Commissioner upholds penalty, dismisses company’s appeal in compensation case: Bombay HC
Title: Shipping Corporation of India Limited Vs Mr. Dasu M. Kutty
Citation: FIRST APPEAL NO. 708 OF 1996
Coram: Justice M.M. SATHAYE
The case involves a compensation claim by Mr. Dasu M. Kutty, who worked as a seaman for the Appellant since 1958. Mr. Kutty was employed by the Appellant from 1958 until his retirement. He filed a claim for benefits for injuries caused while working, claiming in particular 1991 chest problems that required by-pass surgery and rendered him unfit to serve in the maritime industry. The claimant contended that his hard work while serving on the ship affected his pre-existing heart disease. The claim was opposed by the employer, who denied the claim of a lifelong damage and denied any hard and stressful work. The Employer Shipping Corporation of India Limited has filed an appeal under Section 30 of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923, challenging a judgment from 13.02.1996. In that decision, the company was directed to pay the deceased Claimant’s family compensation of Rs. 3,16,688/- with 6% interest from 14.07.1991. Additionally, a penalty of Rs. 75,000/- and costs of Rs. 1000/- were imposed. The widow and daughter of the deceased Claimant are now pursuing the case.
Section 30 of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923.
“An order awarding as compensation a lump sum whether by way of redemption of a half- monthly payment or otherwise or disallowing a claim in full or in part for a lump sum”. This means that instead of receiving compensation in regular installments, the injured worker or their dependents can opt to receive a one-time lump sum amount.
It refers to the National Maritime Board Agreement, which typically governs terms and conditions of employment for seafarers in the maritime industry, including provisions related to compensation and benefits in case of injuries or disabilities.
Whether the Claimant’s entitlement to 100% disability compensation under the N.M.B. Agreement, is sustainable?
After reviewing, The Appellant argued that a penalty should not have been imposed, citing the absence of such provision in the N.M.B. Agreement. However, the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation, while not contested for jurisdiction, justified the penalty and interest under the Act due to non-payment of compensation since 1991. The judgment upheld the Commissioner’s decision, pointing to laws allowing penalties for late compensation, and the appeal was rejected without any additional costs.
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Written by:- Sanjana Ravichandran