Rs 2 cr compensation to kin of youth who died in an elevator

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New Delhi | January 16, 2015 6:01 PM

The apex consumer commission has awarded nearly Rs two crore compensation to the father of a 25 year-old youth...

The apex consumer commission has awarded nearly Rs two crore compensation to the father of a 25 year-old youth, who was choked to death in a defective elevator in a high-rise in Mumbai a decade ago.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) bench, presided by Justice V K Jain, asked the owners of the Mumbai-based building, Bhagwati House, in which the mishap took place, and lift maintenance firm Care Elevators and Engineering Co Pvt Ltd, to pay Rs 1.89 crore to the father of the victim Rohan Pai.

Rohan died in 2005 when a faulty elevator moved up with its door open. His neck and head got stuck inside while the remaining part of his body was outside the lift as it continued to elevate. Rohan’s father had sought Rs 4.89 crore as compensation.

“No amount of compensation can duly substitute the mental suffering agony and stress which a father suffers on account of the sudden and untimely death of a young son. There can be no loss for the parents bigger than losing a young son, in the advanced age of their life.

“Their life can never be the same again. A just and reasonable compensation can only give them a financial succour, which the son would have provided, had he remained alive,” the commission said.

“The total compensation payable to complainant (Rohan’s father) comes to Rs 1,23,00,000. In facts and circumstances of this case, we direct that 25 per cent of the aforesaid amount will be paid by building owners whereas 75 per cent amount would be paid by lift maintenance firm,” it said, while also awarding interest to the complainant at 6 per cent per annum from the date of the filing of the complaint in 2005.

Complainant P G Pai had told the commission that on May 10, 2005, his son, an employee of Kingfisher Airlines Pvt Ltd, was going to his office in the high rise building and when he entered an elevator, it abruptly moved up with its door open.

As a result, he got stuck in the lift with his neck and head inside and the remaining part of his body outside the lift, Pai said, adding that Rohan was rescued from there and taken to hospital where he was declared brought dead.

The respondents, building owners and lift maintenance firm, however, had contended before the commission that Rohan was not their consumer and the accident occurred due to his negligence.

The NCDRC, while rejecting the contention of respondents, said that Rohan was a consumer as the airlines he was employed with had paid for the consideration for using the lift and he had implicit permission to use the lift.

While awarding the compensation, the commission noted that Rohan was earning a salary of Rs 25,000 per month and was about 25 years old, hale and hearty, when he died in “the unfortunate mishap”.

The total amount of awarded by the commission included Rs six lakh to Rohan’s father for the suffering, loss of consortium and cost of litigation.

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