Mangalpuri shoe factory fire: Delhi HC says human life worth more than right to employment

New Delhi: "Human life is worth much more than the right to employment," the Delhi High Court said on Tuesday while referring to a 2013 incident of fire in a shoe factory in Mangalpuri which killed three young men and a minor boy, and injured a workman.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The observation by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar came during the hearing of a PIL seeking compensation for the victims from the authorities for their failure to stop functioning of such illegally operating units.

The Delhi government, represented by its counsel Ramesh Singh, told the court that there is a 2011 policy which provides for compensation of Rs 2 lakh for an adult's death, Rs 1 lakh for a minor's death and Rs 50,000 for serious injuries as a result of such incidents.

The court, however, observed that with the passage of time the compensation policy also needed revision and asked the Delhi government to have a re-look at it.It directed the Delhi government to file an action taken a report regarding the compensation released to the victims. A direction was also issued to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, in whose jurisdiction the factory was located, to file an affidavit on what compensation it would disburse to the kin of the victims.

The direction was issued by the corporation in an earlier status report had admitted its culpability in permitting the factory to operate illegally.

The court ordered the Station House Officer of Mangolpuri police station to trace the next of kin of the victims and to produce them before the sub-divisional magistrate of the area. The PIL was filed in connection with the fire which broke out in the early hours of March 12, 2013 in a shoe factory at Mangolpuri and in which three young men, Kuldeep (22), Chander Shekhar (20) and Raj (24), and a 13-year-old boy, Salman, were killed and a workman, Mithlesh (18), was seriously injured.

The petitioner, a lawyer, has contended in her petition that the state cannot abrogate its responsibility in the matter and ought to pay compensation to the victims.


Updated Date: Apr 24, 2018 22:01 PM

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