Rs.5 lakh relief for kin of man who fell into pit, died

August 2nd, 2010 - 8:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday awarded compensation of Rs.5 lakh to the family of a retired bureaucrat who died last year after falling into a pit left uncovered by a negligent civic contractor outside his south Delhi home.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Manmohan directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to pay the compensation, holding it accountable being a principal employer.

Trilok Nath Makan, 78, who retired as additional private secretary to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, stayed in Shivalik near Malviya Nagar.

The court said that though the incident could have occurred because of recklessness of the contractor, the MCD being the principal employer was primarily accountable for the loss of life and had to first shell out the damages which could later be recovered from the contractor.

“Every citizen in this country has an unimpeachable right to life. Remember, the age of a person is not the only factor in deciding the compensation and we will consider other factors too,” Justice Misra said while hearing the case.

A suit was filed on the behalf of NGO Criminal Justice Society seeking Rs.1 crore as damages for Jai Rani, wife of Makan, and Rs.10 crore as punitive damages.

On Aug 28 last year, Makan went for an evening walk at 7 p.m., but did not return. Makan’s body was found in a ditch by a grocer.

The police later registered a negligence case against Deepak Saxena, director of the company which had undertaken the project on behalf of the MCD.

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