16 September 2019


Judgments

Railway Claims Tribunal

Gurwinder Singh v. Union of India

MANU/RL/0173/2017

09.06.2017

Civil

Bona fide of injured person as a railway passenger has to be proved for claiming compensation

Claim application was filed by Applicant/injured seeking compensation of Rupees Four Lac for injuries sustained by him in an alleged train untoward incident. As per pleadings, case of injured/applicant is that, Applicant alongwith his friends was going to Rajpura from Amritsar and boarded train, when said train reached Tangra station, Applicant got down from train to have water and after having water, when he again boarded train but due to slipping of his foot and losing his grip of hand, he accidentally fell down from moving train. Applicant fell into track and run-over by train and was taken to Hospital by his friends in ambulance. It has been claimed by injured applicant that, Applicant was travelling on valid railway ticket which was lost in incident.

There is no mention of purchasing of ticket by anyone, neither by friend/alleged co-passenger nor by Applicant/injured himself. In claim application also, there is no mention about purchasing of ticket and only it has been claimed that, Applicant was travelling on valid railway ticket which was lost due to his accident. Who purchased ticket, from which station to which station, for what amount, who witnessed purchasing the ticket, nothing is produced/available on record. There are so many inconsistencies in statement of both especially in claim application, affidavit and statement of applicant/injured and cross-examination before bench which create serious doubt about purchasing of train ticket and travelling by them. All these circumstances and narrations compel bench to believe that, it is an afterthought and a false and concocted story put forward by Applicant. Applicant has neither examined alleged co-passenger before bench nor filed any cogent documentary evidence to support plea of loss of ticket.

High Court of Karnataka has held in case titled as Union of India Vs. Lakshmi & Others that "relevant provisions of Railways Act are very clear, in that, if a person suffers injury or death in an untoward incident as contemplated under Section 123(c)(2) of Railways Act, 1989, he/his family members is/are entitled to seek compensation provided, he is a bona fide passenger with valid ticket. That means, either on his body or in his possession such ticket should be found at time of accident, which is valid for journey in that particular train for that particular day. If that is not found, then reasonable presumption is that he was travelling without valid ticket".

Even in case of loss of ticket, purchasing of ticket has to be established. In case of Dinesh Kumar Singh Vs. Union of India, High Court of Allahabad observed that, "true, may be in certain cases, ticket of bona fide passenger is lost, snatched or taken away by some criminal and unscrupulous persons but there cannot be a presumption that, ticket of every deceased necessarily is taken out or it is lost or mutilated. In case, ticket is not found from body of deceased or from its vicinity, presumption would be that, such a person was not a bona fide traveller, of course, evidence can be led to prove otherwise".

In instant case, there is no documentary or supporting evidence from Applicant/injured side to prove purchasing, possession and loss of train ticket in alleged incident. In this manner, it is clearly visible that, bona fide of injured person as a railway passenger has not been proved. In view of above discussions, circumstances and documentary evidences, it is proved beyond any doubt that, injured/applicant was not a bona fide passenger of any train at time of incident.

This is the duty of injured/Applicant to prove that, he was travelling in some train carrying passengers as bona fide passenger as defined under Section 2(29) of Railways Act, 1989 on date of incident and had accidentally fallen from train. Only when these two facts are proved in a reasonable manner in claim application submitted by Applicant, fact of involving in an untoward incident can be considered or examined. Burden of proof entirely rests on Applicants to prove untoward incident within meaning of Section 123(c)(2) read with Section 124A of Railways Act,1989. Delhi High Court in case of Jamirul Nisha and another v. Union of India, has observed that 'from perusal of Sections 123(c) and 124A of Act, 1989, it is clear that 'sine qua non' for claiming compensation, on account of death or injury sustained in a train accident is that, victim of a train accident, or his dependents as case may be, must first establish that, victim or deceased had accidentally fallen from train. In instant case, Applicants have failed to establish that, deceased had accidentally fallen from train.

During DRM's enquiry report, statements of various witnesses have been recorded including train guard and Asstt. Station Master, Tangra. Applicant claimed that, he was travelling with his two friends, but had not produced any of them before bench for deposition. Applicant has not filed any documentary evidence to prove journey and happening of untoward incident. It is also proved by given circumstances and from his statement before Bench that, Applicant had not yet boarded train and fell down on platform and became victim of incident. In absence of any reliable evidence from Applicant/injured side regarding happening of any untoward incident and keeping in view the fact that, Applicant has miserably failed to prove his claim as a bona fide passenger, it is held that, applicant/injured was not involved in any untoward incident as defined under Section 123(c)(2) of Railways Act, 1989. Injured/applicant is not entitled to receive any compensation from Respondent.

Relevant

Union of India Vs. Lakshmi & Others,MANU/KA/0705/2013
: 2014 ACJ 2505, Jamirul Nisha and another V. Union of India, MANU/DE/0391/2008
: 2009, ACJ 1393

Tags : Accident Compensation Bonafide

Share :