USMAN ROJAN Vs. E S I CORPORATION
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
E S I CORPORATION
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(1.) What should be the approach of the Employees State Insurance Corporation the ESI Court and other authorities constituted under the provisions of the Employees State Insurance Act while deciding the question of condonation of delay in filing claim petition and/ or appeal before the appropriate authority? Should it be technical and archaic having no regard for the realities of life? Or should it be informed with the changed values of our society and should have close connection with the realities of life? This question is required to be resolved in this appeal filed by an insured employee who sustained employment injury to his right hand thumb and whose appeal has been dismissed by the lower authorities on the sole ground of limitation although it is found that he had a good case on merits.
(2.) The appellant is an insured employee who was working as a weaver in Nagari Mills a textile mill company and he met with an accident on 23/10/1978 on account of which he sustained injury on his right thumb. The Medical Board by its decision dated 12/04/1980 assessed the loss of earning of the workman at 5 per cent. Against this decision of the Medical Board the appellant injured employee preferred an appeal before the Medical Appeal Tribunal being Appeal No. 391 of 1980. In filing this appeal there was delay of about four months. The Medical Appeal Tribunal rejected the appeal on the preliminary ground of limitation and during the course of the judgment observed as follows:
"The Medical Board has however assessed 5% as total disablement and the assessors have raised this assessment from 5% to 10% in favour of the appellant."
The Medical Appeal Tribunal after making the observations as above dismissed the appeal on the ground that the same was filed beyond the period of limitation.
(3.) Against the aforesaid decision of the Medical Appeal Tribunal the appellant injured employee preferred Second Appeal (ESI) No. 47 of 1982 before the Employees State Insurance Court at Ahmedabad. The ESI Court also rejected the appeal of the employee on the ground that there was no sufficient cause for condonation of delay in filing the appeal before the Medical Appeal Tribunal and did not give any finding on merits and dismissed the appeal by its judgment dated 22/10/1982 During the course of the judgment the ESI Court in paragraph 4 discussed the grounds stated by the injured employee for condoning the delay and stated as follows:
" First thing he (workman) states is that it was ignorance of law; that he did not know that he can prefer appeal against the decision of the Medical Board; that he did not know Gujarati and English; that the respondent had not intimated that he could prefer appeal against the decision of the Medical Board When he came to know that he could prefer appeal he had then lost the papers or they were misplaced and it was with great difficulty and long time that he got the same and so the appeal could not be filed in time
After narrating these circumstances the ESI Court scrutinised these grounds with meticulous details and found that the statement of the injured employee that he had received the intimation regarding the decision of the Medical Board late and other statements were not accurate and therefore the ESI Court also refused to go into the merits of the case.;
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