Saturday, August 20, 2022

District Collectors Will Be Answerable For Accidents Caused By Road Potholes-Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court on 19-08-22 ordered that every future road accident caused by potholes would have to be explained by the District Collectors. It further directed that the officers under the various District Collectors - in their capacity as Chairman or Chairperson of the Disaster Manager Authority - ought to be instructed to visit and watch every road and ensure that all of them are kept free of disaster, lest another accident happens.

Justice Devan Ramachandran reminded us about the earlier Order that had been issued, whereby it was declared that the creation of potholes and craters were man-made disasters under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, and there was a duty imposed upon the District Collectors to act within their statutory powers. It was added that the Court could not continuously prod the District Collectors in this matter.

"I hereby, direct the District Collectors to act proactively to avert 'man-made disasters' on the roads; and I caution them that every further accident will have to be explained by them in future", stated the order.

the Court added that the Government of India and in particular its Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, have a specific role to play, particularly with respect to the principles of Constitutional Tort, when somebody is killed or injured in an accident on the National Highway.

"They must inform this Court how we must respond to the cri de coeur of the family of a victim, or that of an injured, for having either been killed or put to danger because the Authorities vested with duties did not do it well or neglected it", it was observed.

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