Orissa High Court has issued notice to the district collector of Keonjhar on a PIL questioning the quantum of compensation to the family of a five-year-old girl student, who died in October 2013 when a government-run school wall caved in.
Asking the Collector to reply in an affidavit, the Division Bench of Chief Justice A K Goel and Justice A K Rath yesterday directed the case to be listed on July 3, 2014 for further hearing.
The petition was filed by the father of the girl, Madhav Soren, seeking compensation of Rs 10 lakh stating that his minor daughter Raimati died when the kitchen wall of the school collapsed.
The school, Kolhabeda Ashram, an institution under the SC and ST development department, is in the Ghasipura block of Keonjhar district.
On the fateful day of October 3, 2013 at about 6.45 AM, Raimati and other students of the Ashram’s hostel were brushing their teeth near the newly constructed kitchen shed. All of a sudden the side wall of the kitchen collapsed. While other students managed to escape, Raimati was crushed under the falling wall, the petition said.
She was immediately rushed to a nearby Community Health Centre, where she was declared brought dead. After being informed by the Head Sevak of the school, Raimati’s father rushed to the hospital.
After the post mortem was completed, the body was taken to her native village Billa Akhupal and cremation was conducted.
The district administration granted Rs 10,000 and subsequently the State Government paid ex-gratia of Rs 50,000. But terming the amount as grossly inadequate, the petitioner moved the High Court demanding compensation of Rs 10 lakhs for failure of the State to ensure the safety of the tribal girl who was in care and custody of the State, when she was in a government-run residential school.