MADURAI: Documents marked before lower courts during the hearing of a case do not have any evidentiary value unless their authors have been examined, the Madras High Court has ruled.
Disposing of a Civil Miscellaneous Appeal filed in the Madurai Bench, Justice M. Venugopal said: “Marking of a document is one thing and proving its contents is another in the eye of law.”
In this case, a doctor had assessed the disability of a private bus conductor, who met with an accident, at 48 per cent. However, dealing with a claim petition filed by the victim, the Workmen’s Compensation Commissioner here concluded that he had suffered only 29 per cent of disability and awarded a limited compensation of Rs. 1,08,146.
“When a doctor has assessed the disability of the first respondent at 48 per cent, it is not open to the Commissioner or the Tribunal to ignore it and decide the disability at 29 per cent.” The tribunal could not substitute the opinion of a medical expert with its views to determine the compensation, the judge said.
The tribunal had also failed to get the loss of future earning capacity of the workman assessed by a qualified medical practitioner.
Holding that the award passed by the Tribunal was not “fair and prudent,” the judge remitted the matter to the Tribunal, directing it to examine the doctor who had issued the disability certificate. The process should be completed in three months, given that it was more than six years since the claimant met with the accident.
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