SHORT NOTE ON LEGAL OPINION
Madan Lal’s father, working as labour in the construction industry & has been insured under Employees State Insurance Act. Unfortunately the father of Madan Lal died in a motor accident while returning home from the construction site. ESI act provides compensation for injury during the employment. On the other hand, the Motor Accident Compensation Tribunal (MACT) act also provide compensation for motor accidents.
In which court Madan Lal should file the case for compensation.
Before going into the Madan Lal case I would like to highlight few points in order to construct my opinion. Firstly I would like to discuss few Supreme Court Judgement then I will elaborate on insurance policy and acts that provide compensation to the aggrieved worker.
In the case of Dhropadabai V. M/S Technocraft tooling (2015), Employee died in the factory premise. Employees dependents approach Labour Court for Workman Compensation but Labour Court refuses taking a plea that Labour Court does not have any jurisdiction related to death of an employee during Employment as Employee insured under ESI Act. Then aggrieved approach High Court & Supreme Court but no relief provided to them.
In the case of Western India Plywood Ltd. V. Shri P. Ashokan (1997), Employee lost his one hand and ESI provide Rs 265/month which is not at all satisfactory. Aggrieved approach High Court & Supreme Court but no relief were provided to him.
In the case of National Insurance Company Ltd. V. Hamida Khatoon (2009), Employee come across road accident while returning home from office. The aggrieved ask for Rs 1,20,000 compensation on the account of the misfortune that happened to him. Aggrieved approach Labour Court, High Court & Supreme Court but no relief were provided to him.
The reason behind Courts were not able to provide proper relief to the aggrieved workers is that workers are insured under ESI Act. ESI Act has few provision that cause trouble while claiming compensation from courts and tribunal. Section 53 of ESI Act bars against receiving or recovering of compensation or damages under any other law. Section 61 of the ESI Act bars benefits under other enactment. ESI Act bars workers to approach any court or tribunal to get additional benefits which considered as the adverse effect of ESI Act that violated workers right to claim compensation.
Employment injuries are often called in dispute as to whether the injury arose out of employment or not a employment injury. In order resolve the dispute Justice Denning, UK Court pronounce that if the reasonable nexus establish b/w Employment & injury, it is considered as a employment injury and injured worker shall be entitled for compensation. Section 53 (e) was introduced in the ESI Act which stated that if a worker get injured while traveling from home to office or vice-versa shall be entitled to get compensation.
In order to make ESI Act more beneficial for those who are insured under the act we need to make few amendments in the ESI Act. ESI benefits shall be provided along with additional benefit from the other courts & tribunal to those aggrieved is entitled for. The employment injury shall be pronounce as injury is general during course of employment. The aggrieved provided with wide choices to approach court or tribunal where aggrieved get more benefits. ESI act shall insure workers under ESI act as well as other acts provided for the benefit to the workers in case of calamities. There should be no dispute between forum in terms of jurisdiction.