Railways directed to compensate passenger for theft

Last Updated 22 January 2015, 10:11 IST

If Railways is unable to protect passengers travelling in a train from intruders then it amounts to rendering "imperfect" services, a consumer forum here has said, while directing the public transporter to pay compensation in a theft case.

The forum's observation came while directing the Railways to pay Rs 35,000 to Delhi-based woman lawyer Laxmi Priya Dey whose vanity bag was snatched while she was travelling in Delhi bound Rajdhani Express with her family in January 2013.

"During journey, the passengers in the train are to be protected from the criminal activities and railway renders imperfect services if it (is) not able to protect its passengers from intrudes in reserved compartments," a bench of New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi, said.

In its order, the forum also denied the claim of Northern Railways that the case falls under jurisdiction of Jharkhand Railways as the alleged incident took place when the train was in transit in Jharkhand.

"The Railway is one and for administrative reason, it is linked into zones and in the case, Northern railway (had) issued ticket," the forum said.

"In the light of above discussion, we find Railway guilty of deficiency. We, therefore, award a compensation of Rs 25,000 for the harassment for reconstruction of documents and mental agony. We also award Rs 10,000 as the litigation expenses," it said.

Dey had told the forum that while she was travelling with her family from Bhubaneshwar to New Delhi by Rajdhani Express on January 13, 2013, some unauthorised person entered her coach and ran away with her vanity bag.

She claimed that the bag contained bank cards, driving license, some ornaments, mobile phone, keys of residence, Rs 30,000 cash and other items.

She said she had reported the incident to the train ticket examiner and had lodged a report at New Delhi Railway Station, but after she got no response, she filed a plea in the forum.

The Railways, however, opposed the claim and stated that it was a case under jurisdiction of Jharkhand Railway and that its liabilities were only for the booked baggage.

(Published 22 January 2015, 10:11 IST)

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