Consumer court directs Indian Railway to pay over Rs 1 lakh to passenger who lost his bag

NEW DELHI: Observing that there was negligence and deficiency in services by the Indian Railway, a consumer commission here has directed its general manager concerned to pay more than Rs 1.08 lakh to a passenger whose luggage was stolen during a journey.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (Central District) was hearing the complaint which said the passenger’s bag containing valuables worth Rs 80,000 was stolen by some unauthorised passengers in January 2016 between Jhansi and Gwalior when he was travelling in a reserved coach of the Malwa Express.

“It was the duty of the railways for safe, secure and comfortable journey as well as safety and security of belongings of passengers,” the complaint said.

The commission, comprising its president Inder Jeet Singh and member Rashmi Bansal, said it had the territorial jurisdiction to try the case as the complainant boarded the train from New Delhi and there was “a continuity of the journey” till its arrival in Indore.

Besides, the office of the opposite party (General Manager, Indian Railway) was situated within the commission’s jurisdiction, it said in an order passed on June 3.

The commission rejected the argument of the railways that the complainant was negligent about her belongings and that the luggage was not booked.

Noting that the complainant was made to “run from pillar to post to register an FIR”, the commission said, “The manner in which the episode has happened and valuables were stolen followed by the efforts of the complainant to get the FIR registered with the authorities for appropriate enquiry or investigation, she suffered all kind of inconvenience and harassment to pursue her legal rights.”

It said the complainant had established her case against the Indian Railway for negligence and deficiency in service as her belongings kept in a bag were stolen during her journey against reserved ticket.

“Had there been no negligence or deficiency in services on the part of the opposite party or its staff, there would be no such incident. There is no other defence or evidence to deny the value of the articles being carried by the complainant during her journey, therefore, the complainant is held entitled to reimbursement of loss of Rs 80,000,” the commission said.

It also awarded her Rs 20,000 as damages for suffering inconvenience, harassment and mental agony besides Rs 8,000 towards litigation cost. (PTI)

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