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Act of God: Electricity department agrees to pay compensation to man who was electrocuted

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Shillong: Stating that a man who died of electrocution in 2018 was due to an ‘Act of God’, the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Ltd finally agreed to pay an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh to the victim here Monday.

The case pertains to an incident in which a man identified as Fasting Syngkli, a truck driver, of Tharia village, East Khasi Hills, died on August 18, 2018 due to electrocution. The electrocution was due to snapping of the 11KV Sohbar Feeder Line allegedly because of rain and lightning. Following the incident, Sepolda Syngkli, the mother of the victim, filed a complaint with the Meghalaya Human Rights Commission on August 5, 2019.

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The Commission, after registering a case, directed the department concerned to ascertain the facts of the alleged negligence on the part of the department and also fix responsibility in the unfortunate and avoidable accident. The case was registered by a Single-Bench headed by the Acting Chairperson MHRC, PJP Hanaman.

After much delay, the Inquiry Report from the concerned department regretted that the accident occurred due to an “Act of God/force majeure due to heavy rainfall and lightning and had it not existed the incident would not have happened or led to the accident”.

The Commission, in its Division Bench comprising of the Member (Non-Judicial) PJP Hanaman and the Member (Judicial), Bafindalyne Giri passed an order on November 10, 2020, directing the Law Officer of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited Corporate Affairs to pay the ex-gratia amount of Rs. 1,00,000 to  Sepolda Syngkli, mother of (L) Fasting Syngkli, which has since been disbursed to the mother of the victim on 14 December 2020.

The Commission regretted that the matter has been delayed inordinately due to non-submission of the Inquiry Report from the department, which has resulted in avoidable delay in payment of the ex-gratia amount and hardship to the mother of the victim.

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