SAGAR CHAND Vs. STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
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(1.) This petition has been filed by the unfortunate parents whose school going children aged 7 and 11 were electrocuted in most tragic circumstances on the fateful day of Sept. 24, 1995 in village Dhamlar Tehsil Billawar. The tragedy struck the village in the morning when the children were passing through the paddy field on their way to take bath. In the first instance, Puja, daughter of petitioner No. 1, was trapped by over hanging 11 KV electric live wire which was nearly three feet high from the ground and charred to death. Jatinder Singh, her cousin who because of tender age failed to apprehend the danger got electrocuted while trying to help his sister from escaping death.
(2.) Both the children, it is admitted, died of electric burns, as per the autopsy reports. It is also not disputed that both the victims were students of 1st and 5th classes of Central Primary School, Dhamlar.The grievance of the petitioners is that the electric line had been damaged and while repairing the same on 17-9-1995, the Department while leaving the line incomplete left the wire hanging about three feet above the ground level. The work remained un attended until the tragedy occurred. This, according to them, was criminal negligence on the part of the power Development Department for which the respondent-State is liable to pay compensation to the petitioners at the rate of Rs. ten lacs each for causing death of the children in a manner that their parents are likely to suffer from tremor throughout their lives.
(3.) It is admitted on behalf of the respondent-State that 11 KV line is feeding village Dhamlar. It is also admitted that on 17-9-1995 a portion of this electric line was under repairs, it is also admitted that the conductor of the line was so loose that it was hardly three feet above the ground level, the restoration to its original position required more labour force than available at that time, but, it is also admitted, that this work was not attended for the next few days because of the illness of the line-man concerned. The accident, however occurred because some unauthorisedpersons had switched on this portion of the 11 KV line which had been disconnected. So the cause of accident, according to the respondents, is unauthorised commissioning of the line by unknown persons.;
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