The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Poor service rap on railway

New Delhi, Oct. 13 (PTI): The Delhi State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has ordered the railway to pay Rs 2,500 as costs for filing a “frivolous” appeal to delay proceedings in a case of snatching gold chains from two lady passengers and also found it guilty of being deficient in service.

“Instead of filing this frivolous appeal, Northern Railway should have taken remedial measures to ensure that innocent passengers do not become prey to anti-social elements while travelling by train,” commission president Justice Lokeshwar Prasad and member Rumnita Mittal said, dismissing an appeal filed by Northern Railway.

The complainant, Amar Nath Aggarwal, had alleged that in the wee hours of April 25, 1991, some miscreants snatched a gold chain worth Rs 12,000 from his wife and another chain valued at Rs 20,000 from another passenger, Neelam Gupta, while they were on a “pleasure trip”.

The redressal forum had found the railway guilty of deficiency in service and had ordered it to pay Rs 32,000 for the loss of the gold chains and Rs 50,000 for the mental agony and torture suffered by the passengers.

The railway had argued that it was not responsible for the personal belongings of passengers and that it was the duty of the passengers to keep them safely.

The commission said the passengers suffered the loss and trauma due to the defect, deficiency and negligence on the part of the railway, ruling that the appeal filed by the railway was not only delayed but also devoid of merit.

“The lighting system in the compartment was defective. The alarm chain was not in working order and the windowpanes were not there. Had these deficiencies not been there, the miscreants could not have snatched the chain from the neck of those two lady passengers,” it said.

The miserable plight and the trauma of the passengers, who had undertaken the journey as an excursion, can very well be imagined, it observed.

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