The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has awarded Rs. 24 Lakh to a woman who was electrocuted as a result of which both her lower limbs had to be amputated.

The bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar observed that the negligence of the officers/officials of the Power Development Department was writ large in the instant case.

Advocate M. A. Wani appeared for the petitioner-woman whereas Asif Maqbool, Dy. AG appeared for the Respondents.

In this case, it was averred by the petitioner that while she was working in the field cultivating vegetables, 33000 kv power transmission line fell down, as a result of which she received severe burns and injuries.

It has been submitted that on account of burns suffered by the petitioner due to electrocution, both the legs of the petitioner below the knees were amputated.

The petitioner further submitted that she has been paid only an amount of Rs.1 Lakh as ex-gratia relief.

The Court noted that it is the duty of officers/officials of the Power Development Department to regularly check all electric connections, particularly vital installations, high tension wires and transformers.

While referring to the observation of the Supreme Court, in the case of M. P. Electricity Board v. Shail Kumari and Others, the Court held that it is clear that the authorities manning dangerous commodity like electricity current have an extra duty to take all measures to prevent any mishap.

"High voltage electric current passing through transmission lines are invariably pass above agricultural and other cultivable/uncultivable lands. If the authorities of the respondent Department are allowed to wash off their hands from a case where some mishap has taken place due to the falling of transmission line on the fields where people are working, it will have dangerous consequences..."

"It is thus bounden duty of the officers/officials of the Power Development Department to manage prevent and check the transmission lines from being falling down by installing necessary devices and keep regular check on the same, which in the instant case they have failed to do. Thus, negligence of the officers/officials of the Power Development Department is writ large in the instant case.", the Court observed.

Thus considering various factors such as the petitioner's loss of future earnings, medical expenses etc., the Court awarded a sum of Rs. 24 Lakh to the petitioner-woman along with interest @6% per annum.

Cause Title- Mst. Mala Begum v. State of J&K & Others

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