Karnataka: Woman dies alighting from moving train, kin get relief from Railways

The court said it was an untoward incident as defined under Section 123 of the Indian Railways Act.
Jayamma was getting down from a train after realising that she had boarded the wrong one when the incident occurred.
Jayamma was getting down from a train after realising that she had boarded the wrong one when the incident occurred.

BENGALURU: Death or injury caused while boarding or deboarding trains is an untoward incident, said Karnataka