ARCHITECT CAN NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ACCIDENTAL DEATH AT CONSTRUCTION SITE: HIGH COURT
The Karnataka high court has ruled that it would be farfetched to fasten the charge of causing death by negligence on an architect or engineer for the death of a worker during the construction of a house he or she was designed
The High Court has quashed the proceedings against an architect for alleged negligence in the death of a labourer at a construction site.
The court said that it would be too far to stretch Section 304A of the IPC to contend that a person who had designed the house is responsible for the death of a worker at a construction site. The petitioner architect had entered into an agreement with the owner of a residential site in Nandini Layout, Bengaluru to design his house in September 2019. After this, the construction was entrusted to a contractor.
On October 10, 2020, a labourer working under the contractor was electrocuted. Based on a complaint filed by one of the relatives of the deceased labourer, the police had booked a case against the contractor, the architect and the owner. The police had filed the charge sheet against the contractor and the architect but dropped charges against the owner.
The petitioner claimed that he had come to know about the incident only in February 2021 when he was invited to the house warming ceremony. He further contended that the offence punishable under IPC Section 304A cannot be laid against him as he was only an architect who designed the house and it was for the contractor or the owner of the property to have taken such caution to prevent a mishap.
Justice M Nagaprasanna noted that Section 304 A of the IPC (causing death by negligence) clearly says that the death should be out of a rash or negligent act by the accused.
“It would be too far to stretch section 304 A of the IPC to contend that a person who had designed the house is responsible for the death of a worker while undertaking construction under a contractor,” the court said.