NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED Vs. SEENU ALIAS SRINIVASAN
LAWS(MAD)-2020-9-328
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Decided on September 22,2020

NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED Appellant
VERSUS
Seenu Alias Srinivasan Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) Heard learned counsel for the parties through video conferencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
(2.) These two civil miscellaneous appeals in C.M.A.Nos.2143 and 2437 of 2016 are taken up for final disposal, as they challenge the impugned award passed by the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation-I cum Deputy Commissioner of Labour-I, Chennai dated 26.5.2016 made in W.C.No.36 of 2013. For convenience, the parties will be hereinafter referred to as "the Injured/Claimant" and "the Insurance Company" in this judgment.
(3.) C.M.A.No.2437 of 2016 has been filed by Mr.Seenu alias Srinivasan, the Injured/Claimant seeking enhancement of compensation, as he is aggrieved by the award amount of Rs.6,09,610/- and also for payment of interest at the rate of 12% per annum, as the learned Deputy Commissioner of Labour-I has directed the Insurance Company to deposit the award amount within 30 days from the date of receipt of award, failing which the Injured/Claimant would be entitled to get interest at the rate of 12% per annum on and from 30 days after the date of accident, that is incorrect and also against the settled legal position and also against the legal provision. Arguing further, learned counsel appearing for the Injured/Claimant stated that when the Injured/Claimant was working as Painter on 28.9.2012 at about 12.00 hours with the third opposite party, namely, True Value Homes India Private Limited (TVH) building, he slipped and fell down from 30 feet height, resultantly he sustained severe fracture on his left ankle, pelvic left leg cut injury and also another fracture L5 in the spinal cord. Although he was taken immediately to the nearby Government Hospital at Sriperumbudur, Kanchipuram District, after taking first aid treatment, he was rushed to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Chennai on the same day i.e., 28.9.2012 and till 3.10.2012, he was taking treatment as an in-patient and he also took further treatment at the private hospitals in Kanchipuram by spending thousands of rupee for the treatment and also the charges for the nurse and attender. When the claim was made before the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation-I for awarding a sum of Rs.10 lakhs with interest at the rate of 12% per annum on and from 30 days after the date of accident, making it clear that in view of the aforementioned multiple injuries including the fracture of L5 in the spinal cord, resultantly he was not able to walk without using a stick, the learned Deputy Commissioner of Labour-I, against the medical evidence that was supported by the version of P.W.3 Dr.Thiagarajan, who also certified 70% disability, without any reason, has reduced the percentage of disability to 65% and also fixed only Rs.8,000/- as the monthly wage, as against the claim of Rs.700/- per day which works out to Rs.21,000/- per month, thereby arrived at the quantum of compensation wrongly, for which the Injured/Claimant has been put to huge problem. Therefore, while enhancing the disability percentage from 65% to 100%, as the Injured/Claimant is unable to rise from his sitting posture, as he has lost the avocation of painting work, this Court, he pleaded, should fix the percentage of disability at 100% and accordingly, the quantum of compensation should be fixed. Again coming to the interest part, learned counsel appearing for the Injured/Claimant pleaded that when it is the settled legal position, as per Section 4-A(3) of the Workmen's Compensation Act , 1923, that the interest and penalty payable under sub- section (3) shall be paid to the employee or his dependent, as the case may be, 30 days after the accident, the learned Deputy Commissioner of Labour-I has forgotten to follow even the mandatory provision, because he has directed the payment of interest at the rate of 12% per annum in the event of failure on the part of the Insurance Company in not paying the amount within 30 days from the date of receipt of award, that is not the correct legal position. Concluding his arguments, he further argued that when M/s Global Decorators is the employer of the Injured/Claimant, since M/s Global Decorators has taken the workmen's compensation policy from the Insurance Company and the said Policy No.500505/41/12/8600000132 was valid from 10.8.2012 to 9.2.2013 and for the reason that the policy has covered the accident that took place on 28.9.2012, the Insurance Company is liable to pay the compensation to the Injured/Claimant on behalf of M/s Global Decorators. But the Insurance Company, after issuing the aforementioned policy in favour of M/s Global Decorators has refuted and denied their liability to pay, on the ground that when M/s True Value Homes India Private Limited (TVH) being the principal employer and M/s Global Decorators being the contractor, when the Injured/Claimant was serving only under the contractor, there was no employer-employee relationship either through M/s True Value Homes India Private Limited or through M/s Global Decorators. But this argument was rightly considered by the learned Deputy Commissioner of Labour-I and overruling the same, the impugned award has been passed. But the award has substantially reduced the quantum of compensation. Hence, the appeal filed by the Injured/Claimant deserves to be allowed by enhancing the compensation both on the quantum of salary as deposed by P.W.2 stating that everyday, the Injured/Claimant was paid Rs.700/- wages and the payment of interest also should be properly settled holding that the Injured/Claimant is entitled to get the interest on and from 30 days after the date of the accident.;


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