HELD: 1. Under Section 3(1) of the Workmen Compensation Act, 1923, it has to be established that there was some casual connection between the death of the workman and his employment. If the workman dies a natural death because of the disease which he was suffering or while suffering from a particular disease he dies of that disease as a result of wear and tear of the employment, no liability would be fixed upon the employer. But if the employment is a contributory cause or has accelerated the death, or if the death was not only due to the disease but also the disease coupled with the employment, then it can be said that the death arose out of the employment and the employer would be liable. [Para 9] [ 326-F, G]
2.1. The expression "accident" means an untoward mishap which is not expected or designed. "Injury" means physiological injury. [Para 10] [ 326- G, H]
Jyothi Ademma v. Plant Engineer, Nellore and Anr. 2006 (5) SCC 513 - relied on.
Fenton v. Thorley & Co. Ltd. (1903) AC 448 ; Trim Joint District, School Board of Management v. Kelly (1914) A.C. 676 ; ESI Corpn. v. Francis De Costa 1996 (6) SCC 1 ; Dover Navigation Co. Ltd. v. Isabella Craig 1940 AC 190 ; Fenton (Pauper) v. J. Thorley & Co. Ltd. 1903 AC 443 - referred to.
2.2. An accident may lead to death but an accident took place must be proved. Only because a death has taken place in course of employment would not amount to accident. In other words, death must arise out of accident. There is no presumption that an accident had occurred. In a case of this nature to prove that accident has taken place, factors which would have to be established are: stress and strain arising during the course of employment, nature of employment, injury aggravated due to stress and strain. [Paras 15, 16] [ 329-B, C, D]
Jenkins v. Elder Dempster Lines Ltd. 1953 (2) All ER 1133 -referred to.
2.3. To come within the Act, the injury by accident must arise both out of and in the course of employment. The words `in the course of the employment' mean `in the course of the work which the workman is employed to do and which is incidental to it'. The words `arising out of employment' are understood to mean that `during the course of the employment, injury has resulted from some risk incidental to the duties of the service, which, unless engaged in the duty owing to the master, it is reasonable to believe the workman would not otherwise have suffered'. In other words there must be a causal relationship between the accident and the employment. The expression `arising out of employment' is again not confined to the mere nature of the employment. The expression applies to employment as such-to its nature, its conditions, its obligations and its incidents. If by reason of any of those factors the workman is brought within the zone of special danger the injury would be one which arises `out of employment'. To put it differently if the accident had occurred on account of a risk which is an incident of the employment, the claim for compensation must succeed, unless of course the workman has exposed himself to an added peril by his own imprudent act." [Para 18] [ 329-G, H; 330-A, B, C]
Mackinnon Mackenzie & Co. (P) Ltd. v. Ibrahim Mohd. Issak 1969 (2) SCC 607; Shakuntala Chandrakant Shreshti v. Prabhakar Maruti Garvali and Anr. 2007 (11) SCC 668 - relied on.
3. It is the specific case of the claimants that on 30.11.2000 the deceased who was driving the vehicle on the direction of the insured had gone to a temple and was sitting on the steps of the pond in the temple and he slipped and fell into the water and died due to drowning. This is not sufficient to fasten liability on either the insurer or the insured. The High Court was not justified in holding that the appellant was liable to pay compensation. [Para 20] [ 330-E, F]
Case Law Reference
2006 (5) SCC 513 relied on Para 11
(1903) AC (1914) relied on Para 11
(1996 (6) SCC 1) relied on Para 11
(1940 AC 190) relied on Para 11
(1903 AC 443) referred to Para 13
1964 (3) SCR 930 relied on Para 17
AIR 1958 SC 881 relied on Para 17
1953 (2) All ER 1133 referred to Para 18
1969 (2) SCC 607 relied on Para 18
2007 (11) SCC 668 relied on Para 19
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 956 of 2009
From the final Judgement and Order dated 8.8.2005 of the High Court of Karnataka at Bangalore in Miscellaneous First Appeal No. 5908 of 2002
Kiran Suri, for the Appellant.D. Varadarajan and Shiv Prakash Pandey, for the Respondent.