination to M.G. Hospital, Jodhpur, where Dr. S K. Pathak conducted the autopsy on the dead body. According to him, the death occurred due to heart failure on account of shock. The respondent's case is that her husband met with an accident (sic)arisirg out of and in the course of employment, and consequently, she prayed for award of compensation. The appellant, Union of India, through the Divisional Mechanical Engineer, resisted the application. It was alleged that the deceased sustained no injury and the death of the workman was caused in the normal course. It was, of course, not disputed that the deceased was on duty at the relevant time, and was removed from the place of his work in an (sic)ambularce to the Railway Hospital, where he was admitted and thercafer died. It was also pleaded that the deceased complained of pain In the chest, Meeting of an accident by fall was denied.

3. On the basis of the pleadings of the parties, necessary issues were framed. The learned Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation, recorded the evidence of the parties, and found the issues in favour of the applicant. Consequently, he awarded compensation as aforesaid. The learned Commissioner decided that the deceased met with an accident, arising out and in the course of his employment, and after appreciation of evidence, found that the deceased, while discharging his duties, fell down, which resulted in pain and ultimately in death. Dissatisfied with the judgment of the learned Commissioner, the Union of India has come up in appeal.

4. I have heard Mr. M.R. Bhansali, learned Counsel for the appellant; and Mr. L.R. Calla, learned Counsel for the respondent.

5. At the very cutset, it may be stated that this finding of the learned Commissloner has not been challenged before me that the deceased Arjun Singh, while discharging his duties, fell from the engine. What has been strenuously contended by Shri Bhansali is, that, from the evidence on record, it is not established that there was any casual relationship between the fall and the death of the workman. It was urged by Shri Bhansali that the deceased sustained no external injury. The deceased did not complain that he developed pain due to fall. When the deceased did not even receive a scratch, it cannot be said that there was a violent fall; and as such, no casual relationship can be found to have been established, and so, the appellant cannot be held liable for compensation. He very much stressed that the burden to establish casual connection between fall and pain resulting to death, is on the applicant, and the applicant has failed to discharge that bur den, He pointed out that mere possibly would be only a conjecture until and unless there is a high degree of probability or preponderance of probability, this casual relationship cannot be inferred legitimately, or such a justifiable inference cannot be drawn in the facts and circumstances of the case. In support of his contention Shri Bhansali referred to some case law. Shri L.R. Calla, learned Counsel for the respondent on the other hand, supported the judgment of the learned Commissioner, and urged that from the proved facts it can legitimately he interred that the deceased died due to pain suffered by him in the chest and abdomen, which resulted on account of fall. The immediate and the proximate cause of abdominal and chest pain is fall, which ultimately resulted in death. He submitted that this casual relationship has been rightly inferred by the learned Commissioner from the circumstances appearing in this case. He referred to the statements Dr. S.K. Pathak as well as Dr. Gulshan; particularly of Dr. S.K. Pathak and urged that shock can be the reault of fall and the deceased died due to heart failure by shock. According to him, it is not a case of simple possibility or remote probability, but it is a case of con plete chain of cassation that the fall ultimately resulted into death.

6. Having considered the rival contentions, advanced by both the learned Counsel, I am of the opinion that the finding of the learned Commissioner does not appear to be wrong The learned Commissioner has dealt with the entire evidence on record, and on appreciation of evidence, has reached the conclusion that the deceased died on account of fall from the engine as the fall resulted in pain in the chest and abdomer, whereby the deceased bad two vomits, and soon thereafter he collapsed. It may be pointed out that soon after the fall, the deceased complained of pain in the chest Red abdcmen, and he immediatelv was removed to the hospital, almost in no time he breathed his last. According to Dr. Gulshan, at about 7.45 A.M the deceased reached the hospital and at about 8 40 A M he (sic)colls psed. It is true that from the side of the applicant, no medical expert has been examined, but in the circumstances of the case, such examination is immaterial, as the deceased was working on the engine and when he slipped and fell from the engine, he immediately complained of pain in his chest, which was also recorded in the Loco-shed Report. In an ambulance he was removed to the hospital. There was no opportunity or occasion for any private reatment. So, there was no question of examining any medical expert by the applicant. The applicant has examined the doctor, who attended the deceased, and the appellant has also examined the doctor who conducted the autopsy on the dead body It is the medical evidence, which has been produced by the appellant which requires consideration So far as the direct evidence led by the applicant is concerned, it is to the effect that while working on the engine, the deceased fell and immediately thereafter, the (sic)decrased complained of pain in his chest and abdomen. This part of the evidence has not been, and could not be assailed before roe. The question is as to whether from these proved facts can it be reasonably and legitimately in forced that in the death of Arjun Singh, deceased fall from the engine was a contributed factor? The argument that there may be several other possibilities and reasons for the heart-failure, in my opinion, it will be too much to argue on these lines, when we have evidence on record to the off of that soon after the fall, the deceased developed pain in his chest and abdomen, Dr. pathak does not rule out the possibility that on account of fall shock may be caused, and when shock can be caused by fall, then by shock heart-failune may be caused. Thus, in my opinion, there is a complete chain of causation in the present case. The mattar is to be viewed considerirg the broad probabilities and is not to be viewed in void, guessing or conjecturing some other reasons which might have led to the death of the deceased. In my opinion, on all human probability it was due to fall that the deceased felt pain and as a shock there of heart-failure is caused. In Mackinnon Mackenzie and Co. Private Ltd. Appellant v. Ibrahim Mohammed Issak, Respondent : (1970)ILLJ16SC their Lordships of the Supreme Court have observed as under:

There must be a causal relationship between the accident and the employment. If the accident had occurred on account of a risk which is an incident of the employment, the claim for compensation must succeed, unless of the workman has exposed himsalf to an added peril by his own imprudent act.

In Sarat Chatterjee & Co. (pvt.) Ltd. v. Khairunnessa 1968 I. L L J 329, it has been observed as under:

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

The law on the subject is well-settled. Similar views have been expressed by this Court in Ramlal Jawaharlal v. Lalla Bui 1973 AG. Journal 476 and in Executive Enegineer, R.C.P. Central Work-shop Division, Suratgarh v. Sent. Veera 1975 R.L W. 159. It may be pointed out that it would all depend the on facts and circumstances of the case as to whether on the material on record such a casual relationship between the accident and the employment resulting in the deah is established or not. The finding can be reached evan on the basis of consideration of broad probabilities. In the instant case as considered above, taking the conspectus of the case in the light of the direct and circumstantial evidence, in my opinion, it is fully established that the deceased, Arjun Singh died as a result of fall from the engine, as the fall caused pain, resulting into death, In view of the above finding, it cannot be said that the compensation has been wrongly awarded.

7. No other point was pressed before me.

8. In the result, this appeal fails and in the facts and circumstances of the case, I leave the parries to bear their own costs of the appeal.


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