Written byAnjana Raghav ·
A Thane Consumer Court has ordered the Konkan Railway Corporation to pay a compensation of Rs. 1.65 lakh to a passenger for theft of his belongings during a train journey.
Thane Additional District Consumer Redressal Forum's President AZ Telgote and member Tryambak Thool said, "It is the duty of railway administration to provide adequate security to passengers and their property during the journey."
Sharing his ordeal with the forum, complainant Vinod Naik said on 14 May 2015, he was traveling by Kochuveli-Mumbai Lokmanya Tilak Express along with his wife and daughter.
In wee hours, somebody pulled train's chain due to which the train stopped for 20 minutes between Kolad and Mangaon stations.
During that time, some unidentified men stole gold jewelry, mobile, and cash worth Rs. 2.9L.
Naik said no railway policeman or train ticket examiner (TTE) was available in the compartment.
He told the court that his belongings were stolen in the train due to Konkan Railway's negligence, which caused him financial loss and mental agony.
He sought Rs. 2.9L compensation for loss of property, Rs. 5L for physical and mental harassment, and Rs. 25,000 towards legal expenses from respondent.
The Konkan Railway contested the claim saying that the rail administration is only responsible for the carriage of goods entrusted to it with a valid consignment receipt.
In the present case, the complainant's belongings were stolen from his custody for which the railway cannot be held responsible, it said.
Also, the railway has a limited manpower and staff in the Railway Protection Force.
The forum rejected the submissions of the railways, observing that it is the duty of the railway administration to provide adequate security to the passengers and their property during the journey and that the paucity of staff cannot be an excuse to avoid the responsibility.
Considering the evidence, there is negligence and deficiency in service on the part of the respondent, the court said.
The court ordered the Konkan Railway Corporation to pay Rs. 1L for the loss incurred by the complainant, Rs. 50,000 towards the compensation for his mental agony and Rs. 15,000 for the litigation charges.
The compensation is to be paid by the railway within 45 days, or else it will attract an interest at 12% annum, the forum added.
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