Sunday, December 10, 2023

NHRC seeks report on damages to family of electrocution victim

Kendrapara: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a show cause notice to the state government on payment of compensation to the family members of an electrocution victim. The notice was issued u/s 18 of the PHR Act, 1993 to the state Chief Secretary as to why the Commission should not recommend compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family members of Ramesh Chandra Nayak, a victim of electrocution, on a petition filed by Rights Activist Radhakanta Tripathy. Ramesh Chandra Nayak, a farmer, and resident of Bauturapal village under Katasahi panchayat under Dhamnagar tehsil of Bhadrak district came into contact with a live electric wire lying on the road while returning to his house August 16, 2022.

Alleging that the incident happened due to the inaction, negligence, and failure of the electricity department, Tripathy requested the intervention of the NHRC to ensure adequate compensation to the victim’s family and stern action against the guilty officials. According to the notice of the NHRC, an inquiry report of the Additional Secretary, Energy Department was submitted before the NHRC. The EE (Electrical), Bhadrak South Electrical Division, TPNODL submitted that the victim came in contact with electricity while running his electric motor pump on his campus for agricultural purposes through a hooking arrangement from the nearest LT pole.

However, the villagers and the family members stated that the victim came in contact with a live electric LT line while he was clearing some creepers with the help of a raw bamboo stick. The NHRC observed that the victim Ramesh Chandra Nayak died due to electrocution when he came in contact with the live LT overhead AB cable line mounted on a LT PSC pole near the residential premises. The executive engineer-cumdeputy electrical inspector Bhadrak in its report stated that the 10KVA, 11/.23 KV sub-station from which the LT AB cable line emerged was found to be in a very unsafe condition.

No LA dropout fuse or isolator has been provided to the sub-station. The petitioner stated that there was a lack of proper maintenance and vigilance which is the primary responsibility and liability of the electricity department. This act of negligence of the electricity department has violated the human rights of the deceased victim for which the state government is vicariously liable. The NHRC has sought a reply from the Chief Secretary within six weeks.

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