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Section 3 – Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923

Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923

 

 

3. Employer’s liability for compensation.—

 

(1) If personal injury is caused to a workman by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, his employer shall be liable to pay compensation in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter:

 

Provided that the employer shall not be so liable —

 

(a) in respect of any injury which does not result in the total or partial disablement of the workman for a period exceeding 1[three] days;

 

(b) in respect of any 2[injury, not resulting in death 3[or permanent total disablement] caused by] an accident which is directly attributable to—

 

(i) the workman having been at the time thereof under the influence of drink or drugs, or

 

(ii) the wilful disobedience of the workman to an order expressly given, or to a rule expressly framed, for the purpose of securing the safety of workmen, or

 

(iii) the wilful removal or disregard by the workman of any safety guard or other device which he knew to have been provided for the purpose of securing the safety of workman, 4[***].

 

5[***]

 

6[(2) If a workman employed in any employment specified in Part A of Schedule III contracts any disease specified therein as an occupational disease peculiar to that employment, or if a workman, whilst in the service of an employer in whose service he has been employed for a continuous period of not less than six months (which period shall not include a period of service under any other employer in the same kind of employment) in any employment specified in Part B of Schedule III, contracts any disease specified therein as an occupational disease peculiar to that employment, or if a workman whilst in the service of one or more employers in any employment specified in Part C of Schedule III for such continuous period as the Central Government may specify in respect of each such employment, contracts any disease specified therein as an occupational disease peculiar to that employment, the contracting of the disease shall be deemed to be an injury by accident within the meaning of this section and, unless the contrary is provided, the accident shall be deemed to have arisen out of, and in the course of, the employment:

 

7[Provided that if it is proved,—

 

(a) that a workman whilst in the service of one or more employers in any employment specified in Part C of Schedule II has contracted a disease specified therein as an occupational disease peculiar to that employment during a continuous period which is less than the period specified under this sub-section for that employment; and

 

(b) that the disease has arisen out of and in the course of the employment, the contracting of such disease shall be deemed to be an injury by accident within the meaning of this section:

 

Provided further that if it is proved that a workman who having served under any employer in any employment specified in Part B of Schedule III or who having served under one or more employers in any employment specified in Part C of that Schedule, for a continuous period specified under this sub-section for that employment and he has after the cessation of such service contracted any disease specified in the said Part B or the said Part C, as the case may be, as an occupational disease peculiar to the employment and that such disease arose out of the employment, the contracting of the disease shall be deemed to be an injury by accident within the meaning of this section.]

 

8[(2A) If a workman employed in any employment specified in Part C of Schedule III contracts any occupational disease peculiar to that employment, the contracting whereof is deemed to be an injury by accident within the meaning of this section, and such employment was under more than one employer, all such employers shall be liable for the payment of the compensation in such proportion as the Commissioner may, in the circumstances, deem just.]

 

(3) 9[The Central Government or the State Government], by notification in the Official Gazette, after giving, not less than three months’ notice of its intention so to do, may, by a like notification, add any description of employment to the employments specified in Schedule III and shall specify in the case of employments so added the diseases which shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to be occupational diseases peculiar to those employments respectively, and thereupon the provisions of sub-section (2) shall apply 10[in the case of a notification by the Central Government, within the territories to which this Act extends, or, in case of a notification by the State Government, within the State] 11[***] as if such diseases had been declared by this Act to be occupational diseases peculiar to those employments.]

 

(4) Save as provided by 12[sub-sections (2), (2A)] and (3), no compensation shall be payable to a workman in respect of any disease unless the disease is 13[***] directly attributable to a specific injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment.

 

(5) Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to confer any right to compensation on a workman in respect of any injury if he has instituted in a Civil Court a suit for damages in respect of the injury against the employer or any other person; and no suit for damages shall be maintainable by a workman in any court of law in respect of any injury—

 

(a) if he has instituted a claim to compensation in respect of the injury before a Commissioner; or

 

(b) if an agreement has been come to between the workman and his employer providing for the payment of compensation in respect of the injury in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

 

COMMENTS

Connection between accident and employment

 

The deceased employee while travelling by public transport to his place of work met with a fatal accident. Nothing has been brought on record that the employee was obliged to travel in any particular manner under the terms of the employment nor he was travelling in the official transport. Held, no casual connection between accident and employment could be established. Hence, the claimant is not entitled to any compensation; State Bank of India v. Vijay Laxmi, 1998 LLR 319.

