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The Divisional Manager United India Insurance Co. Ltd., Rep. By Its Sr. Divisional Manager, Belagavi v/s Subhas & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93090TN1938GOI000108

Company & Directors' Information:- J B UNITED PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93000MH2014PTC258844

Company & Directors' Information:- I.N. INSURANCE COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U67200DL1994PTC062554

    MFA. No. 103030 of 2018 (WC)

    Decided On, 02 July 2021

    At, High Court of Karnataka Circuit Bench At Dharwad

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P. KRISHNA BHAT

    For the Petitioner: Nagangouda R. Kuppelur, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 & R2, G.R. Turamari, R3 to R7, Hanamant R. Latur, Advocates.



Judgment Text

(Prayer: This Appeal is filed Under Section 30(1) of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923, praying that this Hon’ble Court May be pleased to call for the records connected with ECA No.32/2014 on the file of the Addl. Senior Civil Judge and JUMFC, Mudhol and set aside the award dated 11.04.2018 in the interest of justice and equity.)1. This is an appeal by the Insurance Co. calling in question the legality of the order dated11.04.2018 in ECA No.32/2014 passed by the learned Additional Senior Civil Judge and JMFC Mudhol.2. Brief facts are that, one Balawwa who is the mother of the claimants in this case met with an accident while she was working as a labourer in Tractor bearing No. KA-29 /T-4694 and Trailer bearing No. KA-29/ T-4695. In the claim petition filed by the two sons of the deceased Balawwa, learned Court below has passed an award granting compensation of Rs.2 , 81,255/- with interest thereon at 12% p. a.3. The only contention advanced by the learned counsel for the appellant – Insurance Co. is that since the claimants are admittedly of the age above 18 years, they are not ‘ dependents’ within the meaning of Section 2(1)( d) of the Employee’ s Compensation Act, 1923 and therefore, the finding of the learned Court below that they are entitled to compensation for the death of deceased Balawwa is perverse and it is liable to be set aside.4. Learned counsel Sri. G.R. Turamari, appearing for the claimants, per contra, contended that the two sons of the deceased who are claimants in these proceedings are unemployed and they have no independent means of livelihood and they were entirely dependent on the wages of their deceased mother Balawwa and therefore, the learned Court below was right and justified in awarding compensation in their favour and as such, the finding of fact recorded by the learned Court below is not liable to be interfered with in an appeal under Section 30( 1) of the Employee’ s Compensation Act, 1923.5. For better appreciation of the issue in contention, it is necessary to refer to the relevant provisions under Section 2 (1)( d) of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 and it reads as follows :“( d) " dependant" means any of the following relatives of a deceased [employee], namely:--(i) ) a widow, a minor [ legitimate or adopted] son, and unmarried [ legitimate or adopted] daughter, or a widowed mother; and(ii) ) if wholly dependent on the earnings of the [employee] at the time of his death, a son or a daughter who has attained the age of 18 years and who is infirm;(iii) ) if wholly or in part dependent on the earnings of the [employee] at the time of his death;-(a) a widower,(b) a parent other than a widowed mother,(c) a minor illegitimate son, an unmarried illegitimate daughter or a daughter [ legitimate or illegitimate or adopted] if married and a minor or if widowed and a minor,(d) a minor brother or a unmarried sister or a widowed sister if a minor,(e) a widowed daughter- in- law,(f) a minor child of a pre- deceased son,(g) a minor child of a pre- deceased daughter where no parent of the child is alive, or(h) a paternal grandparent if no parent of the [employee] is alive;”6. There cannot be any dispute about the legal position that only those persons who come within the definition of ‘ dependent’ under Section 2(1 )( d) of the Employee’ s Compensation Act, 1923, alone can maintain claim petition and are entitled to receive compensation for the employment related death of a person. The case of the present claimants, if at all, should come under Section 2 (1 )(d)(ii) which states that a claim petition is maintainable by persons “ if wholly dependent on the earnings of the employee at the time of his death, a son or a daughter who has attained the age of 18 years and who is infirm;”. What is relevant to be noticed in the above provision and which is decisive on the point in issue is, such persons who come under Section 2 (1)( d)( ii) are not only persons who have attained the age of 18 years, but they should also be infirm. The two requirements, namely, attaining the age of 18 years and a person who is infirm are joined by a conjunctive. Therefore, if the so called dependents, if they have attained the age of 18 years, in order to be eligible to claim compensation for the death of a mother or a father on whom the dependency is claimed, should also be infirm. In this case, the only fact that has been established is that, these two claimants have attained the age of 18 years, but there is nothing placed on record to show that they are also infirm. Obviously the idea underlying the entitlement for compensation under this Act is that the support by way of compensation is awardable to only such persons who are otherwise not in a position to earn their livelihood either on account of their minority or on account of their infirmity if they have attained the age of majority and such other debilitating factors specifically enumerated in the provision itself. These essential ingredients are missing in this case and since these claimants do not co

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me under the definition of ‘ dependent’ under Section 2( 1)( d) of the Act, they cannot be regarded as ‘dependents’ within the meaning of this Act and therefore the finding of the learned Court below that they are entitled to award of compensation is illegal and without jurisdiction. In that view of the matter, I proceed to pass the following :The above appeal is allowed.The order dated 11.04.2018 in ECA No.32/2014 passed by the learned Additional Senior Civil Judge and JMFC Mudhol, is set aside.The amount in deposit be refunded to the appellant forthwith.
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