High Court verdict gives hope for victims of electrocution

SHILLONG: The recent verdict of the High Court of Meghalaya directing Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) to provide compensation of Rs 7.56 lakh to the family of an agriculturist, Khresmanwell Lyngkhoi, who died due to electrocution in South West Khasi Hills, has given hope for other victims who have been deprived of such benefits.

Lyngkhoi, father of 10 children, died of electrocution on March 2, 2012 due to the fault in 11 KV line passing through Nonglang village.

The Court asked MeECL to deposit the amount in the account of the victim’s wife Skilinda Iawphniaw with a direction that 60 per cent of the amount should be kept as fixed deposit for the education of her children and another 40 per cent should be used by her for other expenses of the family.

On June 27, 2013, seven persons, including five minors, were electrocuted at Khliehriat in East Jaintia Hills District.

The reason for the tragedy lay in the fact that the 11KV power line reportedly leaked due to heavy rain in the area. The victims are yet to get adequate compensation.

Recently the intervention of Meghalaya State Electricity Regulatory Commission was sought for compensation for a boy who lost both his limbs due to electrocution.

Five-year-old Chidam B Marak was electrocuted at Chasingre in West Garo Hills on November 26, 2013 as the transformer located at the village was not fenced. No protective gate was also erected at the site.

The West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi had written to the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL) seeking action against the guilty.

Later, a Shillong based pressure group had also asked the Meghalaya State Electricity Regulatory Commission to issue direction to MePDCL to provide adequate compensation to the victim since it is a matter of criminal negligence given the fact that the transformer was kept in an unsecured place.

A magisterial inquiry was also ordered after the matter was brought to the notice of the district administration and the report of the magistrate TK Sangma revealed that that there was no gate at the area where the transformer was kept.

Moreover, the area was not fenced, the report added.

Following the findings of the magisterial inquiry report, the Deputy Commissioner wrote a letter addressed to MePDCL on March 7 this year seeking necessary action and adequate compensation to the victim and the family.

According to the Deputy Commissioner, during a review meeting held to discuss the matter in January this year, incorrect information was communicated to members present even though there was criminal negligence on the part of the lines man of MeECL.

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