Read Order: SHRI HARISH CHANDRA DAMODAR Vs. UNION OF INDIA 

LE Correspondent

Mumbai, May 27, 2022: In a case where the injured passenger travelling in a mumbai local had produced the valid season ticket bearing his signature, the Bomvay High Court has directed the Railway Claim Tribunal to grant compensation to the appellants after verifying the medical evidence produced by the appellant in support of his claim

On the lack of proper evidence to strengthen the case of ‘self inflicted injury’, the Bombay High Court noted  the accident in the present case was caused by an “ untoward accident” as stated under Section 123 (c) of the Railways Act, 1989.  By placing reliance on the Apex Court judgment in the case of Union of India v/s. Rina Devi, the Single Bench of Justice Sandeep K. Shinde partly allowed the appeal instituted under Section 23 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987. 

The present appeal was preferred under Section 23 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, against  the application instituted by the applicant claiming compensation for injuries sustained due to accidental fall from the train carrying passengers. The same  was rejected by the Railways Claims Tribunal. The applicant claimed that he fell from a local train at Dadar Railway station due to heavy rush of passengers in the compartment. Consequently he sustained severe injuries to spine and pelvis and had to undergo six injuries at the LTGM Hospital, Mumbai. 

Thus on account of being a bona fide passenger,he claimed compensation in the sum of Rs. 4,00, 000. However, the claim was opposed by the respondent- Railways contending that the appellant sustained injuries due to his own act of negligence and thus the claim was not admissible in absence of “untoward incident” within the meaning of Section 123(c) of the Act of 1989.  The Tribunal, had rejected the claim of the appellant and so, this appeal was filed.

On the issue whether the appellant was a bonafide passenger, the Court observed that appellant was a valid passenger under Section 2 (29).On the next issue regarding the sustained injuries in “untoward incident”, the Court persued the evidence of the Station Master of the Dadar Railway Station. His evidence revealed  that on  January 25,2004, one unknown passenger, without disclosing his identity, informed him that a person aged about 52 years was knocked down by Badlapur train kilometer 8/25 near platform no.4. However, in  cross-examination, Mr. Jagtap admitted that, personally, he did not see the accident. More so, the motorman of BL-25 train, had not given a memo to the Station Master, nor was he examined by the respondents. Thus in view of these aforesaid facts and evidences on record,the Court stated that the finding of the Tribunal, that the appellant did not sustain injuries in “ untoward incident” but suffered “ self inflicted” injuries was erroneous and therefore deserved to be set aside and quashed. 

Thus in light of the aforesaid observations, the Tribunal was directed to grant compensation to  the appellant in terms of Rule 3 of the Rules, 1990 and the appeal was party allowed. 

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