Jakarta court rules in favor of PLN in lawsuit over dead koi caused by blackout, blames trees

Koi that allegedly died during the widespread power outage in Jakarta on August 4, 2019. Photo: Istimewa via Detik
Koi that allegedly died during the widespread power outage in Jakarta on August 4, 2019. Photo: Istimewa via Detik

PLN has overgrown foliage to thank after the South Jakarta District Court sided with the state power utility in a lawsuit over loss of fish life.

Previously, several Jakarta residents sued PLN over their koi dying during the great Java blackout, arguing that the lengthy power outage deprived the fish of oxygen they would have otherwise received from electric-powered pumps in their ponds. But today, the court rejected a lawsuit filed by one of the plaintiffs, Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) politician Ariyo Bimmo, saying that PLN were not to blame for the blackout. 

Rather, several tall trees were to blame, the court said.

The court was referring to a report by the police from their investigation into the blackout, which found that the power outage was triggered by tall trees coming into contact with power lines in Central Java, causing a crucial relay station to malfunction. It has since been established as one of the likely causes of the great blackout, which affected tens of millions in West Java and the Greater Jakarta Area.

The court ruled that Ariyo, who demanded IDR1.9 million (US$140) in damages, must pay IDR1.54 million in court fees after losing the lawsuit.

“Why did they let the trees [grow so tall] then? Trees can’t grow instantly. And that’s not considered a fault [of PLN]?” Ariyo said after the hearing today, as quoted by CNN Indonesia. 

Previously, the South Jakarta District Court also rejected a lawsuit for IDR9.2 million from another Jakarta resident for their dead koi. Like in Ariyo’s case, the court also said the trees were to blame.

Related: Chief inspector says cyberterrorism may have been behind great Java blackout, calls for police investigation

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CITY: JAKARTACATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: ANIMALS, WEIRD

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