After 14 years of protracted litigation, a 74-yearold woman won a case against Indian Railways after she lost her valuables while travelling to Secunderabad.
The consumer court directed Indian Railways to pay Radha Ramnathan Rs 1,34,400 for being negligent in its services, causing mental agony.
It said once the passenger takes the ticket and travels by a train, it is the responsibility of the railway to see that the passenger reaches the destination safely with his luggage and belongings. It is the duty of the railway staff to see that the belongings of the passengers are safe.
In 2003, Radha had booked a ticket in AC 3-tier in Kongu Express to attend a religious ceremony of her grandson in Secunderabad.
She was carrying a gold chain, diamond rings, a gold coin and other valuables, worth over a lakh of rupees.
She claimed that there was no chain under her seat with which she could fasten the luggage and many unauthorised passengers had entered into the coach.
'RAILWAY OFFICIALS DID NOT HELP'
"Neither the ticket collector nor the Railway Protection Force took any step to get them out despite complainants raising objection to it," she said.
On reaching Bhopal, at 1 am, she found that her black suitcase was missing, and immediately, she had contacted the coach attendant and lodged a report giving details of the contents of the suitcase in which she was carrying jewellery and clothes.
The counsel for Indian Railways said there was no negligence on the part of railway administration and unless goods in question are booked with the railway, the railway administration under the provisions of Indian Railway Act, 1989 is not liable to pay compensation.