calcutta high court

Calcutta High Court: While deciding an appeal related to the issue of compensation for the death of a minor child due to electrocution, a Division bench comprising of T. S. Sivagnanam, CJ., and Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, J., affirms the single-judge bench’s order and directs the Distribution Company to pay Rs. 5 lakhs as compensation to the respondent/writ petitioner within three weeks. The petitioner is granted the liberty to approach the appropriate forum if seeking higher compensation.

The instant matter pertains to an intra Court appeal against an order dated 22-11-2022. The appeal challenges an order regarding the eligibility of the appellant-writ petitioner to receive compensation for the death of his minor son (aged about 11 years) due to electrocution.

After considering arguments from all parties, the Court affirms the order of the single-judge bench. The Court held the reasons provided by the single-judge bench for granting compensation to be justified based on the case's facts and circumstances.

Regarding the quantum of compensation, the Court noted that the multiplier method used in Motor Accident Claim Cases would be time-consuming and not suitable for this case, considering the age of the deceased and the appellant's status as an agricultural laborer. Due to the age of the deceased and the petitioner’s economic status, the Court deems a compensation amount of Rs. 5 lakhs to be just and appropriate.

The Distribution Company, despite initial opposition, agrees to pay Rs. 5 lakhs in compensation, following their policy for death by electrocution cases.

The Court modifies the impugned order, directing the Distribution Company to pay Rs. 5 lakhs to the respondent/writ petitioner within three weeks. The Court allowed the appellant an option to seek higher compensation through the appropriate legal process.

[W.B. State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. v. Raju Sekh, 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 2439, order dated 23-08-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Sumit Kr. Panja and Mr. Sumit Roy, Counsel for the Appellant

Mr. Sk. Md. Galib and Ms. Tanwishree Mukherjee, Counsel for the State

Mr. Abhimanyu Banerjee and Mr. Atanu Ghosh, Counsel for the Respondent

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