workman on Injury or Death While Travelling To and Fro from Factory

The issue whether an employer is liable to pay compensation in case of a death or permanent disablement while travelling from home to factory or vice versa is finally decided.

An accident is an event happening externally to a man. In order to prove liability of employer there has to be a relation between the accident and the employment. Employment laws in India lay down that the employer is responsible if and when the accident occurs during the course of employment. In order to prove that the injury has arisen out of and in the course of employment two conditions shall have to be fulfilled. These conditions may be in the course of employment or out of employment. The accident has to have direct or indirect bearings on employment and therefore the accident should arise out of the employment.

The summary of various judgements on the subject states that the following are the principles that are needed to be considered. The principles are –

  1. There must be causal connection between the injury and the accident and the accident and the work done in the course of employment.
  2. The onus is upon the applicant to show that it was the work and the resulting strain which contributed to or aggravated the injury.

Here’s a look at what the latest Supreme Court and High Court decisions are saying about the issue –

In 2011 the Hon’ble Bombay High Court (Aurangabad Bench) in, The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd., The Divisional Manager, The Divisional Office-442, West Mangalwar Peth, Chati Galli, Solapur – 413002 V/s Daivshala W/o. Shahu Jadhavar, Age Major, Occu-Household, R/o. Tadgaon, Tal. Kallam, Dist. Osmanabad and Ors., First Appeal No 2015 of 2011, observed that, in the present case it was clear that the deceased met with a road accident due to dash given by unknown vehicle while he was on his way to his employment, thus it cannot be said that the accident had it’s origin in his employment in the said factory. It was thus held that the Insurance Company was not liable to pay compensation.

In Malikarjuna G. Hiremath V/s The Branch Manager, The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. and Anr., 2009, Civil Appeal No. 956 of 2009, the Hon’ble Supreme Court after considering the circumstances in which death occurred to the workman – he was sitting on the steps of a temple when he slipped and fell in a pond, drowned and died – could not hold that the death had occurred due to and in the course of employment and therefore compensation was not awarded to him. In Shakuntala Chandrakant Shreshti V/s Prabhakar Maruti Garvali and Anr., 2006 the Hon’ble Supreme Court found no causal connection between the cause of cardiac arrest suffered by the workman and his employment, there appeared to be no nexus between his work and the cause of his death and consequently the Hon’ble Court held that the workman’s death had not occurred due to or in the course of his employment, notional extension of employment was not applicable and hence, no compensation was awarded.

So, that was about an employer’s liability to pay compensation in the event a workman suffers death or disablement while traveling to and fro from the factory under employment laws in India, but what happens when an employee suffers a heart attack, snakebite or gets killed during a robbery in the premises, see here…