RAMAN ACHARY Vs. THE KERALA STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
The Kerala State Electricity Board
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(1.) AGAINST the Order in WCC No.66 of 1991 on the file of the Court of the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation,Kottayam,this appeal is preferred by the applicant.The appellant was a workman employed by the respondents.While working in the Pallivasal Power Station,in the course of his employment he sustained severe burn injuries to face,head and hands which resulted severe disfigurement,restricted movement of legs,hands and reduced his eyesight.As the respondents refused to recognise his claim for compensation,an application was filed before the WCC.The contention of the appellant before the Commissioner was that he had sustained very serious facial disfigurement as it is a scheduled injury.His loss of earning capacity is to be assessed as 100 per cent as prescribed by Schedule I of Workmen's Compensation Act.In addition to that,he is entitled to get compensation for his reduced eyesight.Even though material evidence was brought before the Commissioner to substantiate his contention,the court below without adverting to the evidence brought in,fixed the loss of earning capacity as 5 per cent and awarded an amount of Rs.4,077.Against the said order this appeal is preferred by the applicant.
(2.) THE only question to be considered is whether the appellant has sustained 100 per cent of loss of earning capacity as claimed by him.The case of the appellant is that the injuries which he sustained during the course of his employment while working under the respondents is severe burn injuries which resulted very serious disfigurement,restricted movement of legs,hands and reduced loss of his eyesight.The petitioner claimed an amount of Rs.60,401 '25 towards compensation for the injuries received by him.According to the respondents,he was temporarily disabled for a period of 75 days and thereafter,he is continuing his earlier work.So,there is no loss of earning capacity.The appellant was referred to the Medical Board and the Medical Board assessed permanent disability as 5 per cent.The respondents are ready to pay compensation as per the disability certificate issued by the Medical Board.
Learned Counsel for the appellant submitted that the injury sustained by the appellant is a scheduled injury.So there is no necessity to refer the appellant before the Medical Board.The appellant has adduced,evidence to show that he had received very serious facial disfigurement.A.W.2,Dr.Sajan P.Augustine was a Physician in the Medical Trust Hospital,Ernakulam.He has proved Ext.A2 certificate issued by him.As per his evidence,the appellant has sustained superficial and deep burn to his face which amounts to severe facial disfigurement.He had also proved Ext.A1 certificate issued by Dr.Jose Tharayil,Plastic Surgeon worked in their hospital.Now he has gone for Saudi Arabia.The applicant has undergone plastic surgery several times.It is true that the appellant was referred to the Medical Board,Kottayam and Ext.R1 certificate issued by the Medical Board shows that the permanent disability of the appellant is 5 per cent.It is admitted by the appellant that he is doing the same work and getting the same salary as before.As submitted by the learned Counsel for the appellant,assessment of earning capacity by a qualified Medical Practitioner arise;only if the injury is not specified in Schedule I;The specific case of the appellant is that the injuries sustained to him in the course of his employment under the respondents is an injury specified in Schedule I of Serial No.5 of Part I.He has suffered very serious disfigurement.Whether there is actual loss of earning capacity is immaterial.As per the Act the workmen who suffer injuries specified in Schedule I of Part I is entitled to compensation fixed for 100 per cent earning capacity deeming it permanent total disability,
(3.) AS per S.4(1 ),compensation under S.4 shall be paid as soon as it falls due. The compensation in this case fell due on the date of receiving the employment injuries by the appellant.The respondent have no case that the appellant has not received any severe burn injuries.If the appellant has suffered very serious facial disfigurement he is entitled to compensation fixed for 100 per cent loss of earning capacity during permanent total disablement.In these circumstances,I am constrained to set aside the impugned order and remand the case before the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation,Kottayam for fresh disposal in accordance with law.The court below shall consider whether the appellant's injury would come under Part I of the Workmen's Compensation Act.The parties are at liberty to adduce additional evidence. The appeal is disposed of accordingly.;
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