Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Asst Manager- Odisha
What you've asked and indicated by a factual illustration is called " the theory of notional extension of place and time of employment " adopted under the Employees Compensation Act,1923 for the purpose of interpretation to decide the compensability of an employment accident on certain occasions.
S.3 (1) of the E.C Act,1923 fixes the employer's liability for compensation if personal injury is caused to an employee by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment. Though the term " accident " is not defined under this Act, it is a mishap or untoward incident, not expected or designed as commonly understood. But the accident should have been arising out of and in the course of employment. In other words, there should be a CAUSAL CONNECTION between the employment and the accident. The tests to determine whether any accident has arisen out of and in the course of employment are: (1) The employee was in fact employed on duties at the TIME of accident (2) The accident should have occurred at the PLACE of performance of his duties and (3) The immediate act which led to the accident should not be so remote from the sphere of his duties to be regarded as something foreign.
The phrase " arising out of and in the course of employment " has been clarified in several judgments of the hon'ble Supreme Court of India. It has been held that if there is a causal connection between the place of accident and the place of work and the time of accident, then compensation is payable as per the E.C Act,1923. These interpretations have come to be known as " Doctrine of notional extension of work place". The following observations of the Supreme Court in its judgment in Saurashtra Salt Manufacturing Co. v. Bai Valu Raja & Others [ AIR 1958- S.C 881 ] would be of more help to understand the concept:
" As a rule, the employment of a workman does not commence until he has reached the place of employment and does not continue when he has left the place of employment, the journey to and from the place of employment being excluded. This is now settled, however, that this is subject to the theory of notional extension of the employer's premises so as to indicate an area which the workman passes and repasses in going to and in leaving the actual place of work. There may be some reasonable extension in both the time and place and the workman may be regarded as in the course of employment even though he had not reached or had left his employer's premises. The facts and circumstances of each case will have to be examined very carefully in order to determine whether the accident arose out of and in the course of employment of a workman, keeping in view at all times this theory of notional extension of the employer's premises."
Coming to your illustration, if the individual is an "employee" as defined u/s 2(1)(dd) read with Schedule II of the E.C Act,1923, the accident has to be considered to have happened on duty.
18th November 2017 From India, Salem
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