The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has awarded Rs. 5 lakh compensation to the legal heirs of a small and marginal farmer who died in electrocution at Jharpipal village under Jaleswar police station jurisdiction of Balasore district.
The Commission in a ruling has asked the government to expedite the compensation payment within four weeks and furnish a compliance report.
Acting on a petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer and right activist Radhakanta Tripathy the NHRC passed the order.
Besides, the NHRC also issued conditional Summons to the Superintendent of Police, Balasore on the ground that the district police chief failed to submit the status report of the investigation of the criminal action against the errant officials.
“In these circumstances, let Summons be issued in the name of Superintendent of Police, Balasore, Odisha under section 13 under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 for his personal appearance before the Commission on 28.09.2022 at 11.00 A.M along with the requisite report”, NHRC ruled.
Surendra Jena, a small and marginal farmer, was electrocuted on 2 March 2019 in Balasore district as he came in contact with a sagging live wire. The petitioner Tripathy had squarely blamed the power distribution company for the tragic death of the farmer.
“Commission has already held that the poor farmer had lost his life for no fault of his and that the report has indicted public servant then JM for violation of section 58 CEA (measures relating to safety) Regulation, 2010 and that the Government was vicariously liable for fault of public servant. Under such circumstances, acting u/s 18 (a)(i) of PHR Act-1993, Commission recommends to the Government of Odisha through its Chief Secretary for payment of compensation of Rs. 500000/- (Five lakh only) to the next of kin of the deceased. Compliance report along with proof of payment be submitted within four weeks”, the Commission stated in the order.