Rail Accident- Claim Can’t Be Denied On Account Of Boarding Wrong Train Mistakenly: Bombay High Court Directs Rly To Pay 8 Lakh To A Victim’s Mother

first_imgNews UpdatesRail Accident- Claim Can’t Be Denied On Account Of Boarding Wrong Train Mistakenly: Bombay High Court Directs Rly To Pay 8 Lakh To A Victim’s Mother Sparsh Upadhyay2 Feb 2021 6:45 AMShare This – xThe Bombay High Court has recently ruled that one cannot be branded as an unauthorized train passenger merely because one mistakenly boards a wrong train. The Bench of Justice Anuja Prabhudessa ruled thus while directing railways to pay ₹8 lakh as compensation to one Munnibai Chaube whose son died due to the injuries sustained in accidental fall from a running train. Facts of…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Bombay High Court has recently ruled that one cannot be branded as an unauthorized train passenger merely because one mistakenly boards a wrong train. The Bench of Justice Anuja Prabhudessa ruled thus while directing railways to pay ₹8 lakh as compensation to one Munnibai Chaube whose son died due to the injuries sustained in accidental fall from a running train. Facts of the Case Appellant’s son Vikki was travelling from Nagpur to Tumsar Road by Howrah-Janeshwari Express and allegedly fell down from the running train. He was taken to KTS Hospital, where he was declared dead. The appellant (Munnibai Chaube) filed an application under Section 23 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, for compensation on account of death of her son in “untoward incident”. [NOTE: As per Section 123 (c) of The Railway Act, 1989, “untoward incident” includes the accidental falling of any passenger from a train carrying passengers.] Tribunal’s Order The claim of the appellant was contested by the respondent-UOI on the ground that no such “untoward incident” had occurred resulting in the death of her son and the respondent further claimed that the deceased was not a bona fide passenger. While recording a finding that the death of deceased had occurred in an “untoward incident”, the Tribunal dismissed the claim mainly on the ground that the said ticket was not a valid journey ticket for Howrah-Janeshwari Express. The matter before the Court The appellant (Munnibai Chaube) challenged the judgment and award, dated 17th January 2017, whereby the Railway Claims Tribunal dismissed his claim application. Assailing the said judgment, the appellant contended that the Tribunal was required to consider, whether deceased Vikki had lost his life as a result of “untoward incident” and whether the Railway Administration had proved and established exception or exceptions available under Section 124A of the Railways Act. He contended that the Tribunal was not justified in dismissing the petition only because the deceased had boarded a wrong train. Court’s Observations Observing that the victim Vikki had admittedly purchased a train ticket for travel from Nagpur to Tumsar Road and had boarded a wrong train, the Court said, “He cannot be branded as an unauthorized passenger merely because he had mistakenly boarded a wrong train. The death of the said passenger was due to the injuries sustained in accidental fall from a running train.” The Court further said, “Accordingly, the death was an “untoward incident” and was not covered by proviso to Section 124-A of the Railways Act. The Tribunal was, therefore, not justified in rejecting the claim solely on the ground that the victim had boarded a wrong train.” Lastly, the Court said since the appellant had discharged the initial burden of proving that Vikki was a bona fide passenger and that his death was an “untoward incident”, the respondent cannot be absolved of their liability of paying the compensation to the dependents of the deceased. Thus, it was directed that Union of India would deposit a sum of Rs.8,00,000T in the account of the claimant-appellant after verifying the identity within a period of three months. Related News It may be noted that Apex Court, in the case of Union of India vs. Anuradha & another (2014 ACJ 856), had held that, “If a passenger unguided by railway security personnel, ticket checkers or in absence of the regular announcements mistakenly boards a wrong train halting on the platform, may on realizing his mistake fall off the train due to panicky situation or otherwise accidentally, the railway administration cannot feign ignorance about the untoward incident in such case in order to shirk away from its strict liability to compensate monetarily for the untoward fatal accidents” Last year, the Bombay High Court had allowed an appeal against the order of the Railway Claims Tribunal, Nagpur and had directed Central railways to pay Rs.8 lakh as compensation to the family of one Arjun Gawande who died while alighting from a train at Badnera station. Justice MG Giratkar of the Nagpur bench had held that even though the deceased boarded the wrong train which did not have a stoppage at Badnera station, the Tribunal’s finding that the deceased responsible for his own death was not sustainable. Case title – Smt. Munnibai v. Union of India [First Appeal No. 259 of 2020] Click Here To Download JudgmentRead JudgmentNext Storylast_img read more