Just Because Death Under Employment Was Not Because Of Accident It Doesn’t Exempt One From Compensating The Deceased: High Court Of Kerala

Citation: MFA (ECC) No.136 of 2018

Decided On: 28TH DAY OF OCTOBER 2023



This appeal is an appeal under Section 30 of the Employees Compensation Act, 1923. The appellants through the appeal assail the order of Employees Compensation Commissioner. The appellants are the widow and daughter of Sri.Vasu who died on 01.02.2006 due to an accident.


The deceased husband of the appellant was driving taxi car bearing Registration No.KEH 9783 along the Swaraj Round, Thrissur on the said date. At about 12.15 p.m he felt chest pain and collapsed resulting in the car dashing against an electric post. He was rushed to the Aswini hospital, Thissur, but he succumbed to the injuries. The doctor who examined him informed that Sri.Vasu died due to heart attack.

The appellants filed a claim petition before the Employees Compensation Commissioner under the Employees Compensation Act claiming compensation from the 1st respondent, who is the owner of the vehicle and the 2nd respondent, the insurer. The 1st respondent did not chose to contest the matter. The 2nd respondent resisted the claim on several grounds. It was contended that the 1st respondent was not the owner having transferred the vehicle in favour of Sri.Vasu as early as on 17.03.2004. The further contention of the 2nd respondent was that the death was due to heart attack and not on account of an accident arising out of and in the course of the employment.

The appellant failed to discharge their initial burden that the death of Sri.Vasu was the result of an accident and in the course of his employment. In the light of that finding, other issues were not answered and the application was dismissed.

Court’s Analysis and Judgement:

The Apex Court in Param Pal Singh v. National Insurance Co. Ltd and another [2013 ACJ 526] considered a similar question. In the above case, it has come out that the deceased was driving cars for about 40 years. He was aged 60 years at the time of death. A person involved in the avocation of driving for such a long period suffered a heart attack while he was driving the car. The heart attack he suffered while driving had resulted in the accident of his car hitting an electric post. The proximate reason for the death may be heart attack. But, had he not suffered a heart attack, such an accident would not have happened. The view taken by the Apex court is that the employer was liable to compensate even if the deceased was not actually driving the truck. When in the course of his driving, he felt discomfort and later, in the hospital, he died due to heart disease, he being a driver for long years subjected to its stress and strain, the death would amount an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment.

Accordingly, the order of the Employees Compensation Commissioner, Thrissur, dated 25.01.2018 in E.C.C No.405 of 2016 is set aside by holding that the appellants are entitled to claim compensation on account of the death of Sri.Vasu in the accident occurred on 01.02.2006

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Written by- Sushant Kumar Sharma