BENGALURU: The Railway Magistrate Court at the City Railway Station has been non-functional for over three years now with additional charge of this court having been given to a judge of a magistrate court on Nrupathunga Road in the city.
This move is causing inconvenience to the Government Railway Police as well as Railway Protection Force at railway stations like Yeshwanthpur, Baiyappanahalli, KR Puram and Cantonment too as they now have to produce the accused before the magistrate court on Nrupathunga Road. This requires additional manpower, time and means of transportation. With a rise in the number of cases registered, it becomes risky to take the accused through bustling city traffic and also due to the presence of a huge crowd in the magistrate court premises, a police officer said.
With no regular presiding officer at the railway court, the magistrate court is burdened with all these cases. In November alone, as many as 800 cases were filed at the GRP and RPF stations across the city and about 800 cases disposed of.In view of the increasing number of cases, a full-time judge is required for the railway court, the police official said.
“The cases include trespass, ticketless travel, theft, picking pockets, preparation for dacoity, dacoity, robbery, chain snatching, sabotage, suicide, accidents, arrest on suspicion and arrest of habitual offenders, petty offences like selling tickets at higher price illegally, creating nuisance, footboard travel, men travelling in women’s coaches, occupying seats meant for the disabled, etc. The High Court should post a full-time judge, considering the situation. At the same time, the railways should also provide the required infrastructure for the court”, the official said.
A top railway officer said they have requested the High Court to post a regular judge to the court and the issue is under consideration. Facilities required for the functioning of a full-fledged court will be provided, he said.
Accused chained to furniture
The Government Railway Police station on Platform 6 of the city railway station is a structure built by the British and lacks adequate infrastructure and manpower. The station has two old cells to house the accused but they lack proper ventilation. An accused, who was detained for creating nuisance, was found chained to furniture when this reported visited the station. This station receives 400 cases every year. The posts of 28 constables, one sub-inspector, two assistant sub-inspectors and a head constable are vacant.
In contrast, the Railway Protection Force is provided with adequate facilities. There are separate cells for the male and female accused.