Purpose of framing issues is to enable parties to lead evidence so as to prove or disprove facts

Gauhati High Court: An appeal filed under Section 30 of the Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923 against the judgment of compensation awarded by the Workman’s Compensation Commissioner, was dismissed by a Single Judge Bench comprising of Suman Shyam, J.

Brief facts of the case were that one Aktar Hussain was employed as a handyman on a truck with respondent No. 3 and he was hit by the same truck on the day of the incident, whereby he died on the spot. His wife and mother, being the claimants, filed a case for compensation where under the Commissioner awarded the compensation of Rs. 4,48,000 to be paid to the claimants. The appellant (insurance company) filed the instant appeal against the said order, inter alia, on the ground that no issue was framed by the Commissioner to determine the correctness of the question whether the deceased died in course of his employment, as mandated by Rule 28 framed under Workman’s Compensation Act, 1923.

The Court considered the contentions and examined the record. The Court was of the opinion that it is no doubt correct that Rule 28 enjoins a duty upon the Commissioner to ascertain upon what material proposition of facts or law the parties are at variant and, therefore, to frame and record the issues upon which the right decision of the case appears to him to depend. In the present case, issues had not been framed. But it was also to be noted that both the parties had participated in the trial and led evidence being fully aware of one another’s case, without raising any objection as regards non-framing of issues. Further, the purpose of framing issues is to enable the parties to lead evidence so as to prove or disprove the fact which they are bound to prove or disprove in a proceeding. If the parties to the proceeding have lead evidence being fully conscious about the case of the opposite party, without raising any objection before the trial court on the ground of non-framing of issues, than they cannot be permitted later on to assail the validity of the judgment solely on the ground of non-framing of issues. The Court held that the appeal was devoid of any merits and accordingly the same was dismissed. [The National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Sarzina Begum,  2018 SCC OnLine Gau 323, dated 25-04-2018]

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