Pay Rs. 4L to couple who lost son on trek: Forum to camp organiser

  • Kanchan Chaudhari, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 09, 2014 18:10 IST

The additional consumer forum for Mumbai suburban district has directed a Pune-based adventure group to pay Rs 4 lakh to a Mulund couple, who lost their only son during trekking in Himachal Pradesh in 2006.

The compensation amount is Rs 2 lakh more than the forum’s 2009 order. The couple had challenged the order in the State Consumer Commission, which had remanded the matter to the forum.

Sunita and Anil Mahajan said their 16-year-old son Harshal joined a trekking event organised by Sahyadri Adventure Foundation and had paid necessary charges for the event.

On May 23, 2006, Harshal joined the group in Delhi and the trekking at Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh started three days later.

On May 30, 2006, his parents were first informed that their son was serious and the news of his death reached them a few hours later. The post mortem conducted at Kullu revealed that Harshal had died due to pulmonary due oedema hypoxia, leading to respiratory failure.

The adventure group officials claimed that Harshal had had breathing problems but his parents had not informed them and he died because of the low level of oxygen at higher altitudes.

On November 18, 2009, the district forum held the adventure group guilty of deficiency in service and granted Rs 2 lakh compensation to the parents, who challenged the order in the State Consumer Commission.

The state commission had remanded the matter back to decide the quantum of compensation after allowing the complainants to cite additional evidence.

Last week, the forum passed the fresh order, directing the adventure group to pay the couple Rs 4 lakh. It took into consideration that boy was hardly 16 years and was undoubtedly a meritorious student --- he had scored 87.67 % in SSC examination and had a bright career ahead.

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