MOHAMMAD SADIQ Vs. CHHOTI
HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
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Bhargava, J. -
(1.)THIS appeal is directed against the order of the Compensation Commissioner, Ajmer Division dated the 18th of April, 1958, by which he allowed Rs. 3,000/-as compensation to Mst. Chhoti widow of Ramnarain deceased.
(2.)THE claim for compensation was preferred by Mst. Chhoti under sec. 10 of the Workmen's Compensation Act (No. 8 of 1923 hereinafter called the Act) before the Compensation Commissioner, Ajmer, under the following circumstances: - That her husband Ramnarain was in the employment of the appellants who were carrying on the business of plying trucks for bringing stones from Jamua Ramgarh to Jaipur. Ramnarain was the driver of the truck No. R. J. L. 3357. That during the course of his employment Ramnarain died on the 18th of February, 1956 on account of an accident between Jamua Ramgarh and Jaipur. . It was further alleged that the deceased mas getting Rs. 100/- p. m. as his salary. It was, therefore, prayed that a sum of Rs. 3000/- be allowed to her as compensation.
In reply it was stated that Ramnarain was not in their permanent employment but was engaged temporarily for some days, that their permanent driver Mohammed Ayub had gone on leave due to his mother's illness. It was pleaded that Ramnarain was not a workman within the meaning of the term as defined in sec. 2 (n) of the Workmen's Compensation Act. It was also pleaded that Ramnarain was not getting Rs. 100/- p. m. as his salary.
The learned Compensation Commissioner on these facts framed several issues and after evidence gave his finding that the deceased Ramnarain was a workman and that he was getting Rs. 100/- p. m. as his salary from the appellants. In view of these findings he allowed Rs. 3000/- as compensation to the respondent according to the scale mentioned in Schedule IV of the Act. The appellants have now come in appeal under sec. 30 of the Act against the said order.
Learned counsel appearing for the appellants contends that the deceased was engaged in their services temporarily for a short period and was therefore not a 'workman' as defined in sec. 2 (a) of the Act. It was also contended that the finding of the learned Compensation Commissioner regarding the amount of salary the deceased was getting, is also not correct.
On behalf of the respondeat it has been argued that the deceased was a 'workman' and the fact that his employment was of a casual nature would not by itself be enough to take him out of the definition of 'workman'. It was argued that unless both the conditions namely that employment was of a casual nature and was otherwise than for the purpose of the employer's trade or business are satisfied, he would still be regarded as a workman within the meaning of this Act. Reliance was placed on Periyakkal vs. Agent S. I. Railway (1) and Bachia Mistri vs. Shanti (2 ). It was further argued that both the points which the learned counsel for the appellants wants to contend in appeal are questions of fact and the scope of appeal under sec. 30 of the Act is limited to those cases where there is a substantial question of law involved and this Court sitting in appeal would not be justified in interfering with the findings of fact arrived at by the learned Compensation Commissioner.
I have considered the respective contentions raised by the learned counsel and with respect I agree with the view taken in the above mentioned cases.
In my opinion the question which the appellants now want to agitate before me are purely questions of fact. There is evidence on record that the deceased died while he was bringing stones from Jamua Ramgarh to Jaipur in the appellant's truck which was in connection with the trade and business of his employer. Therefore, the learned Compensation Commissioner was justified in holding that the deceased was a 'workman' within the definition of that term given in the Act. Regarding the amount of salary also there is evidence of P. W. 1 Badarinarain, P. W. 4 Mst. Chhoti, and P. W. 5 Lachhman to support the finding of the learned Compensation Commissioner. In view of this fact that there is enough material on the record in support of the findings given by the learned Compensation Commissioner, I do not feel inclined to interfere with that finding. There is no substantial question of law involved in this appeal which is hereby dismissed with costs. .
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