Friday, 2 October 2015

When judgment is given ignoring binding precedent,said judgment will be Per incuriam

 Art. 141 - Per incuriam decisions - Held, decisions in Satnam Singh, (2011) 14 SCC 758, Mubasir Ahmed, (2007) 2
SCC 349 and Mohd. Nasir, (2009) 6 SCC 280, held, are per incuriam since they were rendered in ignorance of larger
Bench decisions in Pratap Narain Singh Deo, (1976) 1 SCC 289 and Valsala K., (1999) 8 SCC 254,
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8 OF 2014
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil)
No.8569 of 2013]
SABERABIBI YAKUBBHAI SHAIKH
& ORS. ...APPELLANTS
VERSUS
NATIONAL INSURANCE CO. LTD.
& ORS. ...RESPONDENTS
Dated;JANUARY 02, 2014
Citation; (2014) 2 SCC 298

1. Delay condoned.
2. Leave granted.
3. The appellants are the wife and the relatives
of deceased driver who died in a road accident. The
deceased driver was driving a truck bearing No. GJ-
17-T-8607, which was owned by Yunusbhai Gulambhai
Shaikh, respondent No.2 herein. The deceased was
36 years of age at the time of the accident. On
20th November, 1996, the appellants raised a claim
of compensation for a sum of Rs.2,15,280/- and 12%
interest therein from the date of accident by
filing a claim application before the Workmen
Compensation Commissioner/Labour Court. After
passage of more than 16 years, the wife and
children of the deceased driver had still not
received any compensation.

4. The appellants filed a compensation
application before the Workmen Compensation
Commissioner/Labour Court on 20th November, 1996.
The appellants made a claim of Rs.2,15,280/- and
also penalty to the tune of 50% of the compensation
i.e. a sum of Rs.1,07,640/-, thus, making the grand
total of Rs.3,22,920/-. Respondent No.1- the
Insurance Company, contested the compensation
application. On 23th December, 2010, the learned
Commissioner awarded compensation on account of
death in the sum of Rs.2,13,570/- with 12% interest
from the date of accident. The learned Commissioner
also awarded Rs.1,06,785/- as penalty.
5. Aggrieved and dissatisfied with the aforesaid
judgment and award passed by the learned
Commissioner, the Insurance Company filed First
Appeal before the High Court.
6. By judgment and order, dated 24th January,
2012, the High Court has partly allowed the First
Appeal. The High Court directed the respondent
No.1 - Insurance Company to pay interest on the
amount of compensation from the date of

adjudication of claim application i.e. 23th
December, 2010 and not from one month after from
the date of accident i.e. 21st August, 1996. A
further direction was issued that the excess amount
towards interest, if any, deposited by the
respondent No.1 – Insurance Company be refunded to
it. The judgment and order of the Commissioner for
Workmen Compensation was modified to that extent.
7. In coming to the aforesaid conclusion, the
High Court relied upon the judgment of this Court
reported in Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport
Corporation now Uttarakhand Transport Corporation
versus Satnam Singh, (2011) 14 SCC 758, wherein it
has been held that the interest was payable under
the Workmen Compensation Act from the date of the
Award and not from the date of accident.
8. Aggrieved by the aforesaid judgment of the Hgh
Court, the appellants have filed the present
appeal.

9. Learned counsel for the appellants has
submitted that the aforesaid judgment of the High
Court is contrary to the law laid down by this
Court in the case of Oriental Insurance Company
Limited versus Siby George and others [(2012) 12
SCC 540].
10. We have perused the aforesaid judgment. We
are of the considered opinion that the aforesaid
judgment relied upon by the learned counsel for the
appellants is fully applicable to the facts and
circumstances of this case. This Court considered
the earlier judgment relied upon by the High Court
and observed that the judgments in the case of
National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Mubasir Ahmed
[(2007) 2 SCC 349] and Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.
v. Mohd. Nasir [(2009) 6 SCC 280] were per
incuriam having been rendered without considering
the earlier decision in Pratap Narain Singh Deo
v. Srinivas Sabata [(1976) 1 SCC 289]. In the
aforesaid judgment, upon consideration of the
entire matter, a four-judge Bench of this Court had
held that the compensation has to be paid from the
date of the accident.

11. Following the aforesaid judgments, this Court
in Oriental Insurance Company Limited versus Siby
George and others (supra) reiterated the legal
position and held as follows:
“11. The Court then referred to a Full
Bench decision of the Kerala High Court
in United India Insurance Co. Ltd. v.
Alavi and approved it insofar as it
followed the decision in Pratap Narain
Singh Deo.
12. The decision in Pratap Narain
Singh Deo was by a four-judge Bench and
in Valsala K. by a three-judge Bench of
this Court. Both the decisions were,
thus, fully binding on the Court in
Mubasir Ahmed and Mohd. Nasir, each of
which was heard by two Judges. But the
earlier decisions in Pratap Narain
Singh Deo and Valsala K. were not
brought to the notice of the Court in
the two later decisions in Mubasir Ahmed
and Mohd. Nasir.
13. In the light of the decisions in
Pratap Narain Singh Deo and Valsala K.,
it is not open to contend that the
payment of compensation would fall due
only after the Commissioner's order or
with reference to the date on which the
claim application is made. The
decisions in Mubasir Ahmed and Mohd.
Nasir insofar as they took a contrary
view to the earlier decisions in Pratap
Narain Singh Deo and Valsala K. do not
express the correct view and do not make
binding precedents.”

12. In view of the aforesaid settled proposition
of law, the appeal is allowed and the judgment and
order of the High Court is set aside. The
appellants shall be entitled to interest at the
rate of 12% from the date of the accident.
13. No cost.
....................,J.
(SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR)
...............................,J.
(FAKKIR MOHAMED IBRAHIM KALIFULLA)
NEW DELHI
JANUARY 02, 2014
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