14 October 2019


National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Union of India and Ors. v. Ranjan Kumar




Passenger to be compensated for theft even in non-identification of railway employee

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission ruled that the Indian Railways is liable to compensate a passenger for the loss suffered on account of the theft committed by a railway employee. It added that in instances of theft, it may not always be possible to identify the employee or locate him or her even if it is established that the loss to the consumer took place on account of the misconduct of the employee. It interpreted the Consumer Protection Act and various Supreme Court judgments to vitiate Railways' arguments avoiding liability for the lost or stolen luggage. The Commission also equated "the view of the Supreme Court in the cases where the complainants suffer on account of negligence of the State employee would equally apply in a case where he suffers on account of the misconduct such as theft or misappropriation." The Railways had argued that loss or damage of a passenger's luggage by one of its employees would not vicariously make it liable for damages.


Section 2 Railways Act, 1989 Section 100 Railways Act, 1989 N. Nagendra Rao & Co. vs. State of Andhra Pradesh MANU/SC/0530/1994
S.K. Alagh v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors. MANU/SC/7162/2008

Tags : railways employee theft vicarious liability

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