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Learner (XYZ)     01 December 2010

Compensation- Worker electrocuted working on harvest-combine

 Case Details:

A young worker, aged 22years, electrocuted while working on the roof of harvest combine as he touched high voltage wires. The combine was harvesting and the worker was cleaning some parts of combine standing at its roof while he lost the sight of high voltage wires crossing over the fields at height of some 5-6 meters, which suggests negligence on part of electricity board as this height coincides with the normal height of combines.

Accident occurred in October this year in Punjab.

Legal Proceedings:

The combine is insured. The combine owner has paid some amount in the agreement with family members of deceased. A FIR was registered but the matter hushed up u/s 174 Cr.P.C. Post-mortem report shows electrocution. Afterwards, representations to board and police have been made for negligence on the part of board.

What Relief:

Now, how to claim compensation from electricity board? Motor vehicle accident claim, workman compensation claim or suit for damages?

 8 Replies


a suit for damages as against the electricity board and the owner is the proper remedy

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A suit for damages involve huge court fee.  My suggestion is file a writ petition against the electricity board in High Court for their negligence and they are duty bound to pay compensation to the dependents of the deceased.

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H. S. Thukral (Lawyer)     01 December 2010

You can claim compensation under WC Act/Fatal Accident Act/ By approaching HC under writ jurisdiction. I would have preferred WC Act.  

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Jacob Pratap (service)     02 December 2010

I do not think Electricity Board is at fault.  The height of their high powered wires cannot be less than the prescribed height. In field area no body can imagine that any person would touch the wires at the height of 5-6 meters. Hence, no use wasting your time and money there.

Instead, you should file claim under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 (now Employees' Compensation Act) before the Assistant Labour Commissioner of the Area against the owner of the harvesting combine. Also implead the Insurance Company as a party. If the worker was getting around Rs. 5000/- p.m. as wages, his dependents should get compensation amount of around 5.5 lacs. This remedy is much cheaper than preferring a civil suit or filing a writ petition before the Hon'ble High Court.

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normally high court will not entertain the writ. Only after availing the regular chances before proper forum,  you can approach highcourt. 

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Kirti Kar Tripathi (lawyer)     06 December 2010

I agree with Mr. Thakural,  but I think WC Act will not apply, the proper remedy against employer  is under Fatal Accident Act and against Electricity Department either Civil suit or writ of Mandamus.

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Jacob Pratap (service)     06 December 2010

I do not see any reason why WC Act.will not apply in this case. The victim was a workman covered in entry (xlv) of the Shedule II of the Act i.e. LIST OF PERSONS WHO SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2(1)(n), ARE INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF WORKMEN. The entry reads as under:- 

      (xlv) employed in mechanised harvesting and threshing operations.

Making an agreement by the employer and insurance company with the relatives of deceased workman and registration of an FIR  further prove that the workman was employed and he died during and in the course of his employment with his employer. The vehicle was insured. Therefore, the Insurance Company has to pay compensation to the dependents of deceased workman.

This is the best & speedy remedy available almost at the doorstep of the dependents.

1 Like

H. S. Thukral (Lawyer)     06 December 2010

All the conditions are riped to claim compensation under the WC Act. The accident is during the course of and out of employment. . The workman died because he happened to be there due to his employment. 

1 Like

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