The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed its concern over the unlawful practice of engaging unauthorised persons for repair of transmission lines and ruled that it resulted in serious violation of human rights.

Taking up a specific case of a person who died of electrocution, the NHRC pulled up the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation for using one such person and slapped a monetary penalty of Rs. 3 lakh to be paid to the kin of the deceased.

The instant case

Taking cognisance of a complaint, the Commission enquired into the causes that led to the death of Ramadhar Yadav while repairing a 11 KV transmission line in Honhaich village in Uttar Pradesh on August 6, 2008.

The deceased’s son, Naubal Yadav, in his petition had charged that the junior engineer and linemen of the electricity department had engaged his father to repair transmission lines in the area of the Kotwa Sub-Station. He was electrocuted and fell from the electric pole. He was taken to hospital but could not be saved.

“He did it on his own”

In response to the Commission’s notice, the power corporation denied the charge, but the Superintendent of Police of Mau in his report admitted that Ramadhar Yadav had been used for repairing the transmission lines and during one such assignment he was electrocuted. The post-mortem report too confirmed the cause of the death as electrocution.

The power corporation maintained that the deceased had not been engaged to repair the transmission line and claimed that Ramadhar Yadav was not auththorised to climbe the pole and was not responsible for his death.

The NHRC shot down the corporation’s claim expressing its disbelief that he would have climbed the electric pole for repairing the transmission line on his own and ruled that he had fallen a victim to unlawful practice.

Noting that it “found outsiders are sometimes engaged in an unauthorised manner for repairs of transmission lines,” the Commission maintained that the practice resulted in serious violation of human rights of the victim. He stressed that such “hapless” workers were not only exposed to insecurity of life but also deprived of the benefits of labour laws.

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