Preventing Intruders from entering reserved coaches is Railways’ duty: Consumer Forum

New Delhi:  Failure to prevent entry of unauthorised persons in reserved compartments amounts to dereliction of duty on part of the Railways, said a consumer forum. It has directed the Railways to pay a compensation of Rs.1 lakh to a couple whose jewellery was stolen onboard the Tamil Nadu Express in 2008.

“Railways is responsible for safety of life and personal belongings of the passengers in the train. It cannot escape this liability and has duty to prevent such incidents, which cause loss of personal belongings of the passengers and other,” New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said on the complaint of a couple from Chennai, who was travelling to Delhi.

“…we find that the complainant was travelling in the compartment and it was duty of the Railways for their safe journey to their destination including belongings,” it said.

A bench headed by president C.K. Chaturvedi and members S.R. Chaudhary and Ritu Garodia directed the Northern Railways to pay a compensation of Rs.1 lakh with 9 per cent interest and Rs.50,000 to complainants C. Sunder and his wife Meenakshi Sunder for harassment and deficiency in duty by the Railways for not preventing unauthorised persons in the reserved compartment.

The Sunders had approached the forum with a complaint that they were travelling from Chennai to Delhi on January 15, 2008, on reserved seats. They said the train made an unscheduled halt at Okhla railway station where six boys entered their compartment without any luggage and stole their jewellery worth Rs.2.12 lakh and de-boarded at the New Delhi Railway Station.

Quoting from a recent judgment of apex consumer forum, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, the New Delhi District forum said, “A major responsibility cast on the TTE in addition to examining the tickets is that of ensuring that no intruders enter the reserved compartments……This is certainly a gross dereliction of duty which resulted in deficiency in service to the respondents.”

“The price difference between an unreserved ticket and a reserved ticket is quite high and the travelling public who buy a reserved ticket would expect that they enjoy the train journey with a certain minimum amount of security and safety… We have entered the 21{+s}{+t}Century and we cannot carry on our daily life in the same age old fashion without bearing the brunt of indifferent service provided by public authorities like the Railways. People expect a modicum of efficient and reliable service which provides at least safety of person and property while travelling in reserved compartments,” the Forum said.

  • Railways to pay Rs.1 lakh to a couple whose jewellery was stolen on the Tamil Nadu Express
  • ‘Public who buy reserved tickets expect to enjoy a train journey with security and safety’