NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
(From the order dated 29.7.2002 in appeal No.A-854/2002 of the State Commission Delhi)
General Manager, Northern Railway & Anr. Petitioners
Amarnath Agrawal Respondent
HONBLE MR. JUSTICE D.P. WADHWA,
MRS. RAJYALAKSHMI RAO, MEMBER.
MR. B.K. TAIMNI, MEMBER.
HONBLE MR. JUSTICE K.S. GUPTA, MEMBER.
Railways deficiency in service - no electricity in the reserved compartment. Passengers robbed of at 3.20am through the window when there was no window panes alarm chain not working held deficiency in service.
For the petitioners : Mr. P.S. Vimal, Advocate
For the respondent : In person
DATED THE 27TH March, 2003
` O R D E R
JUSTICE D.P. WADHWA, J. (PRESIDENT).
It is the railway which was opposite party before the District Forum and has now come in this revision.
Complaint of complainant against the railway was that during the railway journey in the sector from Bomay to Vasco de Gama in Mahalaxmi Express on 24.5.91 when he was having a confirmed sleeper reservation and was traveling with his family, on the night falling between 24.5.91 and 25.5.91 there was no electric light in the coach in which they were traveling and alarm chain was also not working. It was reserved compartment. There was no check by the railway staff to see that no unauthorised person enters the compartment. At about 3.20 AM on the night of 24.5.91 and 25.5.92 some miscreants snatched the gold chain from the neck of the complainants wife and yet chain from the neck of Neelam Gupta. The chain was snatched from the window of the compartment when there were no window panes. After the incident efforts to stop the train failed and the co-passengers had went to the adjoining compartment to pull the chain. No steps were taken by the railway authorities to apprehend the culprits. It would appear that the staff of the railway expressed their helplessness. It was the contention of the railways that it was the duty of the passengers to keep their belongings in safe possession and no responsibility can be laid on the railways for the safe of the personal belongings of the passengers. Holding that there was deficiency in service, District forum allowed the complaint and directed the petitioners to pay Rs.32,000/- being the cost of the gold chain. Compensation for mental agony and harassment caused to the complainant and his family was also awarded.
Appeal against this order was filed by the Railways before the State Commission. It was barred by limitation. State Commission did not find any case to help the railways. Accordingly the appeal was dismissed by the State Commission with cost of Rs.2500/- which was directed to be paid to the State Legal Service Authority
Feeling aggrieved railway has come before us in this revision. In the case of Mrs. M. Kanthimathi & Anr. vs. The Government of India, Ministry of Railways, represented by the General Manager, Southern Railway, Chennai (Revision petition No.1158/2001) decided on 8.11.2002. this Commission has taken a view that in similar circumstances railway would be liable if loss was caused due to the negligence or misconduct on its part or any of its servant. The present case squarely falls within the law laid in the aforesaid petition.
On the facts narrated above, we do not find it is a fit case for us to exercise our jurisdiction under clause (b) of Section 21 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. This revision petition is dismissed.
( D.P. WADHWA)