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Report No. 62

3A.9. Cases not covered by section 6.-

The Act makes no express provision for altering compensation except in section 6. By the terms of section 6, it is limited to half-monthly payments which are prescribed by the Act for only temporary disablement (partial or total). Besides section 6 there is no other provision in the Act which empowers the parties to seek a reopening of the question of compensation whether fixed by an agreement or determined by an award. Should other cases be covered? In a Calcutta case,1 the question was discussed and the following comment made:

"The reason why the Act has made an exception in the case of the temporary disablement appears to me to be plain. The disablement being temporary, is normally bound or due to disappear, or it may be that it will grow worse and be aggravated into a permanent disability, but whether or not the subsequent development be for the better or for the worse, the disablement is for the time being of a temporary character, and since it is temporary, provision for future adjustment is obviously called for."

"Since the compensation is to be paid for the disablement, there will be no reason to pay it when the disablement has ceased for, again, since compensation is payable for disablement as it is at the time the compensation is fixed, there is no reason why the full amount should continue to be paid, although the disablement diminishes and the earning capacity is correspondingly restored. Looking at the matter from the other point of view, since the compensation is originally assessed on the basis of a temporary disablement, there is no reason why the figure so assessed should be maintained, even if the disablement worsens and deteriorates into a permanent disability."

1. Angus Co. Ltd. v. Chouthi, AIR 1955 Cal 616 (619) (Chakravarti, C.J.).

3A.10. In the same case,1 it was pointed oat that "it is not impossible that when a personal injury suffered by a "workman is assessed for the purpose of compensation, some mistake should be made, nor is it impossible that even a permanent disablement, when it is partial, may deteriorate. In the case of permanent disablement of a total character, the question perhaps does not arise. But it is conceivable that in the case of a permanent disability of a partial character, there may be aggravation. Why the Legislature has made no provision for such cases, it is not for us to say."

At the same time, the judgment explains the present narrow position thus:-

"It may have been thought that it would be quit impossible to work the Act if successive applications made at different points of time during the remainder of the workman's life were to be permitted and it was to be decided each time whether an aggravation had occurred and if it had occurred, whether it was an aggravation of the injury itself as such or whether the deterioration had been occasioned by the operation of external causes. We are, however, not concerned with question on legislative policy and our sole function is to interpret the Act, as we find it."

It appears to us that the passage quoted above explains satisfactorily the absence of a specific provision and so we do not recommend any change in this regard.

1. Angus Co. Ltd. v. Chouthi, AIR 1955 Cal 616.

Workmens Compensation Act, 1923 Back

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