The High Court of J-K and Ladakh High while taking serious note of the deaths caused due to electrocution and injuries due to electric shocks, ordered for the constitution of a committee to ensure the implementation of statutory safety measures and regulations enshrined in the Central Electricity Authority (Measures relating to Safety and Electric Supply) Regulations, 2010, in letter and spirit.
The three member panel will be headed by the Commissioner Secretary, State’s Power Development Department (PDD) and will comprise of the Chief Engineers of the Department.
The court has also directed District Magistrates of all districts in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to ensure compliance with Regulation 58 of Central Electricity Authority (Measures relating to Safety and Electric Supply) Regulations, 2010 on a war footing, which provides for clearance above ground level of conductors of overhead lines, including electricity service lines.
While awarding compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of Jatinder Kumar, a casual labourer, who died while carrying out restoration work on a transformer in Jammu, a bench comprising Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal observed that that the accident occurred due to non-adherence to safety measures such as local earthings, hand insulating gloves, proper isolation, and other safety measures by the maintenance staff.
“The deceased worker’s mother, wife, and daughter will receive the compensation within two months of the court order,” the bench concluded.
“It appears that deaths due to electrocution as well as bodily injuries due to electric shocks are ignored as mere accidents. The colossal loss of human lives and especially children is totally unacceptable, grim and heart rending. Such unfortunate deaths continue to occur flouting statutory measures,” the bench observed.
“Article 21 of constitution ensures fundamental rights to each citizen of the country which are inalienable in nature and guarantees citizens right to live and to be treated as an individual of worth,” it added.
Justice Nargal further emphasized that, “any omission in preventing the discharge of high voltage electric energy by anyone engaged in the activity of supplying such electric energy is liable to compensate for the damage caused to a human life because of such energy.”