Loss of luggage during journey: SC refuses to entertain Railways plea against NCDRC verdict

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New Delhi, Feb 12 (PTI) The Supreme Court Friday refused to entertain a plea filed by the Railways against the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) verdict which had upheld the order directing it to pay for loss of luggage of a passenger during journey in 2003.

The plea against the February 4, 2019 judgement of the NCDRC came up for hearing before a bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah.

The NCDRC had dismissed the plea filed by Railways against the February 2017 order of the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

The state commission had rejected the plea by Railways which had challenged the district consumer disputes redressal forum order directing it to pay Rs 1,33,400 to the complainant woman for the loss of luggage.

The complainant Radha Ramanathan had in 2005 filed a complaint in the district consumer forum seeking a direction to the Railways to pay a sum of Rs 1.33 lakh towards loss of baggage and compensation for harassment along with cost of litigation.

Ramanathan was represented in the top court by advocate Jose Abraham, who said the bench dismissed the plea filed by Railways.

Ramanathan had said in her complaint that she had purchased a railway ticket to travel from Hazrat Nizamuddin to Secunderabad on January 22, 2003 and was a reserved passenger in AC coach.

She alleged that when she boarded the train, she found that there was no chain under the berth where she could fasten her luggage.

The complainant had said that she was carrying some valuable sarees and jewellery as she was going to Secunderabad to attend a ceremony and on reaching Bhopal station, she found that her suitcase was missing after which she immediately contacted the coach attendant and lodged a report.

She had alleged that many unauthorised passengers had entered the coach and neither the ticket checker nor the Railway Protection Force took any step to get them out even when she raised objection on it.

The complainant, while saying that she was carrying articles worth Rs 1,34,400 in her suitcase, alleged that Railway had failed to provide her safe journey.

Railways had earlier said that since the complainant had not booked her luggage or insured it, they were not liable.

It had also said that suitcase was not lost due to negligence of Railways staff.

In its plea in the apex court, Railways had claimed that the complainant was negligent and the allegations are baseless. PTI ABA ABA RKS RKS