NHRC issues notices to the Chief Secretary and the CP, Delhi over yet another major fire in the National Capital resulting in death & destruction

New Delhi, 23rd May, 2022

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken a suo motu cognizance of media reports that in yet another major fire incident in the National Capital, a 42-year-old man died and six others, including a woman, suffered burn injuries injured on 19th May 2022. The incident happened on the first floor of the building in a residential area of Mustafabad where electrical items such as inverters and stabilisers were being made. The factory was reportedly being run without a licence.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, amount to violation of human rights of victims. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi calling for a detailed report in the matter within 4 weeks including the action taken against the guilty, compensation paid to the NoK of the deceased and status of the medical treatment being provided to the victim workers, who have sustained injuries during the incident.

The Commission has also observed that in order to avoid repeated fire incidents in NCT of Delhi, the Department of Delhi Fire Services shall initiate Fire Audit in multi-storied and any such buildings having no licence and/or not maintaining fire safety norms in the Delhi region, expeditiously and submit a report accordingly.

The Commission further observed that in the National Capital region there are a large number of factories and other commercial units, which may be running without licences and proper safety arrangements for the occupants/ workers. There is an immediate need for the authorities concerned to ensure strict compliance of the safety norms at commercial activities as also recommended earlier. In a recent case, taking suo-motu cognizance of a similar incident, an on the spot investigation was conducted and the matter is under its consideration.

According to the media reports, carried on 20th May, 2022, the municipal authorities stated that a notice in this regard was served to the owner of the building and the case file was sent to the zonal office for taking action against the violators but it is not known whether any action was taken on it by the zonal office. The Mayor of the area has stated that action will be taken against the defaulter under the rules and norms and no one will be spared.