May 10, 2018

If one dies getting on or off train, Railways must pay compensation: Supreme Court



The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the railways would be liable to pay compensation to passengers in case of death or injury while boarding and de-boarding trains and said it cannot deny such claims citing negligence on the part of passengers.

A bench of Justices A K Goel and R F Nariman held that death or injury during boarding or de-boarding a train will be an 'untoward incident' entitling the victim to compensation.

As per Section 124A of the Railways Act, 1989, no compensation shall be payable by the railway administration if the passenger dies or suffers injury due to suicide or attempted suicide by him, self-inflicted injury, his own criminal act or any act committed by him in a state of intoxication or insanity.

Different high courts have given contradictory verdicts as some of them held that injury or death during boarding and de-boarding because of negligence of the victim was at par with self-inflicted injury. Some HCs though applied the principles of strict liability on the railways for such incidents.

Putting an end to the controversy, the apex court ruled that the railways is liable to pay compensation to victims as compensation is payable whether or not there has been wrongful act, neglect or fault on the part of the railway administration in case of an accident or untoward incident.

The court said the concept of 'self-inflicted injury' would require intention to inflict such injury and negligence on the part of passenger, which is one of the grounds to decline compensation, could not be brought within its ambit.

Source - Times Of India

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