June 9, 2012: The Madras High Court has directed Chennai Corporation to pay within 12 weeks a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to a couple whose 4-year-old son died after coming into contact with a live wire hanging from a lamppost.
Delivering the order on Tuesday, Justice K Chandru rejected the corporation’s argument that the death happened due to the parents’ negligence and said it was the civic body’s responsibility to maintain lamp posts by properly insulating them to prevent such accidents. On Monday, the HC had held the corporation responsible for the death of a couple, who were killed when a tree fell on their car in 2005.
The boy, Udhaya, was playing in front of his house at Choolaipallam in MGR Nagar on April 14, 2007, when he accidentally came in contact with a live wire near a lamp post, about 10 feet from his home. He died on the spot.
TNEB said it could not be held responsible as it was only supplying energy and lampposts were maintained by the corporation. The civic body blamed the parents for negligence in allowing the child to play in the street.
But the judge said, “In the absence of playgrounds, most children play in the streets. The corporation has to insulate lampposts.”