NHRC to the Government of Uttar Pradesh: show cause why it should not pay Rs. 9 lakh as relief to the family of the three victims of electrocution in Aligarh (20.06.2018)
New Delhi, 20th June, 2018
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC in a case of three deaths due to electrocution in Aligarh has held responsible the officials of the electricity department and Municipal Corporation for their negligence and issued notices to the Government of Uttar Pradesh, through its Chief Secretary, why Rs. 3 lakh each should not be recommended to be paid to the next of kin of the three deceased persons of a family. The Commission has given the State Government four weeks to respond.
The Commission had registered a case on the basis of a complaint that on the 17th July, 2016 in Aligarh a street was flooded after rain and water was entering the houses in a locality. The Municipal officials were requested to pump out the water but they did not do so. In the meantime, the wife of the complainant tried to manually flush out water but she was electrocuted due to current in water, which had leaked from the nearby electric pole. On hearing her screams, her son rushed to save her but he too was electrocuted. The daughter of the complainant also met the same fate. Noticing this from the roof of his house, the complainant alerted his neighbours and requested them to inform power house to shut down power supply of the area but none attended the phone there.
Allegedly, after about an hour, many people reached the power house and made hue and cry, then only power supply was shut down. The complainant alleged that due to the negligence of Electrical Department and Nagar Nigam, Aligarh, 3 members of his family had lost life. He also informed that on his complaint, police had registered an FIR against the electrical department and the Nagar Nigam, Aligarh but the officials of both the departments were mounting pressure on him to withdraw the case.
During the course of enquiry, the Commission found that the allegations against the electricity department as well as the Municipal Corporation were true. It observed that the report of the Executive Engineer, Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitraran Nigam Limited, Aligarh did not inspire confidence in absence of any evidence to support his argument that the occupants of the house were electrocuted because some domestic appliance was not having proper earthing for which his department was not responsible.
It was also confirmed that despite requests, neither the officials of the Municipal Corporation pumped out the water logged in the street nor the officials of the electricity department shut down power supply timely. The Commission's stand holding the negligence of the officials of electricity department and Municipal Corporation responsible for the incident also got strength from the fact that after the completion of investigations in case crime No. 501/2016 u/s 304 IPC, the police had filed a chargesheet in the court against the two employees of Municipal Corporation, Aligarh. Therefore, it concluded that the State is vicariously liable for the dereliction of the duty on part of its officials for which it needed to pay relief to the next of kin of the three deceased persons.