Decided on February 11,2021

Laxman Madhi Respondents


Biswanath Rath,J. - (1.) All these four appeals arise out of common judgment dated 24.09.2012 involving W.C. Case Nos.2/2007, 3/2007, 4/2007 and 5/2007 being decided by Commissioner for Employees' Compensation and Assistant Labour Commissioner, Jeypore in common hearing of four claim applications. Claim applications involved death of four labourers involving a proceeding under Workmen's' Compensation Act, 1923. Common pleading is advanced that all the four deceased labourers while moving in a tractor and trolley bearing Registration Nos.OR-10E-1203/1204 claiming to be working as labourers involving a Self Help Group, the O.P.1 therein, suffered death in course of their employment in the tractor involved herein. On receipt of the claim, notices being issued, Insurance Company-O.P.2 therein appeared. However owner-O.P.1 therein did not appear. This Court finds, in spite of notice from the High Court, the owner also did not appear here. It is observed that O.P.1 remained noncooperative all through. The Insurance Company on its appearance while disputing the claim on behalf of the claimants involving the accident involving in course of and arising out of employment also disclaimed the liability. Basing on the pleading, the Commissioner framed the following issues : ISSUES (1) Whether the deceased in W.C. Case No.2/07 to 5/07 were 'workman' within the meaning of W.C. Act, 1923 and working under the O.Ps.? (2) Whether the deceased in W.C. Case No.2/07 to 5/07 met with accident arising out of and in course of their employment? (3) What was the age and monthly wage of the deceased in W.C. Case No.2/07 to 5/07 at the time of accident? (4) What is the quantum of compensation payable and who is liable to pay?
(2.) Parties in contest enter into evidence. It appears, the claimants examined four witnesses, whereas O.P.2, the Insurance Company examined its Deputy Manager, who appeared as OPW 2. Basing on the materials brought on record and the pleadings as well as evidence, the Commissioner disposed of all the four claim cases by a common judgment directed as follows: "ORDER The claim of the applicants for compensation under the W.C. Act, 1923 is allowed against the O.Ps., M/s. Bajaj Allianz, General Insurance Co. Ltd., Janpath, Bapujee Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Dist.Khurda being the insurer of the offending vehicle is directed to deposit a sum of Rs.1,86,763/- each in W.C. Case No.2/2007, 3/2007 and 4/2007 and a sum of Rs.1,84,800/- in W.C.Case No.5/2007 aggregating to Rs.7,45,089/- in this court within 30 days from the date of judgment for onward disbursement to the applicants."
(3.) Assailing the common judgment involving all these four cases, filing all these four appeals, the Insurance Company challenged the judgment on the ground that there never exists employer and employee relationship. Mr. Khan, learned counsel for the Insurance Company submits that though the workmen policy is admitted, but the same had covered only the driver of the tractor, therefore, there is no liability on the head of the Insurance Company. It is also claimed that there being no required premium paid for covering labourers involving the Workmen Policy, the labourers in spite of their death, cannot be covered under such policy. It is also being claimed that the driver driving the tractor was not having a driving licence at the relevant point of time. Further the tractor though was utilized for commercial purpose, there was no licence or authorized permission for having such use by the owner.;

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