Co. Ltd. Vs. Gulab Nabi & ANR  INSC 1216 (24 July 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. OF 2008 (Arising out of
SLP (C) No.11516 of 2006) National Insurance Co. Ltd. ..Appellant Versus Gulab
Nabi and Anr. ..Respondents
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the order passed by a Division Bench of the Allahabad High
Court dismissing the appeal filed by the appellant summarily.
appeal was filed under Section 30 of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1928 (in
short the `Act'). The primary stand taken by the appellant was that the
claimant had not established the employer employee relationship so far as the
insured deceased is concerned. It was also pointed out that there is no
evidence to show that the deceased had sustained injuries under the employment
and in the course of employment of the deceased insured.
Claim Petition was filed under Section 4 of the Act against owner of the
offending vehicle and the appellant- National Insurance Co. The Commissioner
directed payment of Rs.2,68,800/- to respondent No.1 along with interest @12%.
In terms of Section 20 of the Act, the appellant- National Insurance Company
was directed for payment to respondent No.1. The award made by the Commissioner
was questioned before the High Court in an appeal which came to be dismissed
summarily in the following manner:
learned counsel for the appellant and learned Standing Counsel for the State.
The appeal has got no
The appeal is
counsel for the appellant submitted that it was not a case where no substantial
question of law is involved. In fact, the acceptability of the evidence in view
of various concessions made by the claimant has been completely lost sight by
the High Court.
is no appearance on behalf of respondents. As rightly contended by learned
counsel for the appellant, the question whether the Insurance Company has a
liability and, if so, what is the quantum was under consideration by the High
Court. There is no suitable evidence so far as income of the deceased is
of mind is clear from the fact that since the State was not a party, the
question of hearing the learned Standing Counsel for the State does not arise.
The order therefore has been passed without any application of mind.
The order is also
introduce clarity in an order. On plainest consideration of justice, the High
Court ought to have set forth its reasons, howsoever brief, in its order
indicative of an application of its mind, all the more when its order is
amenable to further avenue of challenge.
in respect of administrative orders Lord Denning, M.R. in Breen v. Amalgamated
Engg. Union (1971 (1) All ER 1148) observed: (All ER p.1154h) `The giving of
reasons is one of the fundamentals of good administration.' In Alexander
Machinery (Dudley) Ltd. v. Crabtree (1974 ICR 120 (NIRC) it was observed:
`Failure to give reasons amounts to denial of justice.
Reasons are live
links between the mind of the decision-taker to the controversy in question and
the decision or conclusion arrived at.' Reasons substitute subjectivity by
emphasis on recording
reasons is that if the decision reveals the `inscrutable face of the sphinx',
it can, by its silence, render it virtually impossible for the courts to
perform their appellate function or exercise the power of judicial review in
adjudging the validity of the decision. Right to reason is an indispensable
part of a sound judicial system, reasons at least sufficient to indicate an
application of mind to the matter before court. Another rationale is that the
affected party can know why the decision has gone against him. One of the
salutary requirements of natural justice is spelling out reasons for the order
made, in other words, a speaking-out.
The `inscrutable face
of the sphinx' is ordinarily incongruous with a judicial or quasi-judicial
manner in which the appeal has been dismissed is not the proper course while
dealing with the appeal when it raised substantial question of law.
being the position, we set aside the order of the High Court. The matter is
remitted to it for fresh consideration in accordance with law. The parties are
directed to place fresh evidence and materials before the High Court for the
purpose of adjudication for disposing of First Appeal No. 836 of 2006.
appeal is allowed but in the circumstances without any order as to costs.
ARIJIT PASAYAT) ...........................................J.