Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has directed Telangana State Northern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSNPDCL) to pay Rs. five lakh as ex-gratia to a family of a teenager electrocuted in 2018.

G Nagesh, 17, had died of electrocution in January 2018. His father G.Sukhadev, resident of Muthnoor village in Indervelly Mandal of Adilabad district, filed a complaint in Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission alleging TSNPDCL's deficiency in service led to the death of his son.

It happened when the deceased went to his agricultural field along with his servant. When he switched on the motor of the submersible pump to water his field, he got electrocuted and fell into the well.

Police registered a case and conducted the postmortem of the deceased.

The complainant alleged that TSNPDCL failed in its duties to maintain the power supply system. He said due to its deficiency in service his son died.

The complaint said his son was the lone breadwinner of the family and due to his death they are facing a financial crisis.

The TSNPDCL, however, said the boy died due to a fault in the motor and starter which are owned and maintained by the complainant.

"The flow of power supply was normal. The deceased died on account of his own negligence for not taking proper care while switching on the motor. The complainant and the deceased are also negligent for not keeping the agriculture motor, its starter, wires, etc in good condition. The deceased died on account of his own negligence. No departmental staff is implicated in the alleged crime" said the TSNPDCL.

The TSNPDCL said Assistant Divisional Engineer, Indervelly had enquired into the incident which revealed that the deceased died while starting an agriculture motor due to a defect in the starter. They also prayed for dismissing the complaint.

After examining the documents and evidence, Jabez Samuel, president and Ch.V.Narasimha Rao, member of the redressal Commission, Adilabad said: "The Opposite Party contention is that this electrocution was caused because of the deceased's own negligence. We are unable to accept the contention because the Transco department has not filed any cogent evidence to support their contention. On the other hand police investigation which had been conducted the following "death of the deceased reached a finding on the basis of the statements of the witnesses accorded permission to refer the case as accidental death by drowning due to electric shock".

The Commission said as per Rules 46, 50, and 91 of the Indian Electricity Rules 1956, the power department has to conduct periodical checks of electrical installations and take adequate precautions. In the present case, the Transco did not do so, it establishes dereliction of duty on the part of the department, it said.

"In the given set up facts and circumstances, we have no hesitation to hold that this negligent act on the part of the Opposite Party certainly amounts to deficiency in service. Therefore, the claim as set up by the complainant is certainly maintainable," said the Commission.

The Commission asked TSNPDCL to pay Rs.5,00,000 as ex-gratia with interest at 18 percent per annum from the date of death till realization.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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