CHENNAI: Taking a serious view of unhygienic railway coaches and refusal to compensate passengers for accidents caused during travel, the Madras High Court directed railways to pay Rs 8 lakh each to families of two passengers who died in train accidents.
According to the petitioners, the two persons died while travelling between the Nalli and Kovilpatti railway stations in 2014. When family members sought compensation, it was rejected by the Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT).
“Due to the rush, speed and jerk of the train, they accidentally fell and suffered grievous injuries and died,” said the FIR, which was submitted before the court. Judge SM Subramaniam, while rejecting the order of the RCT, stressed the unhygienic conditions of the trains.
“Sometimes, the minimum requirements are not provided in coaches. Toilets are not cleaned. Sometimes, adequate water facilities are not available. Coaches are not cleaned to an expected level. Cockroaches and rats are found even in express trains.....Doors are kept open.
Though policemen and railway employees are deployed in running trains, they are not performing their duties as required and are not showing any responsibility and accountability towards the passengers.”
The judge said, “...if the negligence or carelessness is attributed only against passengers, neglecting the contributory negligence on the part of the railways, then the very purpose and object of the award of compensation is defeated,” and ordered a compensation of Rs 8 lakh each to the families of the victims and directed the railways to deposit the amount to the Railway Tribunal, Chennai Bench within 12 weeks.