 

Death during the course of employment

 

If the deceased employee met with his death while he was going to his place of work and the death has arisen during the course of employment, then the employer is liable for compensation; T.N.C.S. Corporation Ltd. v. S. Poomalai, 1995 LLR 63 (Mad): 1995 I LLJ HC MDS (378).

 

Entitlment to claim compensation

Where death was accelerated on account of stress and strain of the working condition, it is not necessary that there should be a direct connection between the cause of death and the nature of duties. Even if a casual connection between the two can be shown then the dependants of the deceased would be entitled to claim compensation from the employer; Divisional Personal Officer, Western Railway v. Ashiya Begam, 1994 LLR 11 (Raj).

 

Injury must be physical injury

Injury sustained by a workman must be a physical injury on account of accident; Leela Devi v. Ramlal Rahu, 1990 LLR 213 (HP).

 

Liability for compensation

(i) In order to attract section 3 (1) of the Act, following three conditions must be fulfilled:—

 

(a) personal injury;

 

(b) accident; and

 

(c) arising out of and in the course of employment; Kalayni P. v. Divisional Manager, Southern Railway (Personal Branch), Divisional Office, Madras, 2004 LLR 207 (Mad HC): 2004 I LLJ 49.

 

(ii) It is no doubt true that in order to succeed in an application for getting compensation under section 3 of the Act the following points are required to be established:—

 

(1) that the accident must arise out of and in the course of the workman’s employment;

 

(2) there must be causal connection between the injury and the accident and the work done in the course of the employment;

 

(3) the workman has to say that while doing a part of his duty or incidental thereto it has resulted into an accident.

 

It is necessary that the workman must be actually working at the time of the injury or the accident. Therefore, the three factors, that there must be injury, which must be caused in an accident, it must be caused in the course of and out of the employment must be established; Branch Manager, New India Assurance Co. Ltd. v. Siddappa, Major, 2004 LLR 731 (Kant HC).

 

Meaning of the expression “arising out of employment”

 

(i) The expression “arising out of employment” means that there must be casual relationship between the accident and the employment. If the accident has occurred on account of the risk which is an incident of employment, it has to be held that the accident has arisen out of the employment; Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Nanguli Singh, 1995 LLJ HC ORS (298).

 

(ii) The words “out of employment” is not limited to mere nature of the employment, but it (arising out of employment) applies to its nature, its conditions and obligations and its incidents. An accident which occurs on account of a risk, which is an incident of employment, then the claim for compensation can succeed provided the workman has not exposed himself to an added peril by his own imprudent act; Executive Engineer 19th Div. R.C.P., Bikaner v. Heeraram, 1982 (44) FLR 179 Raj: 1980 Raj LW 412.

 

—————————–

1. Subs. by Act 8 of 1959, sec. 3, for “seven” (w.e.f. 1-6-1959).

 

2. Subs. by Act 15 of 1933, sec. 3, for “injury to a workman resulting from”.

 

3. Ins. by Act 30 of 1995, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 15-9-1995).

 

4. The word “or” omitted by Act 5 of 1929, sec. 2.

 

5. Clause (c) omitted by Act 5 of 1929, sec. 2.

 

6. Subs. by Act 8 of 1959, sec. 3, for sub-sections (2) and (3) (w.e.f. 1-6-1959).

 

7. Ins. by Act 64 of 1962, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 1-2-1963).

 

8. Subs. by Act 64 of 1962, sec.3, for sub-section (2A) (w.e.f. 1-2-1963).

 

9. Subs. by Act 30 of 1995, sec. 3, for certain words (w.e.f. 15-9-1995).

 

10. Ins. by Act 30 of 1995, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 15-9-1995). 11. Certain words omitted by Act 51 of 1970, sec. 2 and Sch. (w.e.f. 1-9-1971).

 

12. Subs. by Act 8 of 1959, sec. 3, for “sub-section (2)” (w.e.f. 1-6-1959).

 

13. The words “solely and” omitted by Act 15 of 1933, sec. 3.

 

 

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Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923

 

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