Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Taking suo motu note of media reports about the tragic death of two minor children due to drowning in a pit at a park in Shakurpur here, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Delhi Government, the Delhi Development Authority, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and a Municipal Councillor.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice A. P. Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar asked the two respondents, DDA and the Municipal Councillor, to file replies explaining why the pit was allowed to remain uncovered. It asked the respondents to explain by December 9 the negligence leading to the death of the two children.

Delhi Mayor Kanwar Sain had said on Tuesday that the pit had been dug up at the instance of the local Councillor.

The children had gone missing last week. Their swollen bodies were spotted by some children who had gone to play in the park.

The deceased were identified by their families as Arshad (4) and Armaan (8), both residents of the same block. The two were playing in the park on November 25 evening when they suddenly disappeared.

Giving a clean chit to the MCD, Dr. Sain had said that the land on which the incident took place belonged to the DDA and the digging was undertaken on behalf of the local Councillor.

Meanwhile, in another case of negligence in which a boy was electrocuted following a fall into a pit dug up to install an electric pole in Seemapuri earlier this year, the Bench asked the Delhi Government whether it was ready to pay a compensation of Rs.8.68 lakh to the family of the victim as calculated by the amicus curiae in the case. The victim was the son of a vegetable vendor.

The two private companies assigned the job of changing electric poles in the area had informed the Court that they were ready to pay Rs.1.25 lakh and Rs.1.5 lakh respectively to the family of the victim. Counsel for the Government said that his client was ready to compensate the family with Rs.50,000.

The Court had taken up the matter suo motu.