₹10lakh compensation for death due to wildlife accident: Bombay HC to state govt | Mumbai news

Noting that the state government has a dual duty to protect wildlife and citizens from wildlife injuries, the Bombay High Court on Monday ordered the state government to pay an amount of 10 lakh in compensation for the wife of a Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) employee who died in a wild boar attack in Ratnagiri district in February 2019.

“It is an obligation of the state government to protect wildlife and to protect citizens from harm caused by wildlife,” said Justices Gautam Patel and Gauri Godse.

“So when a wild animal injures a person, it is indeed a failure of the state government to protect the right to life guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the bank added, noting that petitioner Anuja Redij , a Residents of Chanderai village in Ratnagiri Taluka, were entitled to compensation from the government.

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“It should be noted that it is the duty of the relevant state government official to protect wild animals and not allow them to roam outside the restricted security zone,” the bank clarified. “As a result, it is also the duty of the officers concerned to protect citizens from being injured by the wild animals.”

The accident in question occurred in the early hours of February 5, 2019, when the woman’s husband, Arjun Redij, a senior mechanic at the MSRTC workshop, was returning home from Ratnagiri to Chanderai.

A wild boar attacked him, causing him to fall onto the road, sustaining serious injuries and dying a few hours later.

The incident was reported to local police, who conducted a spot memorandum and found that a wild boar collided with the deceased’s bicycle, resulting in the accident.

On February 11, 2019, the widow of the deceased applied to the Regional Forest Offense in Ratnagiri for compensation under the Government Resolution (GR) of July 11, 2018, which provided for the granting of compensation in the event of the death of a person as a result of an attack by a wild animal .

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A few days after her warning, on March 18, 2019, the head of the state forestry office informed her that her application for compensation had been rejected and asked her to go to the higher court.

The state government challenged their application, claiming that the case was not covered by the GR because the autopsy report clearly indicated that the deceased had died as a result of the road accident.

However, the apology, the claim, failed to impress the judges.

The bank said GR imposes an additional obligation on the state government to pay fair compensation to people who have suffered losses from wildlife.

“Therefore, the state government’s action is unacceptable and fundamentally discouraging,” the court said, concluding that the petitioner’s husband had died in the accident caused by the wild boar attack and that the woman was entitled to compensation under GR.

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HC has now asked the state government to pay 10 lakh to the wife along with interest at 6% per annum from May 2019 – the due date for payment under the GR (three months from the application date) and an additional sum of 50,000 to legal costs for forcing her to approach HC for relief.