No relief even after 4 years of an accidental death of a construction worker - Ravindranath Shanbaug

Richard D’Souza
Kemmannu News Network, 10-01-2018 05:55:48

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Udupi : Absolutely no relief even after four long years of an accidental death of poor construction worker. This is a shocking and tragic case of an accidental death of a construction worker at the site of construction and his family denied and deprived of any relief --not even of a single rupee from any source.

Speaking to media persons Ravindranath Shanbaug, President of  Human Rights Protection Foundation (HRPF), at his office at Vaikunta Baliga College of Law, Kunjibettu here on Tuesday, 9th January, 2018, said that even though there is a scheme for payment of rupees two lacs as relief to the family of the bereaved, no relief whatsoever was given in this specific case due to ignorance of the law and the governmental relief schemes. It is a matter of great urgency to bring about public awareness of the possibilities of assistance to the hapless victims.



A youth of hardly 25 years, by name SHRIKANTH, coming from a family of a poor background in a village named Kanchinadka near Padubidri and without fatherly support grew up in utter poverty. He had to discontinue his education at the primary level at the tender age of twelve due to the untimely and early demise of his father. He worked in some hotel in Bangalore, to take care of his mother Appi and two ailing sisters. After a decade or so of such struggle of working in hotels far away in Bangalore, he returned to his native place and started working as a construction worker on daily wages with one Construction Contractor, Mr. Keshava Sapaliga. He also married a girl  named Monica of Hejamadi.





On the disastrous day of 10-3-2013, more than 4 and a half years ago, Shrikant, who had gone to work at a construction project at Panjimari, near Shirva, did not return home. The roof of a building, being constructed under the supervision of the same Mr. Keshava Sapaliga, had collapsed and crushed Shrikant to untimely death. Even though efforts were made to take him to a nearby  hospital, he breathed his last before reaching the hospital. The only source of succour to the hapless lot was lost forever. The family of four dependants literally came on the streets.


The family with no education and any kind of worthwhile guidance, made efforts to find out the possibilities of assistance and help. They contacted a Lawyer  and made enquiries for some help from the Contractor or some other source.  The Lawyer advised that since the death occured when he was  on duty, at the construction site,  they may get compensation from the Contractor and also the Karnataka Buiding and other  Construction Workers Welfare Board. He advised that an application for Ex Gratia Compensation may be made.



The school certificates and the death certificate of the deceased Shrikant, were delivered to the Lawyer and he assured to file the petition for obtaining compensation and relief from Contractor and the Labour Officer and also to file  case if necessary, for compensation.   Necessary applications were prepared and necessary signatures were appended on the same.  The Lawyer also assured that he would assist the Public Prosecutor in a criminal case under Section 304 of IPC.


Years rolled one after the other, but no compensation whatsoever.  All that they could achieve was several visits to the Lawyers office.





When absolutely no relief of whatsoever nature was anywhere at sight, even after four long years of the sad demise of Srikanth, the hapless mother Appi contacted our office to know whether anything was ever possible.  The meeting ended more in emotional and sentimental tearful outbursts rather than narration of the bare details. One can and should understand the grievous tales from the mother losing her only bread earner. But where is any succour?

When enquiries were made in the Office of the Labour Officer Udupi, in the month of August 2017, it was a matter of shock for us to know that there was no pending case against the Contractor nor any case had even been registered. Also the name of the worthy(?) contractor, Mr. Keshava Sapaliga was not there in the list of Registered Construction Contractors. 


When the deceased Shrikant’s family visited the office of the concerned Lawyer, he washed off his hands by handing over the whole file and requesting them to engage some other lawyer for the purpose. 




In case of any mishap in the construction stage of any building, there is a provision of compensation to the family of the deceased by the for payment of EX GRATIA of Rs. two lakhs. But for getting this compensation, the concerned Contractor has to get himself registered and also register the names of the workers under him with the Karnataka Building and other  Construction Workers Welfare Board . If the names of the contractor and the workers are not registered, such ex gratia, cannot be paid. In the instant case, there was neither registration of the Contractor nor his labourers. 


The only other relief possible is the payment of a sum of Rs. 50,000 also called Ex Gratia to the family of the deceased. The Learned Lawyer had obtained the signature of the relatives of Late Srikanth to this application too but had no time to submit this small application. in the process not one rupee of the compensation reached the miserable relatives of late Srikanth.

Every possible effort shall be made by this foundation to get any and every possible assistance to the bereaved family and get justice to the maximum extent.


The uneducated poor and uninformed must be made aware of this provision for getting this relief in their hour of suffering distress.







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