A civil court on Saturday accepted for hearing a citizen’s lawsuits seeking Rs110 million in damages from the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and District Municipal Corporation (Central) over the death of his infant child and wife, who had drowned in an uncovered under-construction nullah in Shadman.

Muhammad Danish, along with his 24-year-old wife Saman and two infant children, had fallen in open drainage near Qalandaria Chowk on the night of July 17 during heavy rainfall in the city.

Danish, a resident of Orangi Town’s Sector 10-L, has sought over Rs110 million in damages under the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 from the KMC commissioner and DMC (Central) commissioner over the twin deaths.

On Saturday, the office of the Senior Civil Judge (Central) admitted two identical suits filed by the plaintiff for hearing and issued notices to the KMC commissioner and DMC (Central) commissioner to file their replies by October 24, said the plaintiff’s counsel Usman Farooq.

At the time of filing the suits last week, the plaintiff had stated that the KMC was responsible for cleaning sewerage and stormwater drains, but it had failed to clean, maintain and cover the nullahs and its negligence caused his wife’s death.

He further said that similarly, DMC-Central was also responsible for the construction, cleaning and maintenance of nullahs in Karachi.

Danish said that due to heavy rain the plaintiff was not able to see the open drain and fell in it.

His counsel said that his client lost his wife owing to the negligence of the defendants, who did not take prompt measures to cover the open drains.

“The family members of the plaintiff and the people of the area intimated the nearest Complaint Office about this ugly incident and requested to take necessary action for saving the life of the plaintiff’s wife, but nobody from the defendants came to either rescue them or take any necessary steps,” he added.

The counsel had argued that the deceased Saman was “24 years old, healthy and could have lived up to the age of 70”, had the tragic incident not happened. Farooq further said that following Saman’s demise, the plaintiff and his surviving daughter, Zoya, had been left alone and suffered “huge losses”.

The counsel pleaded with the court to decree each suit, in the sum of Rs57,352,000, against the defendants to pay as damages/compensation to the plaintiff.

He further requested the court that profit/mark-up at the rate of 21 per cent per annum should also be paid to the plaintiff.

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