Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: While partly allowing the appeal wherein a passenger sustained injuries in an untoward incident, Sandeep K. Shinde, J., expressed that, Railway Claim Tribunal, shall proceed to grant compensation to the appellants in terms of Rule 3 of the Rules, 1990, after verifying the medical evidence produced by the appellant in support of his claim.

Appellant’s application under Section 16 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987, wherein compensation was claimed for injuries sustained due to an accidental fall from the train carrying passengers, but the same was rejected by the Railways Claims Tribunal. Hence the present appeal was filed.

Respondents had opposed the claim contending that, the appellant had sustained injuries due to his own act and negligence and therefore claim was not admissible in absence of “untoward incident” within the meaning of Section 123(c) of the Act of 1989.

Tribunal had observed that the appellant was not the bonafide passenger as he was carrying and possessing the valid ‘Pass’ and journey extension tickets, for want of an identity card, the season ticket could not have been held valid and therefore applicant was a passenger travelling without a ticket.

Analysis and Decision

High Court expressed that the appellant was travelling in the passenger train with a valid and proper season ticket with journey extension tickets and the said fact was not in dispute.

Whether, for want of identity card, season ticket, carried and possessed by applicant-passenger, was invalid, and as such, was not “Bonafide Passenger”?

In Court’s opinion, for more than one reason, non-production of the Identity Card alongwith the season ticket by a passenger, who had sustained injury due to accidental fall, itself would not render valid season ticket, invalid.

“Passenger producing proper season ticket without, identity card, ipso-facto, would not render season ticket, improper and/or invalid, unless, it is proved that passenger was using season ticket, that was issued in the name of another person.”

Therefore, in the opinion of the Bench, the appellant was a “bonafide passenger”.

Whether appellant had sustained injuries in “untoward incident” within the meaning of Section 123C (2) of the Railways Act, 1989?

High Court held that the finding recorded by the Tribunal that the appellant had not sustained injuries in “untoward incident”, but suffered “self-inflicted injuries”, was erroneous and therefore the same was quashed and set aside.

High Court held that the compensation sought was in respect of the injuries sustained by the appellant in an “untoward incident” and the Railway Claim Tribunal shall proceed to grant compensation to the appellants in terms of Rule 3 of the Rules, 1990, after verifying the medical evidence produced by the appellant in support of his claim. [Harish Chandra Damodar Gaikwad v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 1072, decided on 24-5-2022]

Advocates before the Court:

Mr. Mohd. Hasain, Advocate for the appellant.

Mr. T.J. Pandian a/w. Mr. Dheer Sampat, Advocate for the respondent.

Jharkhand High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: The Bench of Dr S.N. Pathak, J., allowed a petition assailing the order and judgment passed by learned Railway Claims Tribunal.

In the pertinent case, the claimant was the father of the deceased, Anand Mandi, who after boarding the train, met with an accident by way of falling down from the train. After completing all the formalities, a compensation of Rs 4 lakhs was sought for. The same was contended by the respondent (Railways) that they were not responsible as neither was there any eye witness to corroborate the said incident nor any passenger ticket was recovered from the possession of the deceased. It was also argued that the applicant is also put to strict proof that the cause of death of late Anand Mandi does not fall in any of the exceptional clauses (a) to (e) of Section 124-A of the Railways (Amendment) Act, 1994.

The learned Tribunal framed the following three issues and the parties were put on trial:-

  1. Whether Anand Mandi was a bonafide passenger as alleged?
  2. Whether any untoward incident as defined under Section 123(c)(2) of the Railways Act, 1989 occurred?
  3. Whether the applicant is entitled for compensation as claimed and other relief, if any?

The Court held that by the preponderance of the probability deceased had died due to accidental fall from a passenger train and as such, the alleged incident falls within the purview of an untoward incident under Section 123(c)(2) of the Railways Act and it was decided in favour of the applicant.

The Court relied on Union of India v. Rina Devi, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 507, where the Court opined that, “…However, mere absence of ticket with such injured or deceased will not negative the claim that he was a bonafide passenger. Initial burden will be on the claimant which can be discharged by filing an affidavit of the relevant facts and burden will then shift on the Railways and the issue can be decided on the facts shown or the attending circumstances…”.  And the Court held that it is a case of untoward incident falling within the purview of Section 123(c)(2) of the Railways Act. The Court is of the opinion that appellant is entitled for compensation to the tune of Rs 4 lakhs with 9% interest from the date of accident till the actual payment is made.[Dhuma Ram Mandi v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine Jhar 188, Order dated 13-02-2019]