True Court CopyTM English


Civil Appeal No. 639, of 2000 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 16439 of 1998)

Decided On: 28.01.2000

Appellants: The Chairman, Railway Board and Ors. Vs. Respondent: Chandrima Das and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Saiyed Saghir Ahmad and R.P. Sethi


Saiyed Saghir Ahmad, J.

1. Leave granted,

2. Mrs. Chandrima Das, a practicing advocate of the Calcutta High Court, filed a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution against the Chairman, Railway Board; General Manager, Eastern Railway; Divisional Railway Manager, Howrah Division; Chief Commercial Manager, Eastern Railway; State of West Bengal through the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary Government of West Bengal, Superintendent of Police (Railways), Howrah; Superintendent of Police, Howrah; Director General of Police, West Bengal and many other Officers including the Deputy High Commissioner, Republic of Bangladesh; claiming compensation for the victim, Smt. Hanuffa Khatoon, a Bangladeshi national who was gang-raped by many including employees of the Railways in a room at Yatri Niwas at Howrah Station of the Eastern Railway regarding which G.R.P.S. Case No. 19/98 was registered on 27th February, 1998. Mrs. Chandrima Das also claimed several other reliefs including a direction to the respondents to eradicate anti-social and criminal activities at Howrah Railway Station.

3. The facts as noticed by the High Court in the impugned judgment are as follows:

Respondents Railways and the Union of India have admitted that amongst the main accused you are employees of the railways and if the prosecution version is proved in accordance with law, they are perpetrators of the heinous crime of gang rape repeatedly committed upon the hapless victim Hanufa Khatun. It is not in dispute that Hanufa came from Bangladesh. She at the relevant time was the elected representative of the Union Board. She arrived at Howrah Railway Station on 26th February, 1998 at about 14.00 hours to avail Jodhpur Express at 23.00 hours for paying a visit to Ajmer Sharif. With that intent in mind, she arrived at Calcutta on 24th February, 1998 and stayed at a hotel at 10, Sudder Street, Police Station Taltola and came to Howrah Station on the date and time aforementioned. She had, however, a wait listed ticket and so she approached a Train Ticket Examiner at the Station for confirmation of berth against her ticket. The Train Ticket Examiner asked" her to wait in the Ladies Waiting room. She accordingly came to the ladies waiting room and rested there.

At about 17.00 hours on 26th February, 1998 two unknown persons (later identified as one Ashoka Singh, a tout who posed himself as a very influential person of the Railway and Siya Ram Singh a railway ticket broker having good acquaintance with some of the Railway Staff of Howrah Station) approached her, took her ticket and returned the same after confirming reservation in Coach No. S-3 (Berth No. 17) of Jodhpur Express. At about 20.00 hours Siya Ram Singh came again to her with a boy named Kashi and told her to accompany the boy to a restaurant if she wanted to have food for the night. Accordingly at about 2] ,00 hours she went to a nearby eating house with Kashi and had her meal there. Soon after she had taken her meal, she vomited and came back to the Ladies Waiting room. At about 21.00 hours Ashoke Singh along with Rafl Ahmed a Parcel Supervisor at Howrah Station came to the Ladies Niwas before boarding the train. She appeared to have some doubt initially but........