M/S NEELKANTH TRAVELS vs MOHAN LAL & ANR.
The appellant/respondent No. 1 had filed the present appeal under Section 30 of the Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923, feeling aggrieved by the order dated 30.11.2018 passed by the learned Commissioner, Employees’ Compensation (District North-East) in CEC-I/NE/36/2017/3338-3340. Appeal before the HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MANOJ KUMAR OHRI.
FACTS OF THE CASE
As per the above stated order, the appellant was directed to deposit the amount of compensation of Rs.2,09,869/- with interest @ 12 % from the date of the accident and Rs.1,04,935/- i.e., penalty @ 50% of compensation amount within one month.
The appellant contended that the liability to pay compensation should have been on respondent No. 2(insurance company) as the vehicle in question was duly insured.
Respondent No. 2 contended that as the vehicle from which the respondent No. 1 fell was not in ‘use’, the former was not liable to pay the compensation.
A claim application under Section 10 of the Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923 came to be filed by respondent No. 1 (claimant before the Tribunal), where it was stated that he was working as a driver with the appellant for about four years and drawing salary @ Rs.15,000/- per month.
The respondent was required to drive the cash van bearing No. DL-1L-R-2651 in which an ATM of State Bank of India was installed so that general public could avail the facility of cash withdrawal from the ATM installed inside the van.
On 04.03.2016 at about 09:00 am, he had parked the cash van at CRPF Camp, Okhla, New Delhi on a roadside. The respondent claimed that as part of his duty, he was required to clean the van on daily basis and on the above date when he climbed on the van to clean the windshield, he lost his balance and fell. Thus, sustaining multiple injuries including fracture of right femur bone & right hip bone and was moved to the Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi where he was operated upon.
The respondent claimed that because of this injury he became permanently disabled and could not perform his natural work.
The employer (the current appellant) admitted ‘employee-employer’ relationship as well as the fact that respondent No. 1(claimant) was employed by it as a driver on the cash van.
The appellant contended that compensation amount, if any, should be paid by respondent No. 2 (insurance company) as the vehicle was insured.
The learned counsel for the appellant had relied on the insurance policy to show that premium was charged for ‘legal liability to paid driver/or conductor and/or cleaner’.
The respondent No. 2 contended that ‘employee-employer’ relationship had not been proved between the parties as no document has come on record proving that the vehicle met with an accident on 04.03.2016.
The Court stated that to enable the general public to use the facility of withdrawal of cash from the ATM installed in the cash van, it has to be kept stationary and parked at a certain place. The respondent No. 1 had stated that it was his duty to clean the vehicle and while doing so, he suffered injuries.
The Court was of the opinion that liability to pay the compensation amount with an interest @ 12% from the date of the incident was of respondent No. 2/Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd.
The Court partly allowed the appeal and respondent No. 2/Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd. was directed to pay the compensation amount of Rs.2,09,869/- alongwith interest @ 12% from the date of the incident till realization to respondent No. 1 (the claimant) within a period of two weeks and penalty @ 50% of the compensation amount i.e., Rs.1,04,935/- was upheld and it was directed that the Registry shall release the same to respondent No. 1 within one.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY ADITYA G S.