In a show of empathy, the Kerala High Court on Friday apologised to the family members of a 23-year-old youth who died on Thursday after his bike hit an iron barricade warning people of a hole and was run over by a truck.
A student at a nearby institute, the deceased was working part-time as a delivery boy and the accident occurred when he was on his way to pay his fees. He was the breadwinner for his family while his mother is a cancer patient.
Justice Devan Ramachandran made the apology when he was hearing a petition on poor road conditions and numerous pot holes which have surfaced on roads.
When Advocate General C.P. Sudhakara Prasad, appearing for the state government, pointed out that a sum of Rs 10 lakh will be given as compensation to the victim's family, Ramachandran shot back: "How many more should die before the concerned authorities act?"
The judge then said that it is a shame that no action has been taken despite the intervention of the court on this issue, saying if this continues, then the concerned authorities will be personally liable and even seven generations' incomes won't be enough as compensation.
Angry with the way the authorities are behaving, the court appointed a three-member amicus curiae and asked them to submit a report on the condition of roads in Kochi by December 20.
After the high court came down heavily on the authorities, state PWD Minister G. Sudhakaran suspended four engineers who were responsible for ensuring that pot holes didn't resurface at the accident site.
The Kerala Police have registered a case in the accident death and will now look if there were any lapses on the part of the government officials responsible for road maintenance.
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