Mizoram Govt. finally pays one lakh more to electrocuted victims’ families

New Delhi, Apr.28: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has ensured that the Mizoram Government pays an additional amount of one lakh rupees each to the next of kin of nine persons who got electrocuted while travelling in a bus between New Serkawr and New Latawh in Saiha District.

The ill-fated bus got in touch with the live 11 KV line which was hanging low at 3.35 meter above the ground instead of scheduled 4.5 meters. The State Government has submitted a proof of payment to the Commission.

Earlier, the Commission did not accept the contention of the State Government which had held the driver and conductor of the bus responsible for the accident despite the fact that in the report of the Superintending Engineer, magisterial enquiry report and the police report, the gross negligence on the part of the Power Department was clearly made out. A Junior Engineer, P and E Division, Lawngtlai was held responsible.

It also did not accept the state’s argument that since a criminal case had already been registered under Section 304-A IPC, the NHRC may not be the appropriate forum to decide the issue of compensation and that a competent civil court as well as human rights court are there to take up and decided the cases for violation of human rights.

The State had also said that in addition to Rs.10000 already paid to the victims’ families, a sum of Rs. one lakh each was also being paid as immediate relief.

The Commission observed that the registration and pendency of a criminal case does not debar it from granting appropriate relief to the next of kin of the deceased under Section 18 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. It also said that the amount paid by the State is meager and hence it should pay additional compensation of Rs. one lakh each. (ANI)