Laws laid down by supreme court




Here is a case before us decided by National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission in the matter of Union Of India V/S Ajay Kumar Agrawal wherein compensation for an amount of Rs 25000/- was awarded to the complainant-1 and also Rs 15000/- to complainant-2 ,and cost of Rs 5000/- was also given. Numbers of issues were raised in the case.

1) Question of jurisdiction of the consumer court when Railway Claims Tribunals are there to function in railway matters.

2) In accordance with Rule 506.2 of Indian Railway Conference Association (IRCA) No. 24, No. 216, the passenger is to take care of his own Luggage and articles carried out by him which are in his possession and only his responsible. It is also stated that under Rule 1301(I)(IV) of IPCA No. 24, the passenger is supposed to declare before the starting station and get any valuable articles insured by paying the necessary charges for the railway administration taking extra precautions.

Both the above issues were taken up and discussed in number of earlier decided cases wherein same issues were taken up by the National Commission. Union Of India (Uoi) And Ors. Vs Sanjiv Dilsukhrai Dave And Anr. On 23 October, 2002, is an important case decided by the bench comprising J. D Wadhwa, R Rao, B Taimni

The present case has been decided on the same lines following the law laid down in the above case.

As regards the issue of negligence of the railway administration, vide circular dated 11.9.1998,Govt. Of India ,Ministry of Railway published some of the important duties . A list of duties prescribed by railway administration "TTE for Sleeper Coaches" is brought on record. Of these, duties prescribed at Sl. No. 4, 14, 16 and 17 are very relevant. These read as follows:

He shall check the tickets of the passengers in the coach, guide them to their berth/seats and prevent unauthorized persons from the coach.


He shall ensure that the doors of the coach are kept latched when the train is on the move and open them up for passengers as and when required.

He shall ensure that the end doors of vestibuled trains are kept locked between 22.00 and 6.00 hrs. To prevent outsiders entering the coach.

He shall remain vigilant particularly during night time and ensure that intruders, beggars, hawkers and unauthorized persons do not enter the coach".

The above duties clearly show that there is a responsibility cast on the TTE attached to the second class sleeper coach to be very vigilant about anyone other than the reserved ticket holders entering the compartment. As regard to Sections 13 and 15 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987, these provisions did not take away the jurisdiction of the consumer courts to decide the question of deficiency of service. It provides an additional remedy to a consumer".

In the case before us, suitcase had been taken away and stolen which is reasonably possible when entrance door of the coach having not been latched when the train was on the move. The intruder came when the train was on the move in the night and this has not been seriously challenged. Admittedly, the TTE has failed in the performance of his duties which lead to the incident of theft.



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