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    Gauhati HC orders School to compensate Rs 30 lakh for student’s death to Parents

    The court stated that it was the responsibility of the school authority or management to keep track of grave risk

    Guwahati: Citing that schools authorities are responsible for the anticipation and identification of risks that surround students, the Gauhati High Court has directed the Assam Valley School to compensate Rs 30 lakh to the parents of a student who was electrocuted while practicing guitar inside the school.

    The deceased student, identified to be Ranveer Das was the son of Debajit Das and Sharada Das. He was electrocuted while he was practicing guitar at the music cell of the school and immediately after the incident he was taken to the hospital but was declared as brought dead.

    His parents alleging that their son had died due to the negligence of the school authority, filed a suit seeking Rs 5 crores for special and exemplary damages.

    As per a report by the LiveLaw, “The Trial Court had dismissed the suit holding that trustees of the Trust are necessary p*arties to the suit and as such, in their absence the court cannot pass an executable decree and in view of the same the suit was not maintainable.”

    The court had however found that the death could have been prevented if the defendants (school authority) were not negligent.

    Justice Prasanta Kumar Deka stated,”In my considered view, the court below was not correct in holding that no executable decree could be passed in absence of the trustees. Because the obligation promised by the school authority is not annexed to the ownership of the Trust property requiring a joint action of defence by all the trustees of the Trust in order to protect the ownership of the Trust property. This is because of the nature of ownership the school authority possessed which is only the beneficial ownership but not the legal ownership. The said obligation is not declared by the trustees of the Trust but by the school authority. As the obligation is contractual in nature it cannot have any link to the legal ownership which the trustees are vested with on the Trust property. Had it been linked to the legal ownership of the trustees then all the trustees are necessary parties to the suit. The suit is for damages claiming against the joint tortfeasors who are arrayed as defendants including the school authority”

    The court stated that it was the responsibility of the school authority or management to keep track of grave risk surrounding while imparting education to the students.

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