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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Indian Railways not liable to pay theft damages to passengers, says Supreme Court

A two-juedge bench made the observation while setting aside the concurrent orders passed by three consumer courts, including NCDRC, directing the railways to compensate a passenger who had claimed Rs 1 lakh in cash was stolen from him while he was travelling from UP to New Delhi

R. Balaji New Delhi Published 17.06.23, 04:10 AM
Supreme Court of India

Supreme Court of India File picture

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Indian Railways is not bound to compensate passengers who lose money to theft during the journey.

A bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah made the observation while setting aside the concurrent orders passed by three consumer courts, including the National Consumer Redressal Commission (NCDRC), directing the railways to compensate a passenger who had claimed Rs 1 lakh in cash was stolen from him while he was travelling from Uttar Pradesh to New Delhi.

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Expressing surprise at the award of compensation to the passenger, Surender Bhola, the apex court said the railways cannot be held responsible for theft if the passenger is not able to protect their property.

The bench passed the order while allowing an appeal filed by the Centre and the Indian Railways pleading that if the directives of the three consumer courts were allowed, it would open a Pandora’s box of frivolous claims and cause irreparable loss to the public exchequer.

“We fail to understand as to how the theft could be said to be in any way a deficiency in service by the railways. If the passenger is not able to protect his own belongings, the railways cannot be held responsible," the court said.

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