theft on train

Supreme Court: In a civil appeal against dismissal of a challenge by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (‘NCDRC') against order holding Indian Railways liable to pay Rs 1 lakh to the passenger whose cash was stolen while travelling by train, the Division Bench of Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, JJ. allowed the appeal and set aside the orders passed by the NCDRC, SCDRC and District Consumer Forum in the instant matter.

The Court, while hearing the instant matter, expressed that “We fail to understand as to how the theft could be said to be in any way a deficiency in service by the Railways.” The Court was of the view that the Railways could not be held responsible if a passenger was not able to protect his belongings.

The respondent had raised a claim before the District Consumer Forum seeking reimbursement of cash stolen during travel by train. It was alleged that the respondent was carrying Rs 1 lakh in cash while travelling on a train, which was tied around his waist along with the belt.

The District Forum allowed the said claim and directed the appellants to pay Rs 1 lakh to the respondent. The appeals against the said award before the State and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC and NCDRC) were dismissed.

The Court allowed the instant appeal while setting aside orders passed by the NCDRC, SCDRC and District Consumer Forum.

[Station Superintendent v. Surender Bhola, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 741, Order dated 15-06-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Appellant: Advocate Rajan Kumar Chaurasia

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