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Fulmati Dhramdev Yadav and Ors. Vs. New India Assurance Co. Ltd. and Ors. - (Supreme Court) (04 Sep 2023)

Appeal from an order of Commissioner can be entertained, only if, substantial question of law exist


Labour and Industrial

Present appeal is filed assailing the judgment passed by the High Court whereby the Court has set aside the order of the Commissioner awarding compensation in favour of legal representatives of the deceased employee.

The Employees Compensation Act, 1923 unequivocal in stating that, an appeal from an order of Commissioner can be entertained, only if, a substantial question of law exists. It has been observed by this Court that the phrase "substantial question of law" within this Act shall be understood by its general meaning. For considering the general meaning, naturally, the reference is to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC). The Rule therein is that framing of a substantial question of law is of cardinal importance.

The Commissioner had not returned any findings in respect of the validity or invalidity of the license of the deceased nor was it one of the questions framed by the Commissioner for consideration. In such a situation, while exercising powers within the limited purview allowed by Section 30 of the Act, the learned Court below erred in making observations and giving a holding in that regard.

In the facts at hand, with the cumulative sum of circumstances pointing to the employment of the deceased with the employer company; in keeping with the principles of the legislation being intended for social welfare and protection of employees; the Commissioner being the last authority on facts; the scope of an appeal under the said Act being limited only to substantial questions of law; and no perversity could be demonstrated from the order of the Commissioner. The order passed in First Appeal is set aside. As a consequence thereof, the order passed by the Commissioner, is restored. Appeal allowed.


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