Karnataka HC awards compensation to family of woman who boarded wrong train

Initially, the Railway Claims Tribunal rejected the family's petition, citing Jayamma's failure to utilise available options.

ByPTI

Published May 14, 2024 | 1:26 PMUpdatedMay 14, 2024 | 1:26 PM

The train was heading to Madurai from Guruvayoor when the incident occurred. (Wikimedia)

The Karnataka High Court has overturned a decision by the Railway Claims Tribunal and granted ₹8 lakh compensation to the family of a woman, who tragically lost her life while attempting to board a wrong train in February 2014.

Jayamma and her sister Rathnamma inadvertently boarded the Tuticorin Express instead of the Tirupati passenger bound for Ashokapuram/Mysore.

Realising their mistake as the train started moving, they panicked and attempted to disembark. Jayamma fell on the platform and sustained fatal injuries.

Also Read: Pregnant woman falls from moving train in Tamil Nadu, dies

Claims of Railway

Initially, the Railway Claims Tribunal rejected the family’s petition, citing Jayamma’s failure to utilise available options, such as continuing the journey to the next station or pulling the alarm chain.

The Tribunal deemed Jayamma’s death as a “self-inflicted injury” under Section 124-A of the Indian Railways Act, thereby denying compensation.

Justice HP Sandesh of the Karnataka High Court disagreed with the Tribunal’s interpretation. He emphasised that Jayamma was a genuine passenger and her death resulted from an ‘untoward incident,’ as affirmed by the Supreme Court.

The judge criticised the Tribunal’s reliance on Section 124-A, stating that it was erroneously applied in this case.

Consequently, the court recently ordered the Railways to pay ₹4 lakh compensation with seven percent interest, ensuring that the final amount awarded to the family totals no less than ₹8 lakh, inclusive of interest.

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