KOCHI: Leaving potholes on roads unattended is going to attract case for the officials concerned – whether it is Public Works Department (PWD), Kerala Water Authority (KWA) or National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). In an attempt to fix responsibility on the officials for failing to act timely in repairing potholes that are causing accidents and deaths on roads, the Kerala police are contemplating to book criminal cases against those officers who are responsible for the maintenance of roads.
The police also decided to consider registering cases against the four PWD officials suspended in connection with the death of a two-wheeler rider at Palarivattom in Kochi. Evoking Section 44 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, the police can book cases against the officers under sections 304A (Causing death by negligence) 268 and 283 of the IPC.
State Police Chief Loknath Behera told TNSE that the state police would look into the possibility of booking criminal charges against the officers who fail to repair potholes in time. The police have already started the process of reporting the details of the damaged roads to the respective departments. “In the Palarivattom incident, we will take a decision soon on booking criminal cases against the suspended officers,” he said.
It was on an accident case in Kozhikode in August 2019 that a case was first registered against an assistant engineer of Kerala Water Authority (KWA). Engineer Binoj Kumar was arrested and later released on bail after he was accused of causing the accident that resulted in the death of K C Ajitha, 43, an employee of Kozhikode Cooperative Hospital.
She died after she fell off her scooter into a water-filled pothole and was run over by a lorry at Parayancheri. Her daughter Revathi too suffered serious injuries. The police registered the case as per the directive of Kozhikode District Collector Seeram Sambasiva Rao.
The police will look into the possibility of booking criminal charges against the officers who fail to repair potholes in time. The police have already started the process of reporting the details of the damaged roads to the respective departments. Loknath Behera, state police chief