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Monday, February 19, 2018

Remand the case for fresh disposal = In our opinion, the need to remand the case to the High Court has occasioned because the impugned judgment was passed by the High Court without hearing the appellant herein (who was respondent No.1 in the appeal before the High Court). Indeed, this fact was not disputed.

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 NON-REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
 CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2265-2266 OF 2018
[Arising out of SLP (C) Nos.27440-27441 of 2017]
Mohd. Anwar .. Appellant
Versus
The Oriental Insurance Company
Ltd. & Anr. .. Respondents
J U D G M E N T
Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.
1) Leave granted.
2) These appeals arise from the final judgment and
order dated 22.08.2017 passed by the High Court of
Delhi at New Delhi in FAO No.424 of 2016 whereby
the Single Judge of the High Court allowed the
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appeal filed by respondent No.1 herein and set aside
the order dated 06.05.2016 passed by the Employees’
Compensation Commissioner, Delhi by which the
Commissioner partly allowed the claim petition filed
by the appellant herein. By order dated 11.09.2017,
the High Court also dismissed the application
bearing C.M. No.32982 of 2017 in FAO 424/2016
filed by the appellant herein for setting aside the
judgment dated 22.08.2017.
3) These appeals involve a short point. Few facts
need mention infra to appreciate the point. Facts are
taken from the list of dates and SLP.
4) The appellant herein is the claimant. He was
under the employment of respondent No.2 [M/s
Swati (sic. Swasti) Structure & Concretes], a
company, on the post of Driver. He used to drive
TATA Tipper vehicle bearing No.UK 08V 4577.
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5) On 08.03.2013, the appellant (claimant), while
on duty, met with an accident and sustained injuries
on his body. The aforesaid accident occurred during
the course of his employment and it also arose out of
employment. The case of the appellant is that the
risks and rights of the parties were covered by the
Insurance Policy and hence on that basis, the
appellant filed a claim petition under the Employees
Compensation Act, 1923 before the Employees
Compensation Commissioner at Delhi seeking
compensation from his employer (respondent No.2)
and Insurer (respondent No.1) for the injuries
sustained by him in the accident.
6) The claim petition was contested by respondent
No.2 (employer) and the Insurance Company
(respondent No.1 herein) on various grounds on facts
and the law. One of the objections raised by
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respondent No.1 was in relation to the territorial
jurisdiction of the Court in filing the claim petition by
the claimant.
7) By order dated 06.05.2016 (Annexure-P-7), the
claim petition was allowed in part by the
Commissioner against both the respondents herein
and accordingly an award was passed against both
the respondents for a total sum of Rs.8,70,576/- by
way of compensation for the injuries sustained by the
appellant (claimant).
8) Felt aggrieved by order dated 06.05.2016,
Respondent No.1, the Insurance Company filed
appeal before the High Court. By impugned
judgment, the Single Judge allowed the appeal, set
aside the order of the Commissioner and dismissed
the claim petition on the ground of lack of territorial
jurisdiction. Since the impugned judgment was
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passed without hearing the appellant
herein(respondent No.1 before the High Court), he
filed an application for setting aside the impugned
judgment. By order dated 11.09.2017, the High
Court dismissed the application. Aggrieved by the
judgment/order dated 22.08.2017 and 11.09.2017,
the appellant (claimant) felt aggrieved and filed these
appeals by way of special leave in this Court.
9) Therefore, the short question, which arises for
consideration in this appeal, is whether any case was
made out by the Insurance Company before the High
Court.
10) Heard Mr. R.K. Nain, learned counsel for the
appellant and Mr. K.K. Bhat, learned counsel for
respondent No.1.
11) Having heard the learned counsel for the parties
and on perusal of the record of the case, we are
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inclined to allow the appeals filed by the claimant
and while setting aside of the impugned judgment
remand the case to the High Court for deciding the
appeal filed by the Insurance company afresh in
accordance with law.
12) In our opinion, the need to remand the case to
the High Court has occasioned because the
impugned judgment was passed by the High Court
without hearing the appellant herein (who was
respondent No.1 in the appeal before the High Court).
Indeed, this fact was not disputed.
13) It is true that the High Court was constrained to
make strong observations against the appellant
(claimant) on the manner in which he prosecuted his
stand in the appeal before the High Court, yet having
regard to the totality of the facts and circumstances
arising in the case including the nature of the claim,
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the several issues involved therein and the grounds
raised by the Insurance Company in their appeal
leveling serious allegations against the appellant
(claimant) and few others which also found
acceptance to the High Court, we are of the
considered opinion that an opportunity of hearing, in
the interest of justice, needs to be given to the
appellant before the High Court to contest the appeal
filed by the Insurance Company.
14) In view of the foregoing discussion, the appeals
succeed and are accordingly allowed. Impugned
judgment is set aside and the case is remanded to
the High Court for deciding the appeal filed by the
Insurance Company afresh in accordance with law
uninfluenced by any of the observations made by us
because having formed an opinion to remand the
case to the High Court on the ground mentioned
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above, we did not apply our mind to the merits of the
controversy.
15) Parties to appear before the High Court on
12.03.2018 to enable it to decide the appeal
expeditiously.
………………………………..J
(R.K. AGRAWAL)
 ..………………………………J.
 (ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE)
New Delhi,
February 19, 2018 

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