TRIPURA STATE ELECTRICITY CORPORATION LTD. & 2 OTHERS Vs. PHUL KUMARI KALOI @ PHUI KANYA
HIGH COURT TRIPURA
Tripura State Electricity Corporation Ltd. And 2 Others
Phul Kumari Kaloi @ Phui Kanya
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Akil Kureshi, J. -
(1.)This cross-objection is filed by the Tripura State Electricity Corporation Ltd. challenging a portion of the judgment of a Commissioner of Employee's Compensation, Gomati District, Udaipur awarding a sum of Rs. 5,42,300/- to the original claimants i.e. respondents No.1 to 6 (respondents herein). One Shri Bir Bahu Kaloi was employed by a contractor for carrying out the work for and on behalf of Tripura State Electricity Corporation Ltd. (for short TSECL). He died in an accident during the course of his work due to electrocution on 29.01.2008 when the over head electric lines suddenly fell on him. The claimants i.e. his widow and children filed a claim petition before the Commissioner of Employee's Compensation who passed impugned order awarding a compensation of Rs. 5,42,300/- which paid by the cross-objector with interest @ 6% per annum from the date of filing of the claim petition till realization.
(2.)The sole ground on which this cross-objection is sought to be sustained is that the Commissioner did not fasten the responsibility to pay such compensation on the contractor employed by the Electricity Corporation. The attention was drawn to Section 12 of the Employee's Compensation Act, 1923 (for short EC Act, 1923) and particularly sub-section 2 thereof, which provides for the indemnity by the contractor while the principal employer is found liable to pay the compensation under the said Act.
(3.)Having heard learned counsel for the cross-objector and having perused the impugned order, I find no reason to interfere. The Commissioner has recorded that the agreement between the Electricity Corporation and the respondent No.6 contractor was not produced on record. In absence of any such agreement it would obviously be difficult for the Commissioner to address the issue of indemnity by the contractor. Sub-section 2 of Section 12 of the EC Act, 1923 basically provides that where the principal is liable to pay compensation under the said section, he would be entitled to be indemnified by the contractor and all questions as to the right and amount of indemnity in the fault of agreement is settled by the Commissioner. In the present case, there was a contract between the Electricity Corporation and the contractor which was never presented before the Commissioner. Essentially, this is the dispute between the Electricity Corporation and the contractor and the claimants have nothing to do with it. Sub-section 3 of Section 12 provides that nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing an employee from recovering compensation from the contractor instead of a principal. In essence, by virtue of the provisions contained in Section 12 of the Act, in case of a worker engaged by the contractor to perform the work for a principal employer, liability to pay the compensation would be joint and several.
In the result, cross objection is dismissed.
Pending application(s), if any, also stands disposed of.
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