Lightning A Natural Calamity: Punjab And Haryana HC Relief To Man Whose Pregnant Wife Died Struck By Lightning [Read Order]
The lightning causes death because heavy current passes through the body, damaging several parts and largely affects the poor people of the lower strata who work in open even during the rain, the court said.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, holding ‘lightning’ as a natural calamity, has directed the state authorities to consider granting compensation to a man whose pregnant wife had died after being struck by lightning.
A man had approached the high court as his application seeking compensation was rejected on the ground that ‘lightning’ is not included in the list of natural calamities. He contended that death caused by lightning is a common phenomenon which causes causalities, more in the rural area where the farmers are in more vulnerable condition.
Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain held that lightning is a natural calamity which, all of a sudden, causes loss of life. It is the duty of the State to protect the human life, in terms of Article 21 of the Constitution of India and if it is not so, then at least to compensate the families who suffer the loss of their breadwinners or others by way of payment of compensation from the Natural Calamities Relief Fund, the court said.
“In the layman words, lightening is an act of God, which means a natural hazard outside human control, which can easily be compared with earthquake and tsunami, for which no person can be held responsible and which may strike at any time without any prior warning. The lightning causes death because heavy current passes through the body, damaging several parts and largely affects the poor people of the lower strata who work in open even during the rain,” observed the court.
It then issued direction to consider his case in the light of the fact that the lightning is a natural calamity and award appropriate compensation.
Read the Order Here