Remand the case for fresh disposal = In our opinion, the need to remand the case to the High Court has occasioned because the impugned judgment was passed by the High Court without hearing the appellant herein (who was respondent No.1 in the appeal before the High Court). Indeed, this fact was not disputed.

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NON-REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2265-2266 OF 2018

[Arising out of SLP (C) Nos.27440-27441 of 2017]

Mohd. Anwar .. Appellant

Versus

The Oriental Insurance Company

Ltd. & Anr. .. Respondents

J U D G M E N T

Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.

1) Leave granted.

2) These appeals arise from the final judgment and

order dated 22.08.2017 passed by the High Court of

Delhi at New Delhi in FAO No.424 of 2016 whereby

the Single Judge of the High Court allowed the

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appeal filed by respondent No.1 herein and set aside

the order dated 06.05.2016 passed by the Employees’

Compensation Commissioner, Delhi by which the

Commissioner partly allowed the claim petition filed

by the appellant herein. By order dated 11.09.2017,

the High Court also dismissed the application

bearing C.M. No.32982 of 2017 in FAO 424/2016

filed by the appellant herein for setting aside the

judgment dated 22.08.2017.

3) These appeals involve a short point. Few facts

need mention infra to appreciate the point. Facts are

taken from the list of dates and SLP.

4) The appellant herein is the claimant. He was

under the employment of respondent No.2 [M/s

Swati (sic. Swasti) Structure & Concretes], a

company, on the post of Driver. He used to drive

TATA Tipper vehicle bearing No.UK 08V 4577.

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5) On 08.03.2013, the appellant (claimant), while

on duty, met with an accident and sustained injuries

on his body. The aforesaid accident occurred during

the course of his employment and it also arose out of

employment. The case of the appellant is that the

risks and rights of the parties were covered by the

Insurance Policy and hence on that basis, the

appellant filed a claim petition under the Employees

Compensation Act, 1923 before the Employees

Compensation Commissioner at Delhi seeking

compensation from his employer (respondent No.2)

and Insurer (respondent No.1) for the injuries

sustained by him in the accident.

6) The claim petition was contested by respondent

No.2 (employer) and the Insurance Company

(respondent No.1 herein) on various grounds on facts

and the law. One of the objections raised by

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respondent No.1 was in relation to the territorial

jurisdiction of the Court in filing the claim petition by

the claimant.

7) By order dated 06.05.2016 (Annexure-P-7), the

claim petition was allowed in part by the

Commissioner against both the respondents herein

and accordingly an award was passed against both

the respondents for a total sum of Rs.8,70,576/- by

way of compensation for the injuries sustained by the

appellant (claimant).

8) Felt aggrieved by order dated 06.05.2016,

Respondent No.1, the Insurance Company filed

appeal before the High Court. By impugned

judgment, the Single Judge allowed the appeal, set

aside the order of the Commissioner and dismissed

the claim petition on the ground of lack of territorial

jurisdiction. Since the impugned judgment was

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passed without hearing the appellant

herein(respondent No.1 before the High Court), he

filed an application for setting aside the impugned

judgment. By order dated 11.09.2017, the High

Court dismissed the application. Aggrieved by the

judgment/order dated 22.08.2017 and 11.09.2017,

the appellant (claimant) felt aggrieved and filed these

appeals by way of special leave in this Court.

9) Therefore, the short question, which arises for

consideration in this appeal, is whether any case was

made out by the Insurance Company before the High

Court.

10) Heard Mr. R.K. Nain, learned counsel for the

appellant and Mr. K.K. Bhat, learned counsel for

respondent No.1.

11) Having heard the learned counsel for the parties

and on perusal of the record of the case, we are

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inclined to allow the appeals filed by the claimant

and while setting aside of the impugned judgment

remand the case to the High Court for deciding the

appeal filed by the Insurance company afresh in

accordance with law.

12) In our opinion, the need to remand the case to

the High Court has occasioned because the

impugned judgment was passed by the High Court

without hearing the appellant herein (who was

respondent No.1 in the appeal before the High Court).

Indeed, this fact was not disputed.

13) It is true that the High Court was constrained to

make strong observations against the appellant

(claimant) on the manner in which he prosecuted his

stand in the appeal before the High Court, yet having

regard to the totality of the facts and circumstances

arising in the case including the nature of the claim,

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the several issues involved therein and the grounds

raised by the Insurance Company in their appeal

leveling serious allegations against the appellant

(claimant) and few others which also found

acceptance to the High Court, we are of the

considered opinion that an opportunity of hearing, in

the interest of justice, needs to be given to the

appellant before the High Court to contest the appeal

filed by the Insurance Company.

14) In view of the foregoing discussion, the appeals

succeed and are accordingly allowed. Impugned

judgment is set aside and the case is remanded to

the High Court for deciding the appeal filed by the

Insurance Company afresh in accordance with law

uninfluenced by any of the observations made by us

because having formed an opinion to remand the

case to the High Court on the ground mentioned

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above, we did not apply our mind to the merits of the

controversy.

15) Parties to appear before the High Court on

12.03.2018 to enable it to decide the appeal

expeditiously.

………………………………..J

(R.K. AGRAWAL)

..………………………………J.

(ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE)

New Delhi,

February 19, 2018