At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.M. SUBRAMANIAM
For the Appellants: M. Malar, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1, No Appearance, R2, R. Srividhya, Advocate.
(Prayer: Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is preferred under Section 30 of the Workmen Compensation Act, against the Award dated 18.04.2009 made in W.C.No.240 of 2007 on the file of the Deputy Commissioner of Labour-I, Chennai.)The present Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is filed mainly on the ground that the Deputy Commissioner of Labour has not granted interest from the date of accident, which is contrary to violation of Section 4-A(3)(a) of the Employees Compensation Act.2. The factum regarding the accident was established and the employer-employee relationship as well as the course of employment were also established.3. The Deputy Commissioner of Labour awarded a sum of Rs.3,12,350/- as compensation along with interest at the rate of 12% per annum from the date of expiry of 30 days of the date of the Award. Such an interpretation given by the Deputy Commissioner of Labour for grant of interest is in violation of the provisions of the Employees Compensation Act. Thus, the appellant is constrained to move the present Civil Miscellaneous Appeal.4. The Employees Compensation Act is a Welfare Legislation. Thus, constructive interpretation is just and necessary. Once an employee met with an accident and sustained injury or died, the Award of compensation, the interest is to be paid from the date of accident because the period of litigation is unknown to the parties. Some litigations are disposed at the early stage and some at later stage. If interest is denied, it will create inconsistency or anomaly amongst the workmen, which is certainly not justifiable. Therefore, uniformity is to be followed for grant of interest in all cases of compensation under the Employees Compensation Act.5. In order to maintain uniformity and by interpreting the provisions constructively, this Court is of the opinion that interest is to be paid as per Section 4-A(3)(a) from the date of accident and not from the date of passing the Award or from the date of 30 days expiry from the date of Award. Both the cases are erroneous and cannot be accepted at all.6. The second respondent-Insurance Company is directed to pay the difference amount of interest, within a period of twelve weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment and on such deposit, the claimant is permitted to withdraw the same after filing an appropriate application before the Competent Authority and payments are to be made through RTGS
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.7. Accordingly, the Award dated 18.04.2009 passed in W.C. No.240 of 2007 by the Deputy Commissioner of Labour-I, Chennai, stands modified and consequently, Civil Miscellaneous Appeal No.653 of 2015 stands allowed in part. However, there shall be no order as to costs.