Electrical accidents: HC refers compensation cases to civil courts

Electrical accidents: HC refers compensation cases to civil courts
The High Court of Karnataka on Monday referred petitions seeking compensations in instances of electricity accidents to the civil courts.

The court observed that it would be inappropriate to invoke the writ jurisdiction in electric accident cases while deciding upon compensation without any yardstick or parameters.

Justice Vineet Kothari recently had disposed of several petitions that were filed seeking compensation from various electricity companies. Among these petitioners, one had sought compensation of Rs 20 lakh with 18% interest per annum, while another sought Rs 1 crore from Bescom.

“This court is of the considered opinion that it is not appropriate for this court to exercise writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, for not only determining the question of facts like the cause of accident, negligence of electricity distribution companies or not, but on the other hand also, which criteria is to be adopted for determining the amount of compensation,’’ Justice Kothari said.

The court directed the petitioners to approach the civil courts by filing civil suits within 60 days. The question of facts with relevant evidence could be proved in accordance with law, the court said.

“The delay in filing such suits, even now, however deserves to be condoned, since the petitioners availed a remedy which this court at this stage is holding to be misconceived and not maintainable,’’ the court ordered.

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