Decided on April 03,2003

JOSEPH Respondents


Jawahar Lal Gupta, C.J. - (1.) What is the true ambit and import of 'total disablement' as contemplated under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923? Does the loss of eyesight in one eye entitle the workman to claim compensation for total disablement? This is the primary issue that arises in this appeal. The matter has been placed before the Full Bench on a reference by the Division Bench. The relevant facts may be briefly noticed.
(2.) The appellant was working as a driver with the respondent No. 1. On 28.3.1988 he was asked to take the car from Parur to Cannanore. He met with an accident and suffered injuries. One of the injuries resulted in the loss of vision in the left eye.
(3.) The appellant workman filed a petition under section 22 before the Commissioner for compensation. He claimed that he was getting a salary of Rs. 1,500 per mensem. He had suffered disability of 45 per cent on account of the injuries. He was 33 years of age. Thus, he claimed a lump sum payment of Rs. 68,060.25. The employer and the insurer were impleaded as the respondent Nos. 1 and 2. The workman led evidence. After the evidence had been closed, he filed an application for amendment of the claim petition. He claimed to have suffered 100 per cent disability and thus prayed for the award of Rs. 1,51,745 by way of compensation.;

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