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Delhi HC orders North DMC to pay Rs 8 lakh compensation to kin of man who died of electrocution

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today directed the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to give Rs 8 lakh as compensation to the parents and siblings of the deceased Sh. Manish who died when he was electrocuted through the gross negligence on the part of officials of North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

A single-judge bench of Justice Jayant Nath noted in his judgment that, “this court has come to the conclusion that the death of the deceased took place due to the negligence of respondent No. 1, the said respondent is liable to pay necessary compensation.”

The bench has given its judgment in a petition filed the legal heirs of Late Sh Manish who lost his life on 31.08.2014 as a result of gross negligence on the part of officials of North Delhi Municipal Corporation. Sh. Manish lost his life on account of electrocution when personnel of North DMC directed the deceased to pull the handle while installing a High Mast Light Pole which was to be electrified TATA Power DDL. Whereas, The High Mast Light Pole touched a passing unprotected wire maintained by TATA Power on account of which Sh. Manish got an electric shock and fell on the road. He was taken to BJRM Hospital and later, to Dr. BSA Hospital where he was declared brought dead. The deceased Manish got electrocuted while assisting the concerned officials in pulling this light fitting.

The North DMC pleaded that the contract for installing 4 number Semi High Mast Light Poles was awarded to M/s. Perfect Electric Work on 05.03.2014. It was M/s. Perfect Electric Work who was working at the site when the mishap occurred. The incident was informed by the site supervisor of the contractor to the concerned J.E. (Elect) of the answering respondent. It is further claimed that an FIR was registered where it was alleged that North DMC employees had asked Sh. Manish to pull the handle of lever installed on the pole but that allegation is not correct as it was a Sunday and a weekly rest day. No official from North DMC was at the site.

The bench noted that essentially North DMC is seeking to shrug off the blame on the contractor saying that the contractor was responsible for compliance of the statutory terms and conditions.

The status report filed by the petitioner along with the petition stated the stand of the contractor – M/s. Perfect Electric Work is noted that the contract was for two months from 05.03.2014 and that the agreement had been completed much before the date of the accident, namely, 31.08.2014.

Whereas, the bench observed that “simply, a bald averment is made that the work was being carried out by the said contractor and no worker from North DMC was present when the work was being done. Such a bald plea bereft of material facts/details cannot be accepted.”

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The court while disposing of the petition stated in its judgment that “this court can take into account the fact that the minimum wages in 2004 for an unskilled laborer were around Rs.10,000/- per month. Keeping into account the dependency of the petitioners on Late Sh. Manish, I award compensation of Rs. 8 lakhs to the petitioners to be shared jointly by the petitioners No. 1 and 2. The said payment shall be made by respondent No. 1 North DMC within eight weeks from today. Upon failure to pay the aforesaid amount within eight weeks, the petitioners shall be entitled to simple interest @ 9% p.a. for the subsequent period till the date of receipt of the compensation.” 

Read the judgment here;

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– India Legal Bureau

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