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The Delhi High Court Wednesday awarded a compensation of Rs.3.5 lakh each to the families of four children who died last year after falling into a pit dug up by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB).

The division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said the DJB failed to fence the area around the pit, which resulted in the tragedy.

The DJB has already paid a compensation of Rs.1 lakh each to the families of the victims.

While hearing a petition seeking a compensation of Rs.12 lakh each for the victims’ families, the court directed the DJB to pay Rs.2.5 lakh each – the remaining amount of the total compensation – within four weeks.

The money would be deposited with the court’s registrar in the form of fixed deposits for three years, the court said.

The court granted liberty to the DJB to recover the money from the contractors who were responsible for not fencing the area around the pit.

The four boys drowned after falling into a seven-foot-deep pit filled with water in Timarpur area of north Delhi in December 2010. They were identified as Vikas, 8, Atul, 7, Ritesh, 9, and Narender, 8. The four were residents of Gopalpur village.

Appearing for the DJB, standing counsel Najmi Waziri informed the court that a police complaint against unknown people was registered in the case.

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