The Bombay high court has pointed to the falling value of the rupee and asked the Union government to revise the Rs 4-lakh compensation for the next of kin of train accident victims.
“More than 15 years have lapsed since the last amendment of the quantum of compensation. It is desirable that this limit of Rs 4 lakh payable to a victim’s dependents is further amended reasonably, considering the relevance of the growth of inflation and the diminished value of the rupee since the last (change) made in 1997,” said Justice Ashok Bhangale. “It is necessary to revise the compensation amount to make it reasonable, fair and equitable.”
The judge’s remarks came during the hearing of an application for compensation filed by the family of a Borivli resident who died after falling off a crowdedtrain between Goregaon and Jogeshwari. The judge observed that the family of their sole breadwinner were left in dire straits after his death. Under the Indian Railways Act, the railway administration is liable to pay compensation to passengers in the event of injury or death due to an untoward incident. The exceptions are when a passenger commits suicide, when his/her death occurs due to his/her own criminal act or when s/he is intoxicated or insane.
Anil Thalkia (30) was travelling to Churchgate with his wife and threemonth old child when he fell off the crowded train. The Western Railways opposed compensation, claiming he was crossing the tracks and was run over by a train; this, though a ticket was found in his pocket. “The interested hearsay version of railway employees was clearly motivated to save the railway administration from liability to pay compensation,” said the judge, placing relianceof evidence on Thalkia’s widowed wife. The court directed the railways to pay Rs 4 lakh in compensation to the family. CR files an FIR on false mishap claims T he MRA Marg police station has registered an FIR on a complaint by the Central Railway that many relatives of accident victims have fraudulently filed for claims even after money had been given by the railway claims tribunal. Giving an instance, a CR official said a claim was filed by Chayya Shanivar Jadhav after the death of her relative Vilas S Jadhav. She was given compensation in 2008, but a fresh claim was filed in 2009 by ‘Shaniwar Maruti Jadhav’. While this claim was pending, another was filed in 2011 by ‘Shanivar Jadhav’, with the name of the deceased altered to ‘Abdul Vilas Shanivar Jadhav’. Likewise, Haseena Begum, who got compensation in 2008 for the death of Abdul Salim, filed a fresh claim in 2011 by giving her name as Haseena Abdul Salim and altering the name of the deceased to Abdul Aziz. TNN