11 years after son’s death, mother gets compensationMumbai January 29, 2022 16:45 IST
HC quashes Railway Tribunal order and directs compensation with effect from 2010
More than 11 years after the death of her 23-year-old son, the Bombay High Court recently directed the Western Railway to pay ₹40,000 as compensation with the interest of 8% to his mother.
A single bench of Justice N.J. Jamadar was hearing an appeal filed by Mrs. Raziya Shaikh against an order passed by the Railway Claims Tribunal, Mumbai bench, in December 2016. The Tribunal dismissed Mrs. Shaikh’s plea seeking compensation for the death of her son Abdul.
The case dates back to May 11, 2010 when Abdul was travelling from Andheri to Dadar on a valid second class pass ticket. He ran to board the local train as it was leaving Andheri, fell off and sustained a fatal head injury. He died on the spot. He was the only earning member of the family.
The Western Railway had opposed Mrs. Shaikh’s application for compensation saying Abdul was not a bona fide passenger and had not suffered death in an untoward incident. It said he had died while crossing the railway track.
The court said, “The absence of any other grievous or fracture injury to the rest of the parts of the body.... This factor assumes critical significance in evaluating the claim of the applicant [Mrs. Shaikh] that the deceased fell off while travelling in the train carrying passengers and suffered the head injury.
The court relied upon a Supreme Court judgment that, “Mere absence of ticket would not negate the claim that the injured or the deceased was a bona fide passenger.”
The court noted, “Had the deceased met death while crossing the railway tracks, as was sought to be contended, it was highly unlikely that there would have been no other injuries, except the abrasions, on any other part of the body, especially the upper and lower limbs. The head injury, in the facts and circumstances of the case, appears more compatible with the case that the deceased fell off the train carrying the passengers.”
The court quashed the order of the Tribunal and directed the Western Railway to pay ₹40,000 to Mrs. Shaikh along with the interest of 8% from May 2010 till the date of deposit.