Family of child injured by escalator refuses to settle with shopping mall owner

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A district court has been informed that negotiations between the family of a three-year-old boy injured after getting stuck in an escalator of a shopping mall in Clifton and its owner to reach an out-of-court settlement has ended without “fruitful results”.The court had on May 10 granted interim bail to the owner of the shopping mall and his three employees against a surety bond of Rs50,000 each and given both parties time to explore the possibility of an out-of-court settlement.

When the case came up for hearing before Additional Sessions Judge (South) Shahid Ali Memon for confirmation of their bail or otherwise, advocate Saify Ali Khan turned up in the court stating that the parents of the child wanted to pursue the case.The judge noted that the complainant and the accused owner were given sufficient time to reach an out-of-court settlement after the latter showed willingness to pay compensation to the family of the minor. However, “no fruitful result came out”, he added.

Ms Khan, opposing the bail plea of the accused, argued that the mall owner could not be absolved of the responsibility for the incident because neither he nor his employees took immediate measures to save the baby after his left foot got stuck in the escalator, leaving it severely injured.

“The case is at the investigation stage; therefore, if the bail is considered then there will be an apprehension of the accused absconding and the prosecution evidence being tampered with.”

she said.On the other hand, advocate Paras Ali Lodhi, who represented the mall owner, stated that his client had already joined the investigation into the incident. The 75-year-old owner was not present at the place of the occurrence when the incident happened, he said, adding the FIR was lodged after a delay of one month and 20 days without the complainant offering any explanation for the delay.He alleged the mall owner, who enjoys a good reputation among the city’s business community, was implicated in the case with mala fide intentions.Observing that this was a case of further inquiry, the judge confirmed the bail granted to the mall owner and his employees. “If the bail is not confirmed then there would be a chance of the accused being dragged and humiliated at the hands of police if arrested,” concluded the judge. The tragic incident took place on March 20 when three-year-old Aman was injured after he got caught in a malfunctioning escalator.The FIR was lodged under Section 337-F (bodily injuries) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and 25-B of the Telegraph Act at the Clifton police station on the complaint of the victim’s father.

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