CHENNAI: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has recommended to the Tamil Nadu Government to pay a compensation of Rs.one lakh to a person whose 14-year-old hearing and speech impaired son was electrocuted.
The Electricity Board officials had miserably failed to prove their onus that they were not at fault and liability for the incident, an SHRC Bench comprising A. R. Selvakumar and S. Paramasivan, Members, said in its order.
After paying the compensation, the government should recover Rs.30,000 from Sundaramoorthy, Assistant Engineer, Operation and Maintenance, East, Guduvancheri and Rs.10,000 from Chittarai, wireman of the same area, as per rules. The government should bear the balance of Rs.60,000 on moral obligation.
D. Subramanian of Kottai village, Vandavasi taluk in Tiruvannamalai district, complained to the Commission seeking compensation due to the “sudden and suspicious” death of his son, Anbarasan, who was studying in a special school at Guduvancheri, in 2006. In its report to the Commission, its investigation wing submitted the boy’s death was due to electrocution. Through their counter-affidavit, the board officials submitted that the AE soon after coming to know of the accident on August 9, 2006 through the wireman rushed to the spot and found that the wires of the low tension feeder of Nandivaram transformer had got snapped due to heavy rain and wind. The counter said the tragedy occurred due to “unforeseen facts and circumstances and due to act of God” which were beyond the officials’ control.
The Bench said that from the evidence it was transparent that the death of the boy was due to electrocution. It was a settled proposition of law that the burden of proof in matters of this nature that there was no negligence, rested upon the board authorities. No register or record was produced by the officials to show that the transformer and electrical wires in question were subjected to periodical checks and replacements were made then and there. Also, material was not placed to enlighten that precautionary steps were taken to prevent untoward incidents during the heavy rain and strong wind. The Commission held that the respondents violated human rights.
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