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Govt gets CIC rap for `callous` probe in deaths at NTPC plant

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 18:30

New Delhi: The CIC has pulled up the Union
Labour Ministry for adapting "completely insensitive and
callous attitude" while inquiring the death of workers in
accidents at NTPC`s Dadri plant.

These comments were made by Information Commissioner
Shailesh Gandhi while hearing the plea of Ramesh Chandra
Sharma of Uttar Pradesh who had sought from Labour Ministry
the probe report of different fatal accidents at NTPC`s Dadri
Plant in 2007-08 which claimed lives of seven workers.

Sharma approached the Central Information Commission
when the ministry did not provide him satisfactory

During the hearing, the Ministry officials provided four
inquiry reports in the deaths of the workers at the plant
during separate accidents which took place during 2007-08.

Those died included Bhajan Singh, Mohan Manjhi, Ramanand
Verma, Rajiv Vishwakarma, Raju, Vijay Ram and Arjun Singh,
according to documents produced by the department.

Gandhi said none of the reports produced by the
department cover the inquiry into the death of Vijay Ram and
it is not known whether any inquiry was held in this case.

"The respondent (Labour Ministry) is producing extremely
cursory reports about the deaths of seven workers during
2007-2008 at the NTPC Dadri Unit," the Information
Commissioner observed.

He noted that inquiry reports are extremely brief and
acknowledge that safety precautions were not being followed.

"The reports do not mention any serious action against
the employers. It is indeed a very distressing state of
affairs that the Ministry of Labour treats the loss of life of
workers so casually," he said.

"The reports do not appear to suggest any punitive
measure against the employer. This is a sign of a completely
insensitive and callous attitude of the Labour Department,"
Gandhi said while issuing show-cause notice to the then
Regional Labour Commissioner, Dehradun, Ram Singh.

Gandhi directed Singh to explain why a penalty should
not be imposed on him for not providing information within
mandatory time limit of one month under the RTI Act.


First Published: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 18:30
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