Jammu and Kashmir High Court Dismisses Appeal Against Commissioner’s Award Under Workmen’s Compensation Act

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On 23rd June 2020, Hon’ble Mrs Justice Sindhu Sharma heard the case of Ghulam Mustaffa Lone vs. Divisional Manager, State Forest Corporation, via video-conferencing. The Court dismissed the appeal as there was no substantial question of law.

Facts of the case

The appellant worked as a ‘Chirani Mistri’ in compartment No. 19, Keshwan Jungle, Kishtwar. On 30.08.1997, during chiran work, he met with an accident as a Galli hit him. This resulted in the fracture of his leg and he suffered multiple other injuries. As a result, he suffered permanent disability. Thus, affecting his earning capacity. Thereafter, he filed a petition before the Assistant Labour Commissioner against the employer for compensation. He claimed a lump sum compensation of Rs 2,46,000. The Commissioner dismissed the claim petition under Workmen’s Compensation Act as the appellant did not prove the accident. Thus, the appellant filed an appeal against the Commissioner’s award dated 23.02.2005.

Contentions of the Appellant

The appellant produced Jamal Din Sheikh, who supported the appellant’s claim of accident. The learned counsel for the appellant argued that the Commissioner was erroneous in dismissing the claim petition. The Commissioner’s finding of the non-submission of the medical record of the injuries suffered is also erroneous. Thus, the finding should be set aside.

Contentions of the Respondent

The appellant produced an undated medical certificate. The medical certificate neither contained the name of the doctor who examined nor the date of examination. The respondent’s witness Ghulam Hassan denied any accident taking place in Compartment No. 19, Keshwan Jungle on the alleged date of the accident. The appellant failed to produce any evidence of his employment or the accident.

Court’s Analysis

There is no medical record of his immediate treatment. There is no record of his admission or check-up in any dispensary or hospital. The medical certificate produced does not reflect when he was examined. Thus, the statement of the doctor stating that the appellant lost working capacity has no relevance. Hence, the appellant has failed to prove that the accident occurred during the course of his employment. He also did not prove that the injuries suffered by him caused permanent disability.

The appellant has not made the contractor as a party with whom he was working. The contractor is the one who could give the evidence as to if the appellant was working for him on the day when the accident occurred. It is an admitted position of law that the Court of Commissioner is a final Court of facts. Thus, the Commissioner’s finding cannot be interfered with. To support the same, the Court relied upon the Supreme Court Judgment in the case of ‘North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation vs. Sujatha’ 2019.

Court’s Decision

The Commissioner is the final authority of facts and the appeal lies only if there is any substantial question of law. There is no substantial question of law to determine in this case. There is no merit in this appeal. Hence, the Court dismissed the appeal. 


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