The Railways Claims Tribunal, Ernakulam Bench, has awarded a compensation of Rs.4 lakh with eight per cent interest to the parents of a seven–year-old girl who died after she fell down from a moving train.

The tribunal issued the directive while allowing a petition filed by George Joseph and Shainy George of Kotttayam, the parents of the girl. According to them, their daughter Jiya Anna George fell down through an open emergency window of the Kerala Express when it was passing through Tenur in Palakkad. The accident took place on December 26, 2012.

The Railways contended that the parents were negligent and were not entitled to compensation. However, the tribunal pointed out that the emergency window did not have grills when the accident took place. The Railways has the responsibility to fix emergency windows in such a way that it could be opened only in emergencies. When the principle of liability is applied, it could be said that the Railways was bound to design the windows with care to avoid such accidents, the tribunal observed.

The tribunal also said that the Supreme Court had observed that even if a person falls down from a train and dies due to his/her own negligence, the Railways could not be absolved of its liability to pay the compensation.

More In: Kochi