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Respondent Insurance Company is directed to pay the enhanced amount of compensation


Last updated: 22 June 2023

Court :
Supreme Court of India

Brief :
The present appeal was directed against the final order passed by the High Court of Karnataka (hereinafter referred to as "High Court"), wherein the High Court partly allowed the appeal of the Appellant and assessed the income as Rs.8000/- per month and accordingly reduced the compensation to Rs. 2,19,512/-. Hence the challenge against the reduction of compensation.

Citation :
Civil Appeal No. 9069 of 2022 (@ SLP(C) No. 32347 of 2018)

CHANDRAMMA v. MANAGER REGIONAL OFFICE NCC LTD & ORS[SC]
Civil Appeal No. 9069 of 2022 (@ SLP(C) No. 32347 of 2018)
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

BRIEF FACTS

The present appeal was directed against the final order passed by the High Court of Karnataka (hereinafter referred to as "High Court"), wherein the High Court partly allowed the appeal of the Appellant and assessed the income as Rs.8000/- per month and accordingly reduced the compensation to Rs. 2,19,512/-. Hence the challenge against the reduction of compensation.

DECISION

1. We have carefully considered the rival contentions of the learned counsel appearing for the parties and perused the entire records.

2. The issue involved in the instant matter primarily relates to the determination of quantum of compensation awarded under various heads by the Commissioner and the High Court.

3. Taking the type of disability into concern, just compensation should be awarded to the person aggrieved.

4. "Just Compensation" should include all elements that would go to place the victim in as near a position as she or he was in, before the occurrence of the accident.

5. Whilst no amount of money or other material compensation can erase the trauma, pain, and suffering that a victim undergoes after a serious accident, (or replace the loss of a loved one), monetary compensation is the manner known to law, whereby society assures some measure of restitution to those who survive, and the victims who have to face their lives.

6. In the case at hand, the appellant is a skilled labour, who was involved in the work of construction of hospital building.

7. On 22.07.2015, the appellant fell down from second floor to ground floor when the centering plate collapsed on her head. It is pertinent to mention that doctors who treated the appellant have held that she sustained fracture of spinal bone and compound fracture on various parts of the body.

8. Appellant herein, contended that the contractor had not provided any safety gears, instead he allowed the labourer to take the cement on the head. The negligence of the contractor lead to appellant’s permanent partial disablement.

9. Predominantly, it is to be noted that the appellant is suffering from permanent partial disablement which also implies that she will not be able to do anything manually such as unloading building materials or using hand tools like shovels or picks or operating other machinery. Therefore, On the issue of disability, what is relevant is the statement of the Dr. Mallikarjun who examined the appellant for making an assessment of the disability.

10. The disability report showed that there is Permanent Partial Disability of about 58% of the limb, which corresponds with 26% whole body. There is no dispute that the appellant suffered from disablement of permanent nature. The disablement has incapacitated her from doing the work which she was capable of doing. The said work was of that of a labourer. Therefore, the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation was wrong in holding that the disability of the appellant will have to be treated as 20% disability as the work of an appellant involves lifting heavy weights and the appellant has been rendered incapable from doing such work due to her disability.

11. Hence, the case of the appellant will be covered by the definition of ‘total disablement’, therefore, being 100% disabled.

12. Having considered the aforesaid facts of the present case and the dictum of the judicial pronouncements referred to above and the position of the appellant after the accident, incapacitated her from carrying out her vocation as a labourer, we are of the opinion that the impugned order passed by the High Court is not liable to be sustained.

13. The functional disability of the appellant is liable to be assessed as 100% and, accordingly, the compensation is to be determined. The functional disability ofthe appellant being 100%, her age being 40 years and income being Rs.8000/-, 60% whereof works out to be Rs.4800/- and applying the multiplier of 184.17, as per Schedule IV of the 1993 Act, the compensation works out to be Rs.8,84,016/-. Adding an amount of Rs.42,200/- towards medical expenses for which the bills were presented, the total compensation works out to be Rs.9,26,216/- rounded of to Rs. 9,30,000/-.

14. The appellant shall also be entitled for payment of interest @ 9% per annum, from the date of making the application till the date of actual payment.

15. The respondent Insurance Company is directed to pay the enhanced amount of compensation to the appellant along with 9% interest, calculated from the date of making of the application till the date of payment within six weeks from today.

 
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