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Claimant granted excessive compensation on account of disability caused which will have a bearing on his earning capacity and employability: The High Court of Karnataka

Commissioner on appreciation of material before him has given a finding that claimant had suffered loss of earning capacity to the extent of 20%. The disability and consequently loss of earning capacity assessed by the learned Commissioner has to be viewed from the background that claimant-Suresh is a manual laborer and therefore, the residual effect of the injury caused in the employment related accident will have repercussion on his employability in the Labor market. The aforesaid has been established by the Karnataka High Court while adjudicating the case of M/S United India Insurance Company Ltd. v. Sri Suresh Shuvappa Chalavadi & Anr. [MFA NO. 22845 of 2009 (WC)] which was decided upon by a single judge bench comprising Justice P. Krishna Bhat on 15th July 2021.

The facts of the case are as follows. Suresh was working as Hamali in the tractor and trailer bearing registration No. KA-36/T-9676-77 owned by respondent No.1-Sangaiah and insured with the appellant. It is stated that on 28.06.2006 while the claimant was proceeding in tractor and trailer for unloading manure, on account of rash and negligent driving of the driver of tractor and trailer, an accident was caused resulting in grievous injuries to the claimant. The employer employee relationship was affirmed and Upon consideration of material produced and evidence let in, the learned Commissioner answered the points for consideration in favour of the claimant and against the appellant and awarded compensation of Rs.80,175/- with interest thereon at 12% per annum. This excessive compensation had been challenged by the insurance company. Counsel for claimant contended that claimant-Suresh is a Hamali and a manual labourer, therefore, physical disability caused to him on account of employment related. injury causes considerable impact on his employability in the labour market and therefore, finding recorded by the learned Commissioner that loss of earning capacity is 20% is quite appropriate and same should not be interfered.

The court perused the facts and arguments presented. It was of the opinion that “The claimant is a manual labourer and the assessment made by the learned Commissioner based on the report of PW3-Doctor is a finding of fact as held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Golla Rajanna & Others Vs. Divisional Manager & Another reported in (2017) 1 SCC 45 and same is not liable to be interfered with. Under these circumstances, I am of the view that. assessment made by the learned Commissioner is based on evidence and therefore, same is not liable to be interfered with in an appeal filed under Section 30(1) of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923. Accordingly, I reject the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant advanced in this behalf.”

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