HC dismisses Rs 29.81 cr relief plea by 'electrocuted' engineer's wife

HC dismisses Rs 29.81 cr relief plea by 'electrocuted' engineer's wife

HC dismisses Rs 29.81 cr  relief plea by 'electrocuted' engineer's wife
The High Court of Karnataka refused to interfere and refrained from hearing the petition filed by Ashwini Manoj Patil, whose husband Manoj Patil, vice-president of Sundaram Motors, had died of electrocution on Church Street in May 2013. 

Ashwini had sought directions from the court for a compensation of Rs 29.81 crore with interest of 12% per annum from Bescom, BBMP and KERC. Justice Raghavendra S Chauhan dismissed the petition on the ground that death of Manoj Patil caused due to electrocution has not been established and is ‘unclear’, and there is also absence of crucial facts with regard to his family’s financial conditions.

Manoj Patil was on his way to watch a cricket match at the Chinnaswamy stadium on May 18, 2013. While walking on Church Street he came in contact with the fence of a transformer and reportedly received electric shock.  He was taken to a hospital nearby, where the doctors declared him brought dead.

The bench in its order has said that the postmortem report do not point that the cause of death was due to electrocution as the doctors were unsure of the cause. The Histopathology report claims that the possibility of electrocution can be considered, but does not speak of electrocution as the cause for death.  The Bescom official who had inspected the transformer area have also stated that there was no leakage of electric current on that fateful day. The bench observed, “The complicated issue of cause of death cannot be decided by this court in a writ jurisdiction.  When disputed question of facts, which require oral and documentary evidence are raised, this jurisdiction cannot be invoked.”

Further, the bench said that the doubts with regard to the cause of death can be cleared only by filing a civil suit for damages where the petitioners would have ample opportunities for submitting oral and documentary evidence to establish that Patil died of electrocution. The bench said that it is up to the discretion of the civil court to decide on compensation amount, and refused to pass any directions to the lower court as well.

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