SC orders compensation from House Owners and State Govt while observing no offence for death by negligence has been made
Using the power granted by Article 142 of the Constitution of India, a three judge bench of the Supreme Court directed the State Govt and the respondents to pay Rs 1 Lakh each to the appellant. The judgment authored by Justice Banumathi dealt with an appeal filed by the husband of the deceased maid who had worked in the house of respondents for 5 years till her accidental death due to electric shock from washing machine while working.
Initially, the case was registered by the Police as "unnatural death" u/s 174 Cr.P.C, but after investigation 'refer report' was filed, stating that it was "accidental death". The appellant filed a private complaint before the JMFC and the Magistrate took cognizance of the case u/s 304A IPC and issued summons to the respondents. The respondents pproached the High Court, praying for quashing the case pending before JMFC. High Court allowed the application thereby quashing the proceedings initiated against respondents under Section 304A IPC. In this appeal, appellant assailed the correctness of the said order.
The bench also comprising of Justices T.S.Thakur and Kurian Joseph observed that the view expressed by the High Court that no offence under Section 304A IPC is made out was correct and High Court rightly quashed the proceedings initiated before JMFC. It was noted that the state govt had already decided to pay Rs 1 lakh so in addition the respondents were instructed to pay Rs 1 lakh ordering :
As decided by the State Government, the third respondent-Stateof Kerala shall pay an amount of Rs.1,00,000/- from Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund to the appellant. Additionally, the respondents No. 1 & 2 shall pay a compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- to the appellant within a period of four weeks from today. With the above direction, this appeal is disposed of.
Read the Judgment here.