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Supreme Court to civic body: Can’t make poor parents run around for manhole death damages

A 13-month-old child of a labourer died after falling into a manhole in Hisar (Haryana), prompting the Punjab and Haryana HC to order the civic body to pay Rs 15 lakh compensation to the grieving parents.
Hisar MC challenged the verdict in SC claiming that the manhole was in Indian Railways’ area and that the HC erred in asking the civic body to pay the compensation amount.
A bench led by CJI D Y Chandrachud said, “A child died in a manhole. You want the grieving poor labourer parents to run from pillar to post to get compensation? If you think Railways is responsible for the open manhole, file a suit to recover the amount from them.” The bench said it is an interim order of the HC against which the civic body has approached SC.
“The HC will take into account the evidence presented by the civic body while deciding the case and if it finds that Railways was responsible for the tragedy, it would direct it to reimburse the amount to Hisar Municipal Corporation.” TNN

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