Nearly eight months after a couple suffered serious burns in a petrol pump fire in Vasant Vihar, the Delhi High Court has raised questions about safety at refuelling stations.
"Are proper safety and fire management system in place in capital's petrol pumps? Are they equipped to pay compensation to any member of public in case of any blaze or other accidents?" the high court asked the Delhi government, the Centre and the Indian Oil Corporation on Monday.
They have also been asked to give a reply on November 26, the next date of hearing.
On January 16, 2012, a couple—C M Mathew, a senior executive with a private firm and his wife Jolley Mathew, a nurse, suffered serious burns in a fire which lept from an underground spark and engulfed their car at the IOC petrol pump in Olof Palme Marg, Vasant Vihar.
Manoj V George, the lawyer who had sought R75 lakh compensation for the couple, told the court there was no mechanism from the side of the petrol pump to pay them compensation.
"Legitimate compensation is being denied to the aggrieved who have suffered serious burns at a petrol station fire," George said.
"IOC being a public sector unit failed in its duty to ensure that its petrol pumps had covered public liability by adequate and proper insurance in the form of a public liability insurance policy", he argued.
Public liability insurance policy covers a business if a customer or member of the public was to suffer a loss or injury as a result of its business activities and if that person made a claim for compensation. The insurance would cover the compensation payment plus any legal expenses.
George has also urged the court to constitute a committee to look into the safety and fire management systems in all the petroleum pumps across Delhi.