Decided on February 06,1953

RENGASWAMY Respondents


- (1.) THE appellant is a P. W. D. contractor who appeals against an order by the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation directing him to pay a sum of Rs. 550 as compensation to the father of a road employee who was killed by a stone roller while working on road laying. The accident was reported by the Superintending Engineer of the PWD to the Commissioner and an enquiry was held by the Revenue Divisional Officer, Tindivanam, under Rule 23 (1), Workmen's Compensation Rules. The enquiry disclosed that the deceased had a father, mother and a minor brother aged 11 and a minor sister aged 2 alive. There is on record a statement by the lather recorded by the village Magistrate and statements recorded from the contractor and one of his witnesses by the Revenue Divisional Officer. According to the father's statement, the son was 25 years old, but according to the contractor he was 16. According to one of the contractor's witnesses, the deceased was an emaciated boy who was prior to his employment by him as a road cooly earning six annas daily as wages. The report of the Revenue Divisional Officer, accepted by the Commissioner, was to the effect that the deceased was earning at least eight annas a day and as he was living with his parents his father was par-tially dependent on him.
(2.) NO appearance has been made on this appeal by the respondent-father, who engaged an advocate, Mr. R. Krishnaswami who, however, reported no instructions when, this appeal was taken up for hearing two weeks ago. I allowed some time for appearance by any other advocate as Mr. Krishnaswami said that the papers were taken from him, but no appearance has yet been made.
(3.) MR. Krishnamurthi Aiyar for the appellant has contended that, in the circumstances, the father cannot be deemed to be even partially dependent on his son's earnings. He has relied on a decision reported in --'st. Joseph's A. and M. Works v. Maria Soosai Pillai', (A), by Chandra Reddi J. in which some English decisions were considered, The facts there were rather different, the deceased workman being a child of tender years, working as a cleaner on a daily wage of four annas. In that case the finding of the Commissioner that the lather of the child was partially, dependent on his earnings was reversed on the ground that the earnings of the child far from being an asset to the family were not sufficient to maintain him and, in fact, that the father had to spend a portion of his own ear-pings on the maintenance of his son. Whether a person is partially dependent on the earnings of a deceased workman is a matter essentially of fact to be decided in the circumstances of each case.;

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