Railways can't shirk off from ensuring passenger safety: HC

"We are of the view that Railway board or the cabinet should consider and take appropriate measures keeping in view their statutory and constitutional obligation to check not only crime but also accidental fall of its passengers by providing mechanism for automatic closure of door," the court said in its judgement.

A division bench comprising justices Devi Prasad Singh and Satish Chandra pronounced the judgement, dismissing an appeal filed by the Northern Railways challenging a Railway Claims Tribunal direction to it to pay compensation to the kin of a passenger who died after falling from a running train.

On April 20, 2006, Mohammad Sanan was travelling in second class in Sabarmati Express and was standing near the door when a sudden jerk made him fall from the train and die.
The Railway Claims Tribunal had directed the Northern Railways to pay Rs four lakh compensation with an interest of 7 per cent per annum to the victim's father.

Northern Railways had filed an appeal in the Allahabad High Court challenging the award, contending that Sanan had died due to his own fault.

However, the court observed, "Keeping in view the fundamental right with regard to life, quality and dignity, Railways cannot shirk from its responsibility to provide appropriate security measures in the moving train to check the commission of crime or accidental death."
The court further said, "Things may be started from the production level and in selected trains in a gradual manner...this is not for this court to make suggestion but increase of one rupees in ticket price...railway may generate sufficient fund to provide safety and security to its passenger."The court also suggested the Railways to consider measures for automatic closure of door

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