The Madras High Court Wednesday made it clear that claiming compensation against the insurance company for an accident and also from the employer under the Workers Compensation Act did not amount to double compensation. Justice MV Muralidharan made the observation while dismissing two appeals from the National Insurance Company Limited, Tiruchengode, against the award of compensation by Commissioner for Employees Compensation at Coonoor, in two accident cases.
Referring to various Supreme Court judgements, he said "awarding of compensation to claimants is only for the sake of giving solace to the claimants who lost their breadwinner due to the accident. "If their tears are not wiped off by the courts of law, there will be little meaning in awarding compensation," he added.
The case relates to the death of two people, both drivers, in an accident in June 2014. The legal heirs of the victims filed two different claim petitions before the Commissioner for Employees Compensation at Coonoor and awards of Rs 8,15,400 for one of the victims and Rs 5,42,240 for the other was passed by the Tribunal with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the 31st day of the accident till the date of deposit under Workers Compensation.
Cases were filed before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, which awarded Rs 8,50,000 and Rs 5,53,000, respectively, to the two victims. The insurance company filed appeals contending that the claimants had claimed two sets of compensation, for one and the same cause of action, one before MACT Tribunal and another before Commissioner for Employees Compensation at Coonoor, which was impermissible in law.
Justice Muralidharan, who dismissed the appeals by the insurance company, in his order said, "In my considered view, the action of the claimants would not amount to double compensation or double jeopardy to the employer."
(With inputs from agencies.)