The Karnataka High Court in Hussain vs. Imtiyan Khan has held that a legal representative of a claimant cannot challenge the award and she does not inherit the right to prosecute the appeal after death of the claimant. The legal representative of the claimant had contended that when insurance company files an appeal challenging the award of the tribunal, if a legal representative of the injured can be permitted to come on record on the death of injured during the pendency of the appeal, the same is to be permitted when the injured files an appeal and dies subsequently.
Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar said: “If he had not died, he could have prosecuted the appeal seeking enhancement of compensation. The moment he died, his wife is only entitled to recover the compensation granted by the tribunal. Right to prosecute an appeal being a legal representative is not heritable. If it is possible to make out the cause of death as due to personal injuries owing to accident, the wife gets a right to further prosecute the appeal.”
The court further said once a person dies having suffered injuries in an accident, and if the tribunal awards compensation for the injuries, the award, thus, made by the tribunal gets converted into estate if the injured dies after passing of the award.
“In case, the owner or the insurer disputes the award and prefers an appeal, the legal representative of the injured deceased has a right to defend the award made in the view of crystallization of the award into estate. The cause of action against the legal representative does not extinguish in a situation like this. But a legal representative cannot challenge the award.”