BHUBANESWAR: In a significant decision, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has rejected the Rs 70,000 compensation paid by Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) to the kin of a person electrocuted to death and directed payment of Rs 2 lakh more by the discom.
The Commission has ordered the financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh over and above the already paid Rs 70,000 to be provided to the widow or next of kin of victim Duryodhan Swain of Narasinghpur in Nayagarh district within two months.
A petition had been filed by one Dillip Kumar Das with NHRC demanding Rs 10 lakh compensation which was transferred to OHRC.
Acting chairperson Justice BK Mishra ruled that the Rs 70,000 provided to the widow was too meagre. The objective of awarding the financial assistance is to apply balm on wounds and not charity nor meant to punish the wrongdoer, he observed.
Duryodhan Swain had died of electrocution on November 7, 2014 after coming in contact with a live 11 KV conductor line in his field. He was working in his field when high power conductor snapped and came down following bursting of the insulator. The victim came in contact with the live conductor and succumbed to fatal injuries.
The CESU authorities admitted the incident but the accident has been ascribed as an ‘Act of God’ by them. The situation under which the live conductor fell on the victim is just purely accidental and beyond the control of CESU. However, on human consideration and as per settlement between the relatives and local CESU authorities in presence of Government and public representatives, an amount of Rs 70,000 has been paid to the wife of the deceased, Senior General Manager (Safety) stated in his report to the Commission.
The Commission by referring to several judgments of the Supreme Court, observed that Swain was the sole bread earner of the family and the financial assistance was too low in consideration of the loss.