-Report by Himanshu Sahu
Vinod Kumar, the deceased, embarked on a train journey on June 12, 2017, from Shahdara to Faridabad aboard a local train. Tragically, while the train was travelling between Faridabad and Tughlaqabad Station, specifically at KM 1514/13-11 JNC Yard, the deceased fell from the train due to a sudden jerk and the push of fellow passengers. Regrettably, he lost his life on the spot. Additionally, the journey ticket and the deceased’s belongings, including his bag, were also lost during the incident. Subsequently, the claimant filed a case in the tribunal seeking compensation, but the judge did not favour the claimant. As a result, an appeal has been made to the court for further consideration and potential compensation.
The counsel representing the appellants argued that the Tribunal failed to properly consider important factors, such as the contents of the final report by the Station House Officer (SHO) and the statements of witnesses. The SHO\’s report, along with the testimonies of witnesses, indicated that the death occurred due to a fall from the moving train. The appellants\’ counsel also emphasized that the mere absence of the journey ticket should not automatically lead to the dismissal of the compensation claim.
Furthermore, the testimony of a witness named Ramkeshwar Ram supported the appellants\’ case. Ramkeshwar Ram stated that the deceased had visited his brother-in-law before the incident and was carrying a bag of clothes. He had purchased a ticket for the deceased, who boarded the local train for Faridabad. This additional evidence strengthened the appellants\’ position in their pursuit of compensation.
The counsel for the respondent, on the other hand, defended the judgment and requested the dismissal of the appeal or support the decision of the tribunal.
The court reviewed whether the incident could be categorized as an \”untoward incident\” according to Section 123(c) of the Railways Act, 1989. As the deceased\’s body was discovered on the railway track during the train journey, the court determined that it did meet the criteria for an untoward incident. The court consider the final report provided by the Station House Officer (SHO). Consequently, the court recognized the deceased as a legitimate passenger and the incident as an untoward incident. As a result, the appeal was granted, and the previous order was overturned. The case is now referred back to the Tribunal to determine the compensation amount in accordance with the law. The matter will be scheduled for the earliest available date on 10.07.2023. The compensation amount should be paid to the appellants/claimants within two weeks following the decision.
CASE NAME: SITA DEVI AND OTHERS Vs. UNION OF INDIA