The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), while awarding a compensation of Rs 50 lakhs to the kin of a man who died after falling into a lift pit, has said that it was necessary for the builder to provide minimum power backup for the lifts, in case of an emergency, before delivering possession of flats.
“Providing lifts in a multi-storied residential building, without even minimum power backup, in my opinion, is certainly a negligent act and a defect or deficiency in the services rendered by the builder to the flat buyers,” the NCDRC said, while asking Parsvnath Developers to pay a compensation of Rs 20 lakhs to the family of the victim, Sajan, a native of Kerala. “Considering all the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the view that the complainants should be awarded a total compensation of Rs 50,00,000, out of which Rs 30,00,000 shall be paid by Marksmen Facilities Pvt Ltd (lift maintenance firm) and Rs 20,00,000 shall be paid by Parsvnath Developers Ltd,” presiding member VK Jain said. It has not been proved that he died solely on account of the negligence or deficiency in rendering services by opposite party No 3 (lift maintenance firm), the commission said.
According to the complaint filed by the parents of Sajan, who was living in one of the apartments constructed by Parsvnath Developers, he pushed the elevator’s call button from the sixth floor on July 16, 2008, but realised that there was no electricity. As he climbed down the stairs and reached the third floor, the power supply resumed and the lift door at that floor opened, the complaint said. He stepped into the lift, assuming it to be in place, but fell through the shaft and sustained serious injuries. He later succumbed to the injuries.
Parsvnath denied any negligence or deficiency in service on its part and claimed that it was not responsible for the maintenance of the lift and other services provided in the building. The commission noted that the builder had handed over the manual keys of the elevator to Marksmen Facilities, a firm which was in charge of the maintenance of the lift.