Monday, August 2, 2021
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Labour court rejects driver’s claim for disability

A permanent disability claim made by a 55-year-old driver from Bhiwandi taluka of the district has been dismissed by a Thane labour court.

The claimant, Madan Nagare, stated before Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation P S Chandgude that his wife Asha Madan Nagare owned a tempo for which he worked as a driver and got a salary of Rs. 8,000 per month.

He said that on July 13, 2010, he had parked the tempo on the roadside in Bhiwandi for some purchase when another vehicle came at a high speed and dashed against his vehicle, as a result of which he sustained severe injuries. He incurred heavy medical expenses and was rendered cent per cent disabled and lost his earning capacity, he said.

Nagare prayed for compensation along with 12 per cent interest and medical expenses. He filed the claim on his wife, the vehicle owner, and The New India Assurance Company Ltd.

The insurance firm contested the claim and argued that there was no employer-employee relationship between the wife and the injured and the vehicle did not meet with the accident.

The applicant was allegedly driving the tempo of his wife, and therefore he entered into the shoes of the insured (wife) and there was no employer-employee relationship. There was no privity of contract between the applicant and insurer, therefore he is not liable for compensation, it said.

Commissioner Chandgude noted that the appointment letter of Nagare dated 10.10.2009 was in English and signed by the parties in Devanagari. It is not understood that the applicant and his wife, who are unable to sign properly in Marathi, made the appointment letter in English. Moreover, the salary receipts are also written in English and signed by the applicant, but do not bear revenue stamp.

The receipts are written in English in the same handwriting and it appears that all were prepared on the same date from the same handwriting and the pen. Thus, these documents cannot be considered as strong evidence of employer-employee relationship, the commissioner held.

On the disability certificate issued by a doctor, the commissioner observed that he has clinically examined the patient, but not treated him, had not taken fresh X-ray and not maintained clinical notes. The doctor also did not assess the disability as per workmen’s compensation guidelines and did not mention the functional disability.

It appears that the certificate was given as per the say of the applicant which cannot be believed, he observed.

The applicant has not proved employer-employee relationship with his wife, has not proved that he was getting salary of Rs. 8,000 per month and has not proved disability in earning capacity. Therefore, he is not entitled for compensation, Commissioner Chandgude said in a recent order.

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