The Delhi High Court wants to know if various government and private agencies involved in the Commonwealth Games projects have adequately compensated workers who died or got injured during the construction work.
The court has sought detailed affidavit from all authorities by November 11. The Centre already admitted in Parliament that 42 labourers died during construction work while a report by authorities in court said 48 workers had died and 98 had sustained injuries.
The court order came on a plea by Moushumi Basu, secretary of NGO People’s Union For Democratic Rights which filed a PIL for the plight of labourers. During a hearing for fixing compensation, she claimed that lawyers for various authorities gave wrong figures of death and injuries and said a real data could come out only if the court intervened.
Chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Manmohan have sought a detailed affidavit on number of deaths, injuries and compensation paid. “As there is some kind of claim and counter claim with regard to the nature of deaths and injuries by the NGO on one hand and on the other hand by the principal employer, namely DDA, CPWD, DMRC, NDMC, MCD and DIAL, they are directed to file their replies in this regard,” the court said.
The court has also ordered prosecution of contractors who refused to give exact number of workers under them which resulted in the Delhi government failing to ensure benefits to them. “The Regional Labour Commissioner having addresses of contractors is directed to summon the contractors and find out how many workmen were engaged under them and also conduct an inquiry and launch criminal prosecution against errant contractors,” said the court”.
Delhi government counsel Najmi Waziri also informed the court a compensation of Rs 3.35 lakh had been paid to the seriously injured in the pedestrian bridge collapse near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
The Central Public Works Department has been asked to pay Rs 2.5 lakh to a woman labourer whose two-year-old child was run over by a truck while the former was working inside the stadium. The contractor paid Rs 1.2 lakh to her.