Medical Exam To Reassess Disability Conducted After 9 Years- SC Overturns Refusal Of Compensation To Workman For Accident
The Supreme Court's Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice Krishna Murari has held one Suresh Paswan to be entitled to compensation after his compensation award was set aside by the High Court based on his medical examination after a period of approximately nine years from the date of accident.
In this case, the appellant had submitted that while he was working at the construction site under the respondent-employer, he fell down from the roof of the first floor and suffered grievous injuries, which resulted in 60% permanent disability.
The appellant relied upon the disability certificate issued by Gardiner Road Hospital, Patna in 2009 certifying that the appellant sustained 60% disability, which was as a result of the accident.
The Commissioner, Employees' Compensation awarded a total sum of Rs. 3,74,364/- towards the compensation taking the permanent disability of the appellant as 60%.
Feeling aggrieved by this order passed by the Commissioner, Employees' Compensation, the respondent – employer moved High Court.
Before the High Court, an application was submitted by the employer to constitute a Medical Board to examine the permanent disability of the appellant.
The High Court directed constitution of a Medical Board to examine the disability of the appellant. The Medical Board submitted the report dated November 2017 and according to the said report the appellant did not suffer any permanent disability.
Therefore, the High Court has set aside the order passed by the Commissioner, Employees' Compensation.
Aggrieved, the appellant-employee approached Supreme Court.
Advocate Ajay Choudhary represented appellant-employee whereas Advocate Pulkit Tare and Advocate Anand Shankar represented respondents.
The Supreme Court noted that the disability certificate issued by Gardiner Road Hospital, Patna was of the year 2009 and the Medical Board constituted pursuant to the order passed by the High Court examined the injured employee after a period of approximately nine years from the date of accident.
The Court observed that "At the relevant time, the employer did not make any application before the Commissioner, Employees' Compensation to constitute a Medical Board and the injured be examined by the Medical Board. The employer ought to have made such a request before the Commissioner, Employees' Compensation at the earliest opportunity."
The Court further expressed that as the appellant-employee had suffered the injuries due to fall and at the relevant time, it affected his 60% earning capacity, it may not be that nothing was to be awarded to the appellant – injured employee by way of compensation.
Therefore, the Court held the appellant-employee to be entitled to Rs. 3,76,236 by way of compensation with interest.
"It is reported that pursuant to the earlier order passed by the High Court, out of total sum of Rs. 7,52,471/- deposited by the respondent, the appellant has already withdrawn 50% of the amount, i.e., Rs. 3,76,236/-. Under the circumstances and in the facts of the case, we are of the opinion that the appellant is entitled to Rs. 3,76,236/- by way of compensation with interest, which the appellant has already withdrawn, it shall meet the ends of justice.", the Court held.
Cause Title- Suresh Paswan v. M/s. Kla Construction Technologies Pvt. Ltd. & Ors.