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HC notice to Delhi govt on plea for Rs 1 cr compensation for 9-yr-old boy's death

PTI 07 Jun 2015, 9:13:08 IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has sought city government's reply on a plea seeking compensation of Rs one crore for the death of a nine-year-old boy who fell into an uncovered pit of an underground water reservoir in a park.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued notice to Delhi government, Delhi Fire Services (DFS) and Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (DSIDC) seeking their replies on the plea moved by the child's father who has alleged negligence on the part of the authorities.

The court has listed the matter for further hearing on September 29. Naval Kishore Shah contended that due to the "negligence" of the government and its authorities in not keeping the pit covered, his son fell into it and died on April 30.

He sought directions to the authorities to cover all open pits across Delhi so that such an incident does not happen again.

In his plea, filed through advocate Kush Sharma, he also contended that there are 12 such pits in the park, each 20-50 feet deep, of which only three are covered.

He said the water in the reservoir was used for filling up the tankers of the fire services through the pits.

In his plea, the boy's father also alleged that when the fire services came for rescue of the child they did not have the proper equipment like functioning pump to empty the reservoir.

The petition has also imputed "insensitivity" on the part of the officials of Badli police station in north Delhi, saying when the policemen were informed about the suspicion that the child may have fallen into the pit, they only lodged an FIR for the offence of kidnapping.

After the parents and relatives of the child protested, a sub-inspector from the police station went to the park and inspected the pits with a bamboo stick to see if the boy was inside, the petition claimed.

A private pump was thereafter procured by the family members and after the reservoir was emptied, instead of the fire service personnel, relatives of the child went inside the pit, the petition alleged.

The boy had gone to park to play at 6.30 pm on April 30 and his body was recovered early in next morning, it said.

"It is humbly submitted that due to the negligent, careless and casual act of keeping the pit holes of the water reservoir open, the respondents has violated the deceased right to life enumerated under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

"That the Fire Brigade Department has failed in its duty to take reasonable care to the passerby of the park.

Due to the negligence on the part of the DSIIDC, which owns the park, is also liable for the incident which resulted in death of the minor child.

The police officials have not taken action against the erring officials of the departments," it said. The petition also sought directions to Delhi Police to "register an FIR against the erring officials responsible for loss of a valuable life".