Delhi HC orders compensation for bad roads


Court orders compensation for bad roads

July 7th, 2009 – 10:49 pm ICT by IANS

New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) Criticising authorities for not maintaining roads, Delhi High Court Tuesday directed the Delhi government to pay a compensation of Rs.6 lakh to a woman whose young son died after falling into a pit while riding a scooter.

“Loss of life because of negligence of state instrumentalities results in violation of right to life and liberty under Section 21 of the Indian constitution,” said Justice Sanjiv Khanna in the judgement.

“The authorities should be conscious and aware of their duty to maintain roads and ensure that the road surface does not have any pit so as to cause accidents, thus resulting in injuries and even loss of life,” the judge said.

Justice Khanna directed the government to pay Rs.628,000 within eight weeks to Madhu Kaur who filed a petition seeking compensation after her 24-year-old son Harpreet, a sales executive with a private company, died in a road accident May 4, 2006.

In the petition, she said that her son was riding a scooter with his brother on the pillion and the two-wheeler ran into a pit on the road near the Army Base Hospital at Naraina, resulting in fatal injuries.

She blamed the government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and sought compensation.

“It is the responsibility of road-owning agencies to ensure that the roads are maintained properly and repairs undertaken on time,” the court said.

“Even if they have entered into third-party contracts for maintenance, road users should not suffer injuries, fatal or otherwise, because of lack of maintenance, proper care and repairs,” it said.