Compensation for man who fell into drain

The Kerala High Court building in Ernakulam.   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday upheld the order of the Ombudsman for local-self government institutions directing the Kochi Corporation to pay a compensation of ₹1 lakh to a person who fell into an uncovered drain and sustained injuries.

The court upheld the order while dismissing a writ petition filed by the Corporation challenging the Ombudsman’s order issued in 2015.

The Corporation contended that none of the contradictions in the witnesses depositions were taken into account by the ombudsman. It further argued that there was a slab over the drain at the disputed site. Richard Mendus, the victim, was physically challenged person. The accident took place consequent to this physical disability. Therefore, no liability could be imposed on the Corporation.

Mr. Mendus in his affidavit pointed out that the Corporation had the responsibility and obligation to place slabs over the drain.

The court said that the ombudsman had taken into account the evidences tendered by Mr. Mendus and “assimilated” the legal situation before arriving at a conclusion that he was entitled to get ₹1 lakh towards medical expenses and other damages.

The court noted out that the ombudsman had found that the mandate under Section 30 of the Kerala Municipality Act was not undertaken by the Corporation and had not cared to maintain the drain in proper condition.

The court was of the opinion that the order was passed by the ombudsman after taking into account all the legal circumstances and after hearing all the parties. The Corporation had not made out any case warranting interference with the order.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 12:30:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/compensation-for-manwho-fell-into-drain/article28523676.ece

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