Observing that ensuring proper maintenance of the electrical lines and providing adequate safety measures is the only way out for protection from electric shock during rains and thundershowers, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to the Delhi government to show cause why a compensation of Rs 3 lakh be not directed to be paid to the family of an 18-year-old boy who died due to electrocution in Dilshad Garden on May 21 after coming in contact with a live wire left unattended due to negligence of the power distributor BSES Yamuna Power Ltd.
The commission noted that BSES had failed to properly maintain the wire in the instant case.
The NHRC notice follows the Delhi High Court issuing notice to the Delhi government and BSES Yamuna on a petition filed by parents of the deceased boy named Robin Thomas seeking compensation of Rs 5.02 crore, while attributing the untimely death of their son, a 12th grader, to the negligence of the authorities concerned.
“NHRC has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi, to show cause why a sum of Rs 3,00,000 may not be recommended to be paid to the next of kin of the deceased Robin Thomas, who was electrocuted to death in Dilshad Garden, on the 21st May, 2017 due to the negligence on part of M/s. BSES Yamuna Power Ltd. M/s. BSES Yamuna Power Ltd. The Company has also been directed to submit a report on the safeguards taken to avoid such accidents in future,” NHRC said.
They have been given four weeks to submit reports.
The notice was issued as the Commission took cognizance of the incident on the basis of a complaint that a student namely Robin Thomas resident of 71-A, E-Block, GTB Enclave, Delhi, died on the road due to electric shock from a broken live wire.
It observed that “ensuring proper maintenance of the electrical lines and providing adequate safety measures is the only way out for protection from electric shock during rain/thunder shower, which in the instant case, the BSES Yamuna Power Ltd appears to have failed to provide”.
The NHRC considered the response of Dy. Secretary, Department of Power, Government of NCT of Delhi, which said that the accident could have been avoided, if earth guarding was provided under the said overhead line.
It, however, refused to accept BSES report which denied any negligence on the part of the company.
“…undoubtedly, contact with electricity can cause loss of a life and therefore, safety measures are taken to ensure that people don't come in direct contact with it. Hence, the BSES report cannot be accepted that there was no negligence on part of the BYPL officials. Even if the contention of the BSES is to be believed, it would practically mean that electric supply should be stopped, whenever there is rain/thundershower to avoid electric shock, which does not appear to be feasible," it said.
It is to be noted that early this month, the Delhi High Court had issued notice to the the Delhi government and BSESYamuna on the plea of bereaved parents -- Devasia Thomas and his wife Reena Devasia -- claiming compensation of Rs 5,02 crore for the death of their son.
The parents have sought compensation for the loss of love and company of their son, who was a brilliant student set to have a bright and fulfilling career, and for their daughter having lost a loving brother.
Their counsel Wills Mathews had informed the court that Robin died an unnatural death because of willful negligence of the authorities concerned as the locals have been complaining about the fault in the cable and frequent fires and sparks in the electric pole from which the wire had fallen.