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Punjab school ordered to pay Rs 6 lakh for death of 4-year-old boy

The school has also been ordered to pay a Rs 75,000 as compensation for mental harassment and Rs 25,000 as cost of litigation to the couple.

punjab Updated: Sep 13, 2018 15:10 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab,Punjab Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission,accident
(Representative image )

Almost six years after losing their four-year-old son to an accident owing to the carelessness of his school, the Punjab Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, directed the Zira-based school to pay Rs 6 lakh as compensation to his parents.

“The safety of small children is the most important factor and most of the deaths of small children are taking place due to traffic hazards and carelessness of the transporters. Not dropping Mankeerat Singh at home and dropping him midway on the G.T. Road is tantamount to deficiency in service on part of the school,” ruled J S Klar, presiding judicial member, and Kiran Sibal, member of the state consumer commission, in an order that was passed on August 30 and is available now.

The commission directed the Doon Valley Cambridge School on Ferozepur Road, Zira, to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to Pratap Singh and his wife Karamjit Kaur of Khadoor village in Ferozepur district for deficient service leading to the death of their son.

The school has also been ordered to pay a Rs 75,000 as compensation for mental harassment and Rs 25,000 as cost of litigation to the couple.

School’s responsibility to send children safe home: Parents

It was on February 17, 2012 that Mankeerat was killed while crossing the GT Road on his way back from school. The school van had dropped him there instead of his home at Khadoor village.

Mankeerat was crossing the road when he was hit by a tractor-trolley leading to his death. In their complaint, the parents said, “It was obligatory on school’s part to bring and drop children home safely.”

School blames parents

Denying any deficiency in services, the school said the van used for ferrying the children had developed a mechanical defect. Thus parents were asked to drop and pick up their children from the main road. The school authorities said Mankeerat was picked up from the GT road by his uncle, and it was his responsibility to ensure that the child reached home safe.

Long struggle

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ferozepur, directed the school to pay Rs. 7 lakh as compensation on January 30, 2013, following which the school filed an appeal before the state commission which reduced the compensation to Rs 1.50 lakh on September 1, 2015.

The parents then moved the National Consumer Commission against the order, which ruled that the state commission ought not to have reduced the compensation. The appeal was then again heard by the state commission.

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 15:10 IST