Cases & Orders

Case Details

The complainants Smt. Sangita Swain present and have reiterated the allegations. On behalf of the State, Shri Surendera Kumar, Secretary, Department of SC &ST, Government of Odisha, is present and also present are Shri N. Tirumala Naik, DM, Kandhamal and Shri Vishal, Supdt. of Police, Kandhamal.The Supdt. of Police, andhamal, states that in the instant case, a chargesheet has been filed against the JE and the Contractor. As per the investigation till now, the Assistant Engineer has not been found to be involved. There is a need to conduct further investigation to determine the role of Assistant Engineer, if any, in the case. The case may, therefore, be further investigated after obtaining due permission from the Court and the investigation may be entrusted to a Gazetted Officer. It is informed that the next of kin of the two deceased girls have been paid Rs. 2.6 lakhs each out of which Rs. 10,000/- are from the Red Cross Fund and Rs. 2.5 lakhs are from the Government fund. The circumstances in which these girls died warrant that the compensation be enhanced. The reply of Government of Odisha to the show-cause notice has been received. Its perusal shows that the State Government has not advanced any substantive reason due to which compensation should not be enhanced. Keeping in view the circumstances and the tender age of the girls who died, it is recommended that the compensation amount per deceased girl is enhanced to Rs. 4 lakhs. Similarly, out of the three girls who were injured, one of the girls received severe injuries and had remained admitted in the hospital. She also deserves to be compensated for the injuries sustained. Accordingly, a compensation of Rs. 50,000/- is recommended to be paid to Ms. Santwana Kanhar. As far as the other two girls who were discharged on the same day, a copy of their medical records and their treatment records may be forwarded to the Commission to enable the Commission to ascertain the nature of injuries to determine compensation due to them, if any. The Secretary, SC/ST Department, Government of Odisha, states that he has initiated disciplinary action against two officials, one Assistant Engineer and one Junior Engineer, and has also recommended disciplinary action against two other officials who were on deputation to ITDA from their departments. He has further stated that he has issued directions that disciplinary proceedings against the AE and JE must be concluded within a period of three months. The Secretary, SC/ST Department, Government of Odisha, shall ensure that the disciplinary proceedings against the both the officials are concluded within the time frame. He further states that action has also been taken to determine the safety of all the buildings of girls hostels as also of schools which belong to SC/ST department of the entire State of Odisha. He has been advised that identification of unsafe buildings should be completed and all such buildings which are found to be unsafe should be got vacated and schools/hostels running from these buildings should be shifted to other premises. Further, wherever schools/hostels buildings which are constructed recently and found to be unsafe in all such cases action must be initiated against the engineers who had supervised the construction of these buildings. Report on all the above aspects including proof of payment of enhanced compensation shall be sent to the Commission by Secretary, ST/ST Department, Government of Odisha within 12 weeks. Put up on 23rd February, 2014.