Girl’s death by electrocution: HC awards ₹2lakh interim compensation to Ludhiana family
The Punjab and Haryana high court has awarded ₹2 lakh interim compensation to the family members of 16-year-old girl from Ludhiana who died due to electrocution on July 10, 2013
Chandigarh : The Punjab and Haryana high court has awarded ₹2 lakh interim compensation to the family members of 16-year-old girl from Ludhiana who died due to electrocution on July 10, 2013.
The victim girl, who was a student of Class XI (medical) at DAV Public School, was going for her biology tuition on a two-wheeler when it skidded on the live wires in BRS Nagar locality in Ludhiana, leading to her death by electrocution.
The family had approached high court in 2015 seeking compensation and alleging that the mishap took place due to failure and negligence of non-adherence to the general safety requirements as stipulated under the provisions of electricity rules for insulation, protection, operation and maintenance of electricity supply lines.
The family had highlighted before court that the electric joint was at a low height and was not properly insulated. “Only the duct tapes have been used for fixing the joints and that the same exposed the commuters and unwary citizens to enhanced danger. Had it not been on account of the low-lying joint, the daughter of the petitioner would not have lost her life,” father of the victim girl had stated in his plea.
In response, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) had submitted there was heavy rain on that day and there was a collision of two-wheeler driven by the victim with the pole. As a result, she slipped on the live wire, thus suffering the fatal injuries and electrocution. The PSPCL had claimed that the incident in question took place due to contributory acts of the deceased herself. Adequate safety measures had been put in place by the respondent authorities and that an inquiry was conducted by the chief electrical inspector to ascertain the exact cause of death and found that there was no naked joint upon electric wire and the electric meter was also installed at sufficient height and that there was no fault of the respondents.
The bench of justice Vinod S Bhardwaj observed that as per photographs of site, the electrical wires were joined by duct tape instead of a proper insulation that was required to be maintained for a power supply cable live.
“Further, the joint was low in height and adequate measures for ensuring safety and precautions seemingly had not been put in place. The present case may not ipso facto lead to a conclusion that there was an apparent lapse or negligence on the part of the respondents/ distribution licensee, however, at the same time, it can also not be assumed that all the necessary precautions required to be put in place, as per the applicable regulations had actually been undertaken by the respondents/distribution licensee,” the bench said.
As an interim measure, the court awarded ₹2 lakh compensation to the family and said that for further determination of compensation, the family may approach the competent forum.