Decided on February 12,2020

UNKNOWN Appellant
Heard The Respective . Respondents


- (1.) Heard the respective counsel appearing for the parties. This is a writ petition at the instance of wife and two minor children of the deceased claiming compensation, who died on account of electrocution under the premises of lapses on the part of the opposite parties involving an incident taking place on 9.2.2005. Short background involving the case is that one Adikanda Naik, J.E., Upper Indravati, Dharmagarh lodged an F.I.R. at Dharmagarh Police Station alleging that the deceased Tankadhar Gopal, who was while working as N.M.R. in Left Canal Division, Dharmagarh, on 9.2.2005 at about 11 A.M. came to his house to enquire about his duty of that day. Since the informant was absent at that time, the deceased engaged him collecting some Mununga (drum sticks) from the nearby tree situated in the residence of the Adikanda Naik, the informant, by means of an iron rod and it is at this attempt, deceased coming in contact with live electricity wire 11 K.V. line having snapped, succumbed to injuries and died at the spot. Basing on the F.I.R., U.D .Case No.03 of 2005 was registered. The matter was taken for investigation. By Police requisition, the dead body was taken up for investigation and on Police requisition the dead body was also sent for postmortem examination. Doctor conducting postmortem, submitted the report vide Annexure-2 opining the reason of death is due to impact of electric shock. Inquest has also been made and the inquest report was submitted vide Annexure-3. After the investigation is completed, Dharnmagarh Police Station submitted final form vide Annexure-4. It is for no action being taken by the opposite parties in the matter of compensation, the legal heirs of the deceased filed this writ petition claiming appropriate compensation on disposal of the writ petition. Sri Mund, learned counsel for the petitioners taking this Court to the F.I.R. at Aannexure-1, postmortem report at page- 10, inquest report at page- 11 and final form at page- 14 attempted to demonstrate that inquiry at several level and also the disclosure from the F.I.R. made it clear that the deceased died on account of coming in contact with live snap wire belonging to the opposite parties. Making reference to the provision at Rule 44-A of the Indian Electricity Rules, 1956 and keeping in view the position of the deceased at the time of death, the family members asked for this Court for grant of at least a sum of Rs.3,00,000/- by way of compensation to the family members of the deceased.
(2.) In his opposition, referring to the plea taken in the counter affidavit, learned counsel for the opposite parties contended that the allegation involving the opposite parties is highly disputed. Further, for no involvement of the opposite parties involving the entire inquiry based on the F.I.R. being submitted, there was no occasion on the part of the opposite parties to have any investigation otherwise also. Further, taking this Court to the statement made in the F.I.R., attempt is also made by the learned counsel for the opposite parties that the informant not being the eye witness to the death of the deceased otherwise in the F.I.R. cannot be trusted. There is however no dispute to the filing of F.I.R., postmortem report, inquest report, and the final form. It is in the circumstance and the submissions made by the learned counsel for the opposite parties, learned counsel for the opposite party prayed this Court for dismissing the writ petition for involvement of disputed question of fact.
(3.) Considering the rival contentions of the parties, this Court finds there is no dispute to the extent of the F.I.R. involving the death of the deceased, the sole earning family member of the petitioner. From perusal of the F.I.R., this Court finds there is clear allegation that the deceased has died coming in contact with snapped 11 K.V. Electric line behind the informant's house. Postmortem report vide Annexure-2 has a clear revelation that cause of death being" due to contact of electric shock following cardiac arrest.' Inquest report also has the following observation at Column No.10 "Cause of death of the deceased is due to electric shock". The final report also reveals on the investigation from the side of Police, it appears the deceased Tankadhar Gopal was working as an N.M.R. employee in the Left Canal Division, Dharmagarh. In his attempt to pluck the Mununga (drum sticks) from the tree by means of iron rod came in contact with 11 K.V. line and fell down at the spot and found to be dead at the spot. This Court finds the incident having taken place on 9.2.2005, in spite of F.I.R. being lodged by the informant on 9.2.2005 and an investigation even though undertaken by the police authority, unfortunately the police authority did not involve the personnel of the local electricity office. This apart, the writ petition being filed immediately after the incident was entertained by this Court and kept pending for consideration and is taken up for hearing after long 20 years leaving no scope for the petitioners to approach the competent court of law for grant of compensation.;

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