PIL filed on ‘negligence’ in child’s death in TN borewell

The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Oct 29: The latest deplorable incident of the death of a two-year old boy, who fell into in an open borewell in Tamil Nadu, has raised issues of negligence by the authorities, according to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court here on Tuesday.

The public suit has sought directions from the apex court to order the concerned authorities to take proper measures to avoid such a situation in future.

The plea was filed by an advocate G.S. Mani saying that on October 25, a two-year old boy village boy, Sujith Wilson, fell into an abandoned borewell at Nadukattupatti near Manapparai in Tamil Nadu. His body was later retrieved in the wee hours of Tuesday, after over 80 hours of rescue efforts.

Advocate Mani also mentioned incident of another two-year old boy who died after being stuck for 110 hours in a borewell in Punjab’s Sangrur in June. He said that these deplorable incidents have brought home the dangers of uncovered borewells and tubewells following such deaths of several children.

Requesting the apex court to issue direction to concerned authorities to comply with its order delivered on August 6, 2010, the petitioner said that these incidents are on account of the non-implementation and non-compliance of the Supreme Court’s order.

The top court had, in 2010, issued various guidelines to prevent deaths of children by falling into open borewells and tubewells.

Noting that there has been no compliance with the court’s order, the petitioner said: “A judicial verdict must be implemented or complied with by concerned authorities in full letter and spirit. A mere implementation or compliance only on paper direction will not give full effect of implementation of court verdict.”

Mani has sought action against erring officials for not following the court’s directions. He has also sought a judicial enquiry into the failure of immediate rescue of Sujit and taking necessary action against concerned government officials on receipt of the report.

The petitioner has also sought framing of proper guidelines and methods alongwith provision of adequate equipment and expertise to rescue small children falling into open borewells and tubewells.

As per the Supreme Court’s guidelines, any owner of the land or premises must inform the concerned authorities in writing at least 15 days in advance before taking any steps for constructing borewells or tubewells

Registration of all drilling agencies should be mandatory with the district administration or statutory authority, the court has said. Erection of signboard at the time of construction near the well is mandatory. The top court had also directed random inspection of abandoned wells by the executive of the concerned department.

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