In the absence of any nexus between an employee's death and his assigned duty, the victim's family is not entitled to compensation, the Supreme Court has held in the case of a truck driver who drowned in a pond while taking a dip during his official trip.
"An accident may lead to death but that an accident had taken place must be proved. Only because a death has taken place in course of employment will not amount to accident. In other words, death must arise out of accident," a bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly observed.
According to the apex court for availing compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act, it is necessary to prove that the death occurred due to stress and strain arising during the course of employment, or an injury was aggravated due to stress and strain.
The apex court passed the ruling while allowing the appeal filed by truck owner Malikarjuna G Hiremath challenging a direction of the Karnataka High Court to award compensation to the widow of Veeresh Kumar, the truck driver who accidentally slipped and died in a well.
It was the case of the widow that her husband who was employed as a truck driver on the instruction of Hiremath carried some passengers in the truck to the temple of Gurugunta Amreshwara Temple.