How will you compensate victims’ kin: HC to accused

[12/18, 20:30] Sekarreporter 1: How will you compensate victims’ kin: HC to accused:
[12/18, 20:30] Sekarreporter 1: The Madras High Court on Tuesday expressed surprise over the accused in the Mettupalayam private compound wall collapse case not having paid even a single penny to the families of any of the 17, including three children, who had died and instead the State government alone having paid a compensation of ₹10 lakh each from taxpayers’ money.
Justice N. Seshasayee raised the query while hearing a bail petition filed by prime accused Kutty alias S. Sivasubramaniam, 61, a textile merchant, whose residential compound wall at Nadur village in Mettupalayam, Coimbatore collapsed during heavy rains on December 2 and fell on tiled roof houses of persons belonging to Scheduled Castes.
[12/18, 20:30] Sekarreporter 1: When the petition was taken up for hearing, the judge said: “I understand the government has paid compensation to the families of the victims and has also promised to build houses for them. How are you going to compensate? For every private accident, the government alone cannot be expected to pay compensation from public money,” the judge asked.
During the hearing, a request was made to the judge to adjourn the case by a day so that Pratap, the son one of the victims could file an intervening petition opposing the bail plea. The judge accepted the request and adjourned the hearing to Wednesday also to enable State Public Prosecutor A. Natarajan to appear on behalf of the police.
In his bail application, the accused stated that he had purchased the property along with the compound wall in March 1998 and that it had withstood the vagaries of nature for the last 20 years. Nevertheless, the police had converted the case against him from Section 304A (causing death by negligence) to 304 part II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of Indian Penal Code.
“This is wholly irregular. At the outset, it should be appreciated the rains were so heavy that it had made the soil loose resulting in the accident and this by no stretch of imagination could be construed as an offence under Section 304 part II… No person constructing a compound wall would imagine (sic) a harm to his neighbour.
“Most importantly, no person would put his own life in jeopardy by putting up a weak construction in his residential house. The fury of nature was such that even a well constructed wall would give way. To connect a case of an accident to one under Section 304 part II is highly illegal,” the petition filed through advocate V. Raghavachari read.

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