The Madras high court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to legal heirs of a 27-year-old plumber, who died due to electrocution in 2010.
The court passed the order while allowing a petition by deceased named Victor's father R Kumar. The petitioner submitted that Victor came in contact with a snapped live wire in a vacant plot opposite his house on September 27, 2010, resulting in his instant death. Kumar then moved the court, claiming a compensation of Rs 15 lakh.
"The state government and Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, who are liable for the negligence and lack of maintenance of the live-wire, which caused the death of the petitioner's son, are directed to pay a sum of Rs 10 lakh to the legal heirs of the deceased Victor, (the petitioner), within eight weeks," the court said on Thursday in its order.
TNEB submitted that the low tension line had snapped due to heavy winds and rain which was an 'act of god'. There was no negligence on its part and the accident was beyond its control, the board said.
To this, the court said precautions should have been taken to ensure that electric wires prone to come in contact with the public if it snaps in heavy rain and winds are installed with utmost durability and endeavour to withstand such unforeseen calamities.
The court said rigorous periodical inspection needs to be done to such installations to avoid any such incidents. Absence of the precaution would amount to negligence, it said.
In the present case, the live wire had snapped either due to a poorly installed electric pole or lack of proper and periodical maintenance of the same, the court said and noted that authorities did not seem to have taken any precaution to cut power supply, when heavy rains and winds were anticipated.
The court said it did not find any reasoning put forth by TNEB that the accident was due to an 'act of god'. The unfortunate incident was due to negligence on the part of TNEB, the court said and directed the state government to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to the father of the deceased.