Madurai: The Madras High Court has directed the state government and a private school management to pay Rs seven lakh as compensation to parents of a nine-year-old school boy, who drowned in a swimming pool in 2009.

Allowing a writ petition filed by Shahul Hameed, the victim's father, Justice K K Sasidharan of the Madurai bench said on Tuesday that the state should pay Rs five lakh and the school correspondent (administrator) Rs two lakh.

The petitioner alleged that his son died due to the "gross and willful negligence" on the part of the school teachers and authorities of Anna Swimming Pool, maintained by the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, at Palayamkottai in Tirunelveli district and demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh.

He said his son died during a school trip on June 27, 2009.

The deceased boy was a third standard student of the Little Flower Matriculation School, Tirunelveli.

Police had registered a case under IPC Section 304(A) (causing death by negligence).

A sum of Rs one lakh was given to the petitioner from the Chief Minister's relief fund. The District Collector had rejected the petitioner's plea for more compensation, following which he moved the High Court.