Whether Compensation can be awarded for death of employee due to Malaria Fever under Employee Compensation Act?

In the matter of  Union of India, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways New Delhi and Another vs. Fulerunnessa w/o Guley Ahmed Mazumdar-2016-II-LLJ-517- Deceased employee was the son of claimant/respondent. Deceased was engaged with Appellant for construction of road. During course of employment he fell sick and died out of malaria.

Respondents claimed compensation under the Act for the death of their son. Commissioner awarded compensation to Respondents.

Being aggrieved by the order of compensation, Appellant filed an appeal before the High Court challenging the order.

It was held by the High Court of Gauhati that,

Appreciating level of risk and exposure to infectious and parasitic diseases faced by workmen/employees, Government issued an Office Memorandum floating a proposal for inclusion of certain diseases in Schedule III of the Act, 1923( 10-07-1990, Notification No S-37018/1/89-SS/1-MINISTRY OF LABOUR, GOI). It is apparent that authorities at highest level were conscious that malaria in all its clinical form was liable to be included within definition of “infectious and parasitic disease” under Schedule III of Act.

It is clear from records that deceased was engaged under Appellant in construction of road in remote locations and was exposed to high risk of catching up with infectious and parasitic diseases. There is no justifiable ground to exclude malaria fever “VIVEX” from list of diseases covered under Schedule III of Act.

Accordingly, the High Court held that submission of Appellant cannot be accepted as it is contrary to entries in Schedule III of Act and Notification of Government. It further held that there was no justifiable ground to interfere with impugned judgment. Based on these grounds the appeal was dismissed with directions to the Appellant to deposit the compensation amount ordered along with interest.

Dr Gubbi and team are Counselors and Advocates practicing in many verticals of law especially laws related to international trade and commercial disputes.

The author can also be reached at drgubbilegal@gmail.com

 

Dr Gubbi 
on 21 October 2016
Published in Labour & Service Law
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