Death due to heart failure at work place amounts to employment injury, the Bombay High Court has held and ordered Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIS) to pay within a month the claim amount to a 40-year-old housewife whose husband died of cardiac arrest in a factory.
The order was passed by justices K R Sriram and V M Kanade, on September 5, on a petition filed by the widow of Bharguram Mahadik, who worked as a fitter on a meagre salary of Rs 6,000 with Dhanwantari Engineers Pvt Ltd.
Bharguram was registered with ESIS scheme. On March 27 last year, he complained of chest pain and his colleagues took him to a resting area within the factory premises and asked him to rest for a while. As his condition worsened, he was rushed to the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation at Vashi.
The provisional cause of death in the certificate issued on the same day mentioned that the insured was "brought dead" to the Hospital. The Insured was declared as dead by the Medical Officer of NMMC Hospital and the cause of death was mentioned as "Acute Myocardial Infarction". At the time of death he was about 50 years old.
The employer of the insured raised a claim for the dependents under the ESI Act on April 11, 2012 but it was rejected by ESIS on May 14. One of the ground said that the deceased cannot be treated as an employee under the ESIS Act.
The ESIS refused to pay the claim, saying that the injury sustained by the employee cannot be treated as an Employment injury under the Act. It further said the insured person had died of natural causes and the death was not related to stress and strain of work.
The widow of the insured Bhagyashree Mahadik argued that the insured died in the factory where he was working and the death was caused during the course of employment. Moreover, the insured was covered under the ESIC scheme, her lawyer Preeti Walimbe contended.
ESIS counsel H V Mehta said the petitioner had an alternative remedy to raise the dispute before the Employees' Insurance Court. He said the insured died of heart failure and he was working as a Fitter in the Company and could not have died due to natural causes related to stress and strain of work.
ESIS Counsel argued that circumstances must exist to establish that