Order of the High Court of Orissa regarding death of a young girl in the premises of the school due to negligence of the authorities, Odisha, 11/08/2022

  • 11/08/2022

Judgment of the High Court of Orissa at Cuttack in the matter of Madhav Soren Vs State of Odisha & Others dated 11/08/2022.

Aggrieved by the death of a young girl who was crushed to death by the collapse of a kitchen side wall in the premises of Kolhabeda Ashram School, Ghasipura block, Keonjhar district, the father of the deceased has filed this writ petition seeking compensation for her death.

The court noted that deaths of young kids "appears to be in the pattern of several similar instances in the schools in Odisha".

Earlier also, the court was approached to seek justice in the context of death of seven children below five years due to the collapse of a wall of the Anganwadi Centre at Nelia Upper Primary Centre at Suansia under Ranpur block in the district of Nayagarh, July 9, 2012. In another case, a four year old girl lost her life, September 7, 2011 after falling into the main water channel in Sutahat area of Cuttack city when she was in the local pre-School centre.

The High Court held that the parents of the deceased children were entitled to compensation due to negligence on the part of the state functionaries and that the state was liable to pay compensation.

It was brought to the attention of the court that the negligence of the state authorities in using defective materials to construct a kitchen in the school premises led to the incident and the responsibility for death rests with the state.

The death would not have occurred if all the safety measures, that were instructed to be put in place by the state, had been strictly followed and directed the state of Odisha to pay the deceased girls father a sum of Rs. 10,00,000/- (Rupees ten lakhs) as compensation.

The HC directed all the Collectors of the districts in Odisha to ensure strict compliance of the directions of the Supreme Court order, August 6, 2010 (In Re: Measures for Prevention of Fatal Accidents of Small Children due to their falling into abandoned bore wells and tube wells Vs Union of India).