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Railways Liable to Compensate Passengers For ‘Untoward Incident’ While Boarding & De-boarding Train – Supreme Court

The SC bench affirmed on Wednesday that Railways cannot refuse it's liability by blaming the passengers for being negligent towards their safety. Currently, railways isn't liable to pay any compensation to the accident victim as per Section 124A of the Railways Act, 1989.

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Supreme Court

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justices A K Goel and R F Nariman ruled that Indian Railways must pay compensation to any passenger who dies or suffers injury while boarding or de-boarding any train. The SC bench affirmed on Wednesday that Railways cannot refuse it’s liability by blaming the passengers for being negligent towards their safety. Currently, railways isn’t liable to pay any compensation to the accident victim as per the Section 124A of the Railways Act, 1989.

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As per the act, Indian Railways shall not be liable to compensate to a passenger who dies or suffers injury due to suicide/suicide attempt, own criminal act, self inflicted injury or an act committed in the influence of intoxicated substance or insanity. Several Indian courts have so far given different statement over the issue. Some of the High Courts have called the incidence of injury/death caused at the time of boarding and de-boarding a train, similar to self inflicted injury/death. While some high courts in the country have held Indian Railways responsible for such ‘untoward incidents’.

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The Supreme Court’s ruling in the matter seem to have brought an end to any dilemma over Railways’ liability towards these accidents and their liability towards compensation. The Apex Court ruled it that the Indian Railways shall pay the compensation whether the injury/deaths are caused due to wrongful acts, negligence or fault of the victim during the boarding or de-boarding the train. The court also stated that ‘inflicted injury’ requires the intention of the passenger while committing it and cannot be the ground for railways to refuse to it’s liability to compensate.

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(With Inputs from News Agency)