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Posted at: Feb 13, 2018, 1:21 AM; last updated: Feb 13, 2018, 1:21 AM (IST)

Sagging electricity wires amount to negligence: HC

Awards Rs 14 lakh compensation to electrocution victim’s family

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 12

Making it clear that preventing the sagging of electricity cables and electrocution was the responsibility of the authorities concerned, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that failure to do so amounted to negligence. The Bench awarded approximately Rs 14 lakh compensation to the kin of a tractor driver electrocuted in 2014.

Taking up the petition filed by victim Jagdeep Singh’s widow and minor children against the Punjab Government, PSPCL, the department of Chief Electrical Inspector and others, the Bench asserted that the facts and circumstances made it apparent that the victim’s death occurred due to fault on part of the respondents.

Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain asserted that the respondents did not maintain the faulty electric lines carrying 11 KV current in a manner that the lines did not sag or break and come in contact with humans or animals causing loss of life.

Disposing of the petition filed by Kanwaljit Kaur and other petitioners, Justice Jain observed that Jagdeep Singh, 28, was going to village Jagdev Kalan village in Ajnala with a tractor-trailer loaded with sand. He was electrocuted after the vehicle came into contact with the hanging electric wire.

Assessing the compensation as Rs 13.6 lakh, Justice Jain directed the respondents to pay the amount to the petitioners, along with annual 6 per cent interest from the date of death till its actual realisation. For the purpose, Justice Jain set a two-month deadline.

Justice Jain also observed that the tractor-trailer, too, was destroyed in the incident. The only dispute raised by the respondents was that the victim himself was responsible for the accident as he had raised the trolley height to accommodate additional sand he was carrying for delivery.

Referring to an affidavit filed by Chief Electrical Inspector, Justice Jain asserted that the officer specifically alleged that 11-KV line was sagging and the victim was driving the tractor-trailer on an unmetalled path beneath it. The vehicle's projected part came in contact with a live conductor of the 11-KV line. As a result, the victim suffered electric shock. "Since I have decided that the respondents are at fault, now the question would be as to what compensation should be awarded to the petitioners," Justice Jain asserted.

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