Sri Lanka Law Reports
 3 Sri L.R.
v.SRI LANKA CO-OPERATIVE INDUSTRIES UNION LTD. AND
SUPREME COURTFERNANDO. J.,
AMERASINGHE, J. ANDGOONEWARDENA, J.
SC APPEAL NO. 37/94HCAWC NO. 3/92CASE NO. WC – C30/714/90 CRJULY 29, 1994
Workmen's Compensation – Section 6C of the Workmen's Compensation Ordinance,Schedule I as amended by Act, No. 15 of 1990 – Whether injuries to wrist, kneeand rib qualify for compensation.
The Commissioner of Workmen's Compensation (the 2nd respondent) awardedthe appellant compensation for permanent / partial disablement resulting frominjuries and fractures (to the wrist, knee and rib) sustained in the course of hisemployment under the 1st respondent.
The injuries sustained by the appellant constitute “loss of any member orpart thereof …" referred to in the last item of Schedule I to section6C of the Workmen's Compensation Ordinance, as amended by Act,No. 15 of 1990. There is no reason to give a restrictive interpretation tothe word “member” so as to exclude "a part or an organ of the body”.The injuries in issue qualify for compensation under Schedule I as beinga loss of any "member" or part of the body.
APPEAL from the judgment of the High Court.
D. R. P. Goonetilake with S. A. D. S. Suraweera for appellant.
P. Palihawadana for respondent.
Ratnapaia v. Sri Lanka Co-operative Industries Union Ltd.and Another (Fernando, J.)
July 29, 1994FERNANDO, J.
The Commissioner of Workmen's Compensation awarded the appellanta sum of Rs. 75,000 as compensation for permanent partial disablementresulting from injuries and fractures (to the wrist, knee and rib),sustained in the course of his employment under the respondent.
On appeal, the learned High Court Judge held that the injuriessuffered by the appellant were not covered by any of the itemsspecifically enumerated in Schedule I to the Workmen's CompensationOrdinance, or by the last item thereof. He came to the conclusionthat "member" did not include the wrist, knee or rib, because in thelast item of that Schedule the statute itself had given illustrations ofwhat was meant by "member" as "nose, breast, ear, etc.''. He,therefore, held that "member" in the context meant an organ,and allowed the appeal.
Section 6C of the Ordinance provides for the amount of compensationwhere permanent partial disablement results:
"(i) in the case of an injury specified in Schedule I, such percentageof the compensation which would have been payable in the caseof permanent total disablement as is specified therein as being thepercentage of the loss of earning capacity caused by that injury."
The last item of Schedule I, as amended by Act, No. 15 of 1990,provides for compensation, in the case of "loss of any member orpart thereof not mentioned above (eg. nose, breast, ear, etc.) to beassessed by a medical officer "upto a maximum of 50% of the lossof earning capacity. The Commissioner accepted the medical
Sri Lanka Law Reports
 3 Sri L.R.
assessment that there was permanent partial disablement, and thatthe appellant had suffered a 30% loss of earning capacity; he alsoacted on a certificate of earnings furnished by the respondent, accordingto which the appellant's average monthly earnings during the twelvemonths preceding the accident was Rs. 6,284. Corresponding to thoseearnings, the sum due for permanent total disablement, according toSchedule IV, introduced by Act, No. 15 of 1990, was Rs. 250,000;and the Commissioner awarded 30% of that, namely Rs. 75,000.
The word "member" is not defined in the Ordinance. The objectof the Ordinance is to provide compensation for disability resultingfrom personal injury caused by accidents arising out of and in thecourse of employment; and there is no reason to give a restrictiveinterpretation to the word "member”, the ordinary meaning of whichis "a part or an organ of the body". The wrist, the knee and the ribare all parts of the body. I hold that the injuries sustained by theappellant were covered by the last item of Schedule I.
The appeal is allowed, the order of the High Court is set aside,and the order of the Commissioner is restored, with costs in a sumof Rs. 5,000.
AMERASINGHE, J. – I agree.GOONEWARDENE, J. – I agree.
RATNAPALA v. SRI LANKA CO-OPERATIVE INDUSTRIES UNION LTD. AND ANOTHER