Explainer: How to claim compensation in Bescom-related electrical accidents

Are you eligible? What is the process to be followed for claiming compensation from Bescom? Read on to know all this and more.

Part 1 of the series explained Bescom’s responsibilities in terms of preventing accidents, and what citizens can do if they see a safety hazard. 

Part 2 looks at what you can do if you suffer injury/property damage. 

What happens in case of an accident?

After any electrical accident, its cause is investigated by a separate department – the Department of Electrical Inspectorate under the Energy ministry. This department submits a report to the government, with a copy to Bescom. Additionally, Bescom has a committee, comprising a retired judge and a retired engineer, that visits the accident site, gathers information from the victim’s family members and Bescom employees, and prepares a report.

Bescom uses the findings from both reports to decide on whether the victim is eligible for compensation, and to initiate any disciplinary action against the erring official (such as suspension or inquiry), says Shanthamallappa S T, GM (Quality Standards and Safety) at Bescom. If the police have filed an FIR against a Bescom officer in the matter, they will also refer to these reports.

Compensation in case of an accident

In case you do suffer a Bescom-related accident, following is the compensation you are eligible for, as per Bescom’s 2018 circular:

  • For death or permanent total disablement – Rs 5 lakh per person
  • For permanent partial disablement – Between Rs 1 lakh and  Rs 5 lakh, depending on the percentage of disablement
  • Grievous hurt, as defined in Section 320 of IPC – Maximum of Rs 1 lakh
  • Hurt, as defined in Section 319 of IPC – Maximum of Rs 20,000
  • Grievous hurt, causing temporary total disablement for any period – Between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh
  • Grievous hurt resulting in partial disablement for a fortnight or more – Between Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000
  • For death of an animal – Within Rs 50,000

Additionally, Bescom has to pay the actual medical expenses the victim/survivor incurred for hospitalisation or treatment.


Read more: A guide to compensation available for accident victims


To get compensation, the affected person can give an application written in plain paper to Bescom, says Shanthamallappa. The supporting documents you need to arrange are:

  • In case of death, a report from the revenue department (tehsildar’s office) certifying the legal heir who is eligible to receive compensation
  • In case of disability or injury, a medical certificate issued by a medical officer not below the rank of district surgeon
  • In case of loss of property/household equipment, an report from the revenue department assessing the value of the damaged property

Compensation should be approved by Bescom’s jurisdictional Chief Engineer (Electrical) or Superintending Engineer (Electrical). Bescom has to make the payment by cheque, and get an undertaking from the claimant that the final settlement has been done.

A broken footpath with cables
A broken footpath with cables all around. Pic: Nadia Asif

Bescom’s data shows that, in 2022-23, it gave compensation amounting to a total of Rs 1.28 crore for 27 people. Though 134 people were dead that year, only 25 (18.6%) have been paid compensation. Shanthamallappa says the low numbers are because the records for 2022-23 have not been fully updated. However, Bescom’s data shows that even in the preceding years, fewer than 30 people were given compensation for death annually.

YearNo. of people compensated for deathAmount (in lakhs of Rs)No. of people compensation for non-fatal accidentsAmount (in lakhs of Rs)
2018-1928119.5812.17
2019-202610183.9
2020-211257.326.44
2021-2222116.310.04
2022-2325123.824.3
2023-24 (till November)21500
Total115532.92126.8

Source: Bescom

Shanthamallappa says that compensation may be denied in some cases, or not given as the victims did not apply for it. “In some cases, even if the accident is not due to Bescom’s fault, some compensation may be given on humanitarian grounds.”

As per the KERC (Rights of Consumers Relating to Supply of Electricity, SOP and allied matters) Regulations, 2022, if it’s established beyond doubt that the accident is not due to the victim’s fault, Bescom should pay the compensation within seven days of the incident itself, without waiting for the Electrical Inspectorate’s report. In other cases, Bescom should pay compensation to eligible persons within 30 days of receiving the report.

If the amount is not paid within the deadline, Bescom is liable to pay Rs 500 for every day of delay. 

Also read:

Comments:

  1. Laly Randolf says:

    Are there provisions to compensate damages to electrical fittings and home appliances due to power fluctuations or surge in power?

    • Navya P K says:

      Yes, there is. Please refer to the bullet point which mentions that a report from the revenue department is needed as proof in such cases.
      – Navya P K (Author)

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