Sunday, June 4, 2023

Bombay High Court orders compensation to kin of truck driver, who died due to stress

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The Bombay High Court has observed that the kin of a truck driver, who died due to heart attack,  were liable for compensation, as the deceased was under mental strain, which ultimately led to his death.
The Single-Judge Bench of Justice NJ Jamadar held that the deceased driver’s heart attack could be termed as an accident arising out of and in course of his employment, as contemplated under Section 3 of the Workman’s Compensation Act.
Setting aside the Labour Court’s order, the High Court permitted an appeal filed by the motorman’s kin in 2007, and directed the travel company owner and insurance company to give Rs 2,78,260, along with interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum from December 3, 2003. 
The court also ordered the owner to pay costs of Rs 25,000.

Truck driver Vishakha Singh had  succumbed to coronary artery heart disease at Nashik, while driving  truck on his way back from Ranchi to Mumbai on November 3, 2003. The family asserted that Singh was continuously on the road for 17-18 days before the incident and died due to the stress and strain of employment.
The Labour Court held that the driver died due to natural causes. There was no evidence to connect his demise to his job as a driver, especially since no cleaner was examined. Merely being employed by the travel company at the time of his demise was not enough, it had noted.
However, the High Court ruled that the driver was under stress and strain associated with long distance driving for almost 18 days in trying circumstances, which ultimately led to his death. 

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