Court upbraids MCD for death of disabled man

August 18th, 2008 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) Saying it was “high time” that the civic authorities were held responsible, a city court Monday asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to pay Rs.500,000 compensation to the family of a disabled man who died after falling into an open drain in 2000.“Human life is precious and it is high time that municipal authorities are held responsible for failing to exercise the reasonable degree of care and caution expected of them in relation to the inhabitants of an area, more specifically to those who are under some kind of disability,” Additional District Judge Kamini Lau said.

Rejecting the plea of the civic body that the deceased was suffering from epilepsy, the court said: “It is a settled law that the extent of duty of care which the defendant (MCD) owes to the habitants of the area has to be ascertained in terms of the reasonable forseeability.”

“The MCD could have reasonably foreseen the damages and the likelihood of the harm which could have been caused to the residents, particularly those under some disability, by leaving a storm water drain uncovered in a residential area,” she said.

The court awarded Rs.500,000 damages to Renu and her two minor daughters for the loss of income, mental agony and social deprivation on account of the death of her husband, 33-year-old Jai Pal Singh, on Dec 21, 2000, after he fell into a storm water drain at Kanjhawala in north-west Delhi.

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