The Revival of Ray IX

As early as in 1975, a Four Judge Bench of this Court in Pratap Narain Singh Deo v. Srinivas Sabata, (1976) 1 SCC 289 speaking through Shingal J. has held that an employer becomes liable to pay compensation as soon as the personal injury is caused to the workman in an accident which arose out of and in the course of employment. It was accordingly held that it is the date of the accident and not the date of adjudication of the claim, which is material. Kerala State Electricity Board v. Valsala K., (1999) 8 SCC 254 placed reliance on the law laid down in Pratap Narain.

Two Judge Benches of this Court in Mubasir Ahmed, (2007) 2 SCC 349 and Mohmad Nasir, (2009) 6 SCC 280 without noticing the law laid down in Pratap Narain and Valsala took a contrary view. This conflict was noticed by Two Judges in Oriental Insurance Company Ltd., (2012) 12 SCC 540. Justice Aftab Alam held that since Mubasir and Mohmad Nasir took a contrary view without noticing the earlier two decisions of Pratap Narain (Four Judges) and Valsala (Three Judges), Mubasir and Mohmad Nasir cannot be held to have laid down the correct principles of law on the question and nor can, therefore, be treated as binding precedent on the question. In other words, the law laid down in Pratap Narain and Valsala was held to hold the field through out as laying down the correct principle of law on the subject. Mubasir and Mohmad Nasir was held per incuriam.”

Hon’ble Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation v. Smt. Sujatha, [Civil Appeal No. 7470 of 2009].


My Lord, What is meant by the ‘per incuriam’ principle?

Justice Nariman has stated so beautifully. Did not you read what RNR wrote?

My Lord, Who were the Judges in Mubasir and Mohmad Nasir?

In Mubasir it was Dr. Arijit Pasayat and S.H. Kapadia.

In Mohmad Nasir it was S.B. Sinha and Mukundakam Sharma.

My Lord, Who were the Judges in Oriental Insurance Company Ltd.?

Of course, Aftab Alam. Also, Ranjana Prakash Desai.

My Lord, Who were the Four Judges in Pratap Narain?

Of course, P.N. Shingal. Also, R.S. Sarkaria, Justice Beg.

And Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, A. N. Ray. CJI Ray had appointed Shingal and Sarkaria. Justice Beg was the CJI after Ray. Did not you read what RNR wrote?