BENGALURU: Observing that it would not be appropriate to invoke the writ jurisdiction in electricity accident cases and arbitrarily determine the compensation without any yardsticks, the High Court has referred several cases filed against power supply companies seeking relief to the civil courts.
One of the peitioners sought directions to Bangalore Electricity supply company (BESCOM) for Rs 20 lakh with 18 per cent interest per annum towards compensation for damage suffered. Another petitioner urged the court to issue direction to BESCOM for compensation of Rs 1 crore for death of the petitioner’s son by electrocution on account of negligence by BESCOM.
While disposing of the petitions filed by P Malappa, 52, and others recently, Justice Vineet Kothari said, “This court is of the opinion that it is not appropriate to exercise writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution for not only determining the cause of accident, negligence of electricity distribution companies or not and also which criteria is to be adopted for determining the amount of compensation.”
“This court therefore holds that these pleas are not maintainable and the petitioners should approach the civil courts, where all the qeustion of facts can be established,” the judge said. The delay in filing such suits, even now, however, deserves to be condoned, since the petitioners availed a remedy, the judge said. The petitions were disposed of with a direction to the petitioners to file appropriate civil suits in competent civil courts. If such suits are filed within 60 days from the date of the judgment, the lower courts, where such suits are filed, are directed not to raise an objection of limitation in such cases but proceed to decide the suits on merits in accordance with law, the judge ordered.