Railway Claims Tribunal- application filed by the respondents/applicants claiming compensation of Rs.4,00,000/- consequent on the death of Talari Ramunaidu (hereinafter referred to as ‘the deceased’), was allowed granting compensation of Rs.4,00,000/- and directing the railways to deposit the amount within two months with interest @ 6% per annum from the date of application till the date of order and thereafter, @ 9% per annum till the entire amount is realized.= “1. Whether the Applicants are dependents of the deceased? 2. Whether the deceased was a bona fide passenger of the train No.431 passenger travelling from Tanuku to Pasivedala on 16.01.2005? 3. Whether the deceased died as a result of an untoward incident of accidental fall from the said train? 4. To what relief?” When the initial burden stands on the applicants has been discharged, the burden shifts to the railways to establish that the deceased was not a bona fide passenger and he died as a result of self inflicted injuries. The Divisional Railway Manager conducted enquiry and submitted a report. Since the said report has not been brought on record, the contents of the report cannot be looked into for any purpose. Even R.W.1 stated that the dead body of the deceased was lying in between Up and Down lines at KM 567/1. From the evidence on record, it is clear that there was an untoward incident had happened and in that incident the deceased died. Therefore, the Tribunal rightly granted compensation and that order needs no interference by this Court. 12. Accordingly, the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is dismissed. There shall be no order as to costs. Miscellaneous petitions, if any, pending in this appeal shall stand closed.

CMA 168 / 2013

CMASR 5522 / 2013
PETITIONERRESPONDENT
UNION OF INDIA  VST. SURAMMA & 3 OTHERS
PET.ADV. : ASHOK KUMARRESP.ADV. : 
SUBJECT: RAILWAY CLAIMS TRIBUNALDISTRICT:  HYDERABAD

THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE K.C. BHANU

CIVIL MISCELLANEOUS APPEAL No.168 OF 2013


JUDGMENT:

 This Civil Miscellaneous Appeal, under Section 23 of Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987, is directed against the order, dated 22.11.2012, in O.A.A.No.83 of 2005, on the file of the Railway Claims Tribunal, Secunderabad Bench, Secunderabad, whereunder and whereby, the application filed by the respondents/applicants claiming compensation of Rs.4,00,000/- consequent on the death of  Talari Ramunaidu (hereinafter referred to as ‘the  deceased’), was allowed granting compensation of Rs.4,00,000/- and directing the railways to deposit the amount within two months with interest @ 6% per annum from the date of application till the date of order and thereafter, @ 9% per annum till the entire amount is realized.

2.       The appellant in the appeal is the respondent, and the respondents in the appeal are the applicants, before the Tribunal. 

3.       For better appreciation of facts, the parties hereinafter are referred to, as they are arrayed before the Tribunal.

4.       The applicants filed claim application stating that on 16.01.2005, the deceased purchased passenger train journey ticket from Tanuku to Pasivedala and boarded train No.143 Bhimavaram-Nidadavolu passenger, travelled upto Nidadavolu and changed into the connected train No.431 Vijayawada-Kakinada fast passenger in general compartment.  While travelling, during night hours, when the train was rolling into the yard of Pasivedala railway station, the deceased came to the door of the compartment to see whether the platform was coming on which side. Then he suddenly slipped and fell down accidentally from the said running train in the yard of Pasivedala railway station near foot over bridge and sustained severe multiple crush injuries and died on the spot. 

5.       The respondent/railways filed its written statement denying the averments made in the claim application.  It is stated that the claim does not fall under the provisions of Section 123 ( c) (2) or Section 124A of the Railways Act, 1989 (for short, ‘the Act’); that as per the inquest report, the deceased was having only journey ticket and no other articles were found near the dead body of the deceased; that it is clear that the ticket was planted at the behest of the relatives of the deceased; that if any accident had taken place at the station, the same will come to the notice of the Guard and he will record the same in his Guard’s rough journal; that as per the Guard’s rough journal, no accident was occurred on that day;  and hence, it prayed to dismiss the appeal.

6.       Basing on the above pleadings, the following issues were framed for trial:
“1.     Whether the Applicants are dependents of the deceased?
2.                 Whether the deceased was a bona fide passenger of the train No.431 passenger travelling from Tanuku to Pasivedala on 16.01.2005?
3.                 Whether the deceased died as a result of an untoward incident of accidental fall from the said train?
4.                 To what relief?”


7.       During trial, on behalf of the applicants, A.W.1 was examined and Exs. A1 to A7 were got marked, and on behalf of the respondent, R.W.1 was examined and Ex.R.1 was got marked.

8.       The Tribunal, after considering the oral and documentary evidence, allowed the claim application holding that the deceased was abona fide passenger travelling in a train carrying passengers and he died in an untoward incident of accidental fall.  Challenging the same, the railways filed the present appeal. 

9.       Learned Standing counsel appearing for the appellant/railways contended that the applicants failed to adduce evidence to show that the deceased was a bona fide passenger travelling in a train with a valid ticket carrying passengers; that if really the deceased had accidentally fallen from the running train, the belongings of the deceased would have been found near his dead body; that the injures sustained by the deceased are self inflicted injuries; that the railway administration is not liable to pay compensation and hence, he prays to set aside the impugned order.

10.     For the purpose of claiming compensation under Section 124-A of the Act, two requirements have to be satisfied, 
firstly, there must be untoward incident whereunder a person died. 
Untoward incident includes a person falling from the running train accidentally. 
Secondly, a person who died or sustained injuries must be a bona fide passenger travelling in the train carrying passengers with a valid ticket. If these requirements are proved, then the applicants are entitled to compensation.  
If the Railways want to resist the claim, it has to prove that no untoward incident had happened or the deceased was not a bona fide passenger travelling in a train carrying passengers or its case falls under anyone of the exceptions as provided under proviso to Section 124-A of the Act.

11.     As far as untoward incident is concerned, the death of the deceased is not in dispute.   Ex.A.5 is the postmortem report, which is also not in dispute. 
The Doctor, who conducted autopsy over the dead body of the deceased, opined that the deceased died as a result of injuries sustained in a train accident.  
So also, police conducted inquest over of the dead body of the deceased in the presence of mediators and seized Ex.A.2-ticket to show that the deceased was a bona fide passenger.  
R.W.1, who is the Station Superintendent, stated that the dead body of the deceased was lying in between Up and Down lines. 
The objective findings of the Investigating Officer during the course of investigation are admissible under law.  
From the evidence on record, it is established that the deceased died in an untoward incident.  
When the initial burden stands on the applicants has been discharged, the burden shifts to the railways to establish that the deceased was not a bona fide passenger and he died as a result of self inflicted injuries.  
The Divisional Railway Manager conducted enquiry and submitted a report.  
Since the said report has not been brought on record, the contents of the report cannot be looked into for any purpose.  
Even R.W.1 stated that the dead body of the deceased was lying in between Up and Down lines at KM 567/1.  
From the evidence on record, it is clear that there was an untoward incident had happened and in that incident the deceased died.  
Therefore, the Tribunal rightly granted compensation and that order needs no interference by this Court.    

 12.    Accordingly, the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is dismissed. There shall be no order as to costs. Miscellaneous petitions, if any, pending in this appeal shall stand closed. 
_______________
K.C. BHANU, J

FEBRUARY 28, 2013

YVL


THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE K.C. BHANU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CIVIL MISCELLANEOUS APPEAL No.168 OF 2013

28.02.2013
YVL

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