Three years have passed, but P V Prakashan and his wife Vanaja Prakashan of Amballur, Ernakulam in Kerala are yet to come out of the shock of losing their two sons in a drowning incident at a resort in Pune. Recognising the alleged negligence on the part of the resort in ensuring the safety of their sons – Midhun Prakash P, 30, and Nidhin Prakash P, 24, who drowned in a pond at the resort, the couple fought for justice and has finally won a verdict from the Ernakulam Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, which ordered the resort to pay compensation of Rs 1.99 crore to the couple.
“We were shattered when we heard about the incident. We decided to legally fight against the resort when we had to face harassment at the hands of the resort authorities,” said Prakashan. Though no compensation would fill the vacuum created in their life, the couple decided to fight the case as a social commitment to ensure that these kinds of incidents do not recur, and there are adequate safety measures at these spots marketed to attract youth.
It was on October 24, 2020 that Midhun and Nidhin, along with 22 others, booked rooms at the resort identified as Karandi Valley Adventure and Agro Tourism Resort in Pune. The next day, both Midhun and Nidhin drowned in a pond at the resort. The couple initiated legal proceedings against the resort citing gross negligence in ensuring the safety of its patrons. Arguing that the resort had failed to adhere to basic safety protocols and maintain vigilant lifeguard services, the couple contended that the tragedy could have been averted had the resort taken adequate measures to prevent such accidents.
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, chaired by President D B Binu, member V Ramachandran, and Sreevidhia T N, after carefully examining the evidence and testimonies, allowed the prayer of the couple, acknowledging the lapses in the resort’s safety measures. In its order, the commission directed Karandi Valley Adventure and Agro Tourism Resort to pay compensation of Rs 1.99 crore to the couple. The court’s decision has set a precedent, sending a strong message to adventure resorts about the importance of prioritising guest safety.