The Bombay high court last week quashed a case of causing death by negligence, registered against the office-bearer of a cooperative housing society in Nalasopara.
On November 19, 2013, a young boy using the lift to go upstairs was trapped in the gap between the first floor and the lift and died. The boy’s father, Mohammed Shaikh, had approached the police, who registered a complaint. Shaikh had alleged that the lift had been installed at Saidham Tower in Achole 12 years ago, and no repairs had been undertaken since then.
He said that 10 months before the accident, the lift had dropped from the seventh floor to the ground floor, skipping several floors in between. However, the office-bearers still did not do anything.
He said the office-bearers and the maintenance contractors were responsible for his son’s death.
“Even assuming that the allegations of omission on their part constitute the act of negligence, the omission on the part of the managing committee and the office-bearers has no direct connection with the unfortunate incident in which the boy lost his life,” said the division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice Anuja Prabhudessai.
They quashed the offence registered against Shivkumar Singh, an office-bearer of the housing society.
The bench said one of the essential ingredients of section 304A (causing death by negligence) is that the accused must commit a rash and negligent act resulting in death.
It added that the office-bearers could not be booked for causing death by negligence by their mere failure to replace or repair the old lift.
“By no stretch of imagination is the offence punishable under section 304A applicable to the office-bearers and managing committee,” said the bench.