8 July 2024


Supreme Court

Anil Kumar Gupta v. Union of India (UOI) and Ors.




Railway to pay for deaths of ‘roof riders’

The Supreme Court awarded compensation to kin of deceased who died while riding on the roof of train carriages.

The tragedy occurred when hundreds of young aspirants for Indo-Tibetan Border Police started to leave Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. Due to over two lakh aspirants arriving, the recruitment drive had been stopped and railway carriages carrying persons out of the city were overloaded. Despite several attempts by railway officials to make them step down, persons sitting on the roof refused to climb down, and the train commenced its journey nevertheless.

Travelling at 75kmph, it crossed a Railway Over Bridge, which left a clearance of only three feet between the top of the carriage and the roof of the bridge. Over 14 persons were crushed and may others were severely injured after hitting the bridge.

The Court apportioned blame on railway officials for allowing the train to commence its journey, despite the unsafe circumstances; and expressed exasperation as to why the train was running at such high speed, given the circumstances.

Though it accepted that persons travelling atop the train contributed to the accident, it ordered relatives of the deceased be compensated by railway administration.


Chairman, Railway Board v. Chandrima Das MANU/SC/0046/2000
M.S. Grewal v. Deep Chand Sood MANU/SC/0506/2001

Tags : railway compensation death roof rider

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