Man sues KMC for Rs110m damages over wife, son’s death in open drain

Yousuf Katpar
Saturday, Oct 01, 2022

A citizen who lost his wife and two-month-old son after falling into an open patch of a drain in Karachi’s Shadman Town has moved a civil court, seeking recovery of damages of over Rs110 million on account of their death under the relevant provisions of the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855.

Muhammad Danish’s motorbike had fallen into a nullah with his wife and two children onboard on July 17. The nullah was said to be overflowing due to heavy rain, making it difficult for people to differentiate between the open drain and the road. The man and his three-year-old daughter were rescued by locals, while his wife and son drowned. The body of the woman was fished out shortly after the incident while the minor’s body is still missing.

Danish, through his lawyer Usman Farooq, filed two separate suits before a senior civil judge (Central), naming the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) municipal commissioner and the Central district’s municipal commissioner as defendants.

In the suits, he demanded that the civic authorities pay him damages totalling Rs57.3 million on account of his wife Saman’s death and Rs53.2 million on account of his son Azlan’s death.

The plaintiff stated that he along with his wife and two children was riding a motorcycle on July 17 when they fell into an open nullah as he could not see the drain that was overflowing due to heavy rain. Consequently, his wife and son died, he added.

The incident occurred due to the “gross negligence” on part of the civic agencies as they failed to take proper measures to clean and cover the drain before the monsoon season, he alleged. Before the incident, he claimed the relevant KMC official was informed of the possible danger that the open drain posed during rains but no steps were taken to obviate it.

“After the tragic incident, the locals gathered and immediately started searching. The family members of the plaintiff and the people of the area intimated the nearest complaint office [of KMC] about the incident and requested necessary action to save the life of his son, but nobody from the defendants came to his rescue,” Danish lamented.