Workers must get compensation,madras high court,for internal injuries too

ImageNoting that Employees State Insurance (ESI) Act speaks of only 11 external injuries eligible for compenstaion, Madras high court has asked the Centre to bring necessary amendments to include injuries to internal organs like kidneys, lungs, liver, etc., as scheduled injuries.
Justice N Kirubakaran was issuing the direction on a petition filed by a factory worker who in the year 2000 suffered injuries in a fall during work, but was denied compensation stating that loss of one kidney was not a disability.


S Senthil of Villupuram district had a fall while fitting pipes inside a factory in July 2000. Having suffered injuries on his abdomen region, he underwent surgery and his left kidney had to be removed. Contending that his earning capacity has been lost, he sought compensation under Workmen’s Compensation Act before the competent commissioner. It was, however rejected in 2009 on the ground that damages for injury could not be claimed before the workmen’s compensation authority.


Thereafter he approached regional director of ESI Corporation and applied for accident benefits for permanent disability suffered by him. Citing an hospital report that the disability suffered by the workman is nil, the official rejected the claim, prompting Senthil to move the ESI court. It awarded Rs 2 lakh as compensation towards loss of one kidney, mental agony and pain and sufferings. Assailing it, the ESIC filed the present appeal in the high court.

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Justice Kirubakaran, rejecting the appeal, pointed out that the ESI court had awarded Rs 2 lakh on the grounds of equity, and added: “The sum of Rs 2 lakh awarded on equity is deleted, as this court awards Rs 2.15 lakh towards compensation, treating the loss of a kidney as “permanent partial disablement”.


Justice Kirubakaran cited ILO data that there were out of 405 million workers in India, of which 121 million were casual workers, and said: “When such is the number of workers employed in India, they are bound to suffer injuries both external and internal injuries in the course of employment. Therefore, the Government has to take into consideration the same and amend the Employees's State Insurance Act as well as the Employees's Compensation Act, 1923, to cover even internal injuries, as it has not been defined so far.”

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