JO JOSEPH Vs. SEBASTIAN MATHEW AND THE DIRECTOR OF STATE
LAWS(KER)-2003-3-65
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
Decided on March 03,2003

JO JOSEPH Appellant
VERSUS
SEBASTIAN MATHEW AND THE DIRECTOR OF STATE Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) The injured workman has come up with this appeal raising two substantial questions of law to maintain this appeal under S.30 of the Workmen's Compensation Act (for short "the Act"). First among the questions of law raised is whether, when there was delay in payment of compensation, the commissioner is obliged to award interest in terms of S.4 A of the Act. Second among the questions is when the qualified medical practitioner had assessed the disability at a particular percentage, is not the Commissioner obliged to, if proved that disability resulted in total deprival of the work, to award compensation as if there was permanent total disability.
(2.) The accident occurred on 16.3.1989. In terms of S.4A(2) and (3), the employer was liable to pay the admitted compensation within one month ending by 16.4.1989. In terms of sub-s.(3) of S.4A, when there was delay in paying the compensation due under the Act beyond one month from the date it fell due, "........ the Commissioner shall (a) direct that the employer shall, in addition to the amount of the arrears, pay simple interest thereon. ...." Therefore, the commissioner cannot, but award interest when there was default in payment of compensation.
(3.) In this case, the Commissioner should have awarded interest, the counsel contends. We accept the said contention because in terms of the mandatory nature of Sub-section(3) of S.4 A, the Commissioner is obliged to award interest if the employer had defaulted in paying the compensation beyond one month. In this case, until the date of the order, no compensation had been paid. Therefore, this is a case where the appellant is entitled to interest.;


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