A 21-year-old Muktsar girl, who was amputated after coming in contact with a high-tension wire at her school in 2013, has been awarded ₹10-lakh compensation by the Punjab and Haryana high court.
The high court (HC) bench of justice RK Jain also ordered that whenever she applies for a job, the government will consider her case sympathetically, in the physically handicapped category, as per her qualification. Besides, the girl will also be entitled for seeking claims for cost of components’ change of prosthesis from time to time and annual maintenance charges for it.
Family ran from pillar to post
It was on February 23, 2013, that Anju Rani, then a student of Class 10 at Government Senior Secondary School, Bhagsar, in Muktsar, came in touch with a high-tension wire. During the course of treatment, her right arm and one toe were amputated.
The girl, who is now pursuing BA-1 at a Muktsar college, was issued a disability certificate by the Muktsar civil surgeon after assessing her disability as 80% and loss of two limbs. The family ran from pillar to post, making various representations to government departments seeking compensation. But as it did not yield results, the family had approached the high court in April 2014.
PSPCL opposed more compensation
In court, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) had argued that school, and not the discom, was responsible for the incident. However, on January 6, 2015, the court asked Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) director to examine the injuries caused to the girl due to electrocution. Based on the PGIMER report, the court directed the government to release ₹2 lakh to the girl, which was used for implant of prosthetic arm at a cost of ₹1.43 lakh. As per the PGIMER, the prosthetic arm will require an annual maintenance cost of ₹10,000 per year. She will require four to five prosthetic arms in her lifecycle, the PGIMER had stated in the report.
The PSPCL had opposed more compensation, arguing that besides ₹2 lakh, the girl was given an assistance of ₹4.99 lakh for treatment and another sum of ₹50,000 from the accident compensation scheme of the education department. However, the court opined that the artificial limb provided to the petitioner is no solace to the trauma already faced and the agony to be faced throughout her life and directed that she be compensated with ₹10 lakh more.
Blurb: HC also directs govt to consider her for job, she can also claim cost of component change, maintenance of prosthesis