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NHRC rejects Southco appeal, reiterates order to pay Rs 3 lakh to electrocution victim


Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Apr 5:

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has rejected the appeal of Southco to close a case pertaining to payment of compensation to the next of kin of an electrocution victim in Krushnaprasad area of Odisha’s Puri district on the ground that the Commission’s award has been challenged by the company in the Odisha High Court and the case was subjudice.

The NHRC has once again directed Southco to comply with its earlier order and pay the compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the victim’s kin within four weeks with proof of compliance. The Commission rejected Southco’s appeal contending that its order had not been stayed by the High Court.

It may be recalled here that on November 2, 2012 one Sanjulata Tarai (30) of Paral village under Krushnaprasad block in Puri district had died of electrocution after coming in contact with a snapped 11 KV live wire.

Human Rights activist Akhand had then filed a petition with the NHRC alleging that Sanjulata’s death was caused due to Southco’s negligence and faulty maintenance of electric transmission lines.

The Brahmapur headquartered Southco, in its report to the apex rights body, had contended that since the transmission, distribution and maintenance of the concerned area lied with Enzen Global Solutions as per contract, it was that latter that was liable for any accident or casualty. Therefore if any compensation is required to be paid, Enzen is liable for making such payments, Southco had contended.

However, the Commission had rejected Southco’s contention citing a Supreme Court judgment and directed that since the woman had died because of the negligence of the power distribution agency/company, the principal power distribution company is liable to pay the compensation.

The NHRC had in November, 2013 directed Southco to pay a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the family members of deceased Sanjulata within four weeks.