In a major judgment related to industrial accidents, a Durg labour court on Tuesday awarded one-year imprisonment to two top officials of Steel Authority of India Ltd’s (SAIL) flagship Bhilai Steel Plant in connection with the death of a labourer on duty. The two also have to pay Rs 5 lakh as fine.
Judicial magistrate S L Matre noted that the accident was caused due to negligence of the then executive director Ashok Kumar and general manager Hanumant Rao, who failed to provide proper safeguards to the labourer. While both were sentenced to one-year imprisonment each, Justice Matre imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh on Kumar and Rs 2 lakh on Rao.
Both officers are now retired.
The labourer, Moses, died in October 2008 in an accident while working at the plant. A few labourers were also injured when a heavy structure suspended from a weak chain came crashing down on them.
A preliminary enquiry found the labourers were not provided with proper safeguards required to work in hazardous conditions. According to the enquiry, Kumar and Rao had acted negligently.
A case was filed in the district labour court under the Factory Act, which also found the two guilty. The court made it clear that the duo would have to undergo an additional imprisonment of three months if they fail to pay the fine.