(Prayer: Civil Miscellaneous Appeal filed under Section 104 of the Civil Procedure Code to set aside the order of the Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Coonoor, The Nilgiris District, dated 28.6.2010 made in W.C. No.1 of 2010.)
1. The present appeal has been preferred by the claimant against the order of the Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Coonoor, The Nilgiris District dated 28.6.2010 made in W.C. No.1 of 2010, holding that the claimant is not entitled to any relief, as there is no nexus between the employment and the injury and there is not even a casual connection with the employment and hence could not be entitled to any relief.
2. The case of the insurance company is that there is no employer - employee relationship and even assuming that there is a relationship, the petitioner would not be entitled to any relief and the accident has taken place outside the premises and it has no casual connection with the employment and that the authority under the Workmen's Compensation was perfectly justified in rejecting the claim. Even assuming for the sake of argument that the appellant is entitled to compensation, as the employer did not produce any evidence with regard to the employment of the appellant, as permanent labour in estate and the policy does not cover the injury that has taken place, in the present case, the insurance company cannot be foisted with the liability and it is the employer who have to pay the entire amount.
3. The case of the employer is that the policy has been taken with regard to two estates and that the appellant was an employee under the Management and her name finds a place in the Muster Roll and she was receiving wages and hence the contention that there was no employer - employee relationship and that the insurance policy has not been taken and not valid for the period in question, is not correct. In case, the court holds that the employee is entitled to the relief, as the policy was in force on the date of the injury sustained by the employee, insurance company is liable to pay.
4. In reply, it is stated that the counsel for the insurance company, reiterating the contention even assuming for the sake of argument that the liability is going to be foisted on the insurance company, for the delay in making a claim before the authority, the insurance company shall not be foisted with the interest for the period of delay.
5. Heard both parties and perused the materials available on record.
6. There is a delay in filing the appeal before this court and the delay has been condoned on the ground that the appellant has approached the wrong forum and thereafter approached this court and interest for the period has got to be deprived.
7. From the documents produced by the employer, it is very clear that the victim was in employment under the Management of the first respondent and the policy was in force and the name of the employee is reflected in the rolls of the employer. The ground taken by the insurance company is that the incident has taken place outside the premises and that it would not be stated that the incident has taken place out of and in the course of employment for the victim to get compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act. It is further stated that the incident is on account of robbery and there is no nexus with the employment and that no compensation need to be paid by the insurance company for the personal injuries said to have been suffered by the claimant.
8. A Division Bench of this court in P.Kalyani vs. The Divisional Manager, Southern Railway (Personal Branch), Divisional Office, Madras reported in (2003) 3 MLJ 314, has considered the scope and applicability of the Act and the compensation that may be extended and the expression 'arising out' has been elaborately discussed. It has been very categorically held that there should be a personal injury and that it was caused on account of the accident and that it has arisen out of and in the course of employment. In that case, the employee suffered a heart attack while going to the job and the court held that the compensation needs to be paid.
9. In the present case on hand, the employee, after taking lunch at home, was returning to the workplace, during which time, suffered a criminal attack on account of robbery said to have been committed on her during which act she suffered an injury. The accident has taken place, during the course of employment though not in the place of employment, but while returning to the workplace during lunch hours. The period lunch hours cannot be excluded and naturally the employee need to go out and come back and it cannot be construed as break in service and lunch hours will not be taken into account as period of employment.
10. If the argument of the insurance company is accepted, then the employees, who return home, may face with a road accident and dies, may not be entitled to compensation and the purpose of theory of notional extention itself is defeated. As it is a personal injury occurred during the lunch hours, naturally the incident has got to be construed as arisen out of and in the course of employment and the employee would be entitled to the compensation, since the Act is a beneficial legislation, it cannot be disadvantageous to the employee or the dependents, when there is no dispute that there is a personal injury and the theory 'arising out of and in the course of employment' is need to be extended in this case, more particularly, in the light of the theory of notional extension. Hence, I am of the view that the order passed by the Authority is interfered with and the appellant is entitled to compen
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sation, as prayed for and will not be entitled to any interest on the amount, as there was no liability fixed on the insurance company by the authority and that there was also a delay in approaching this court by the employee. However, this court makes it clear that, in case, the amount is not remitted within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment, the employee would be entitled to interest @ 12% per annum from today till the actual date on which the amount is disbursed. 11. The Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is disposed of on the above terms. However, there shall be no order as to cost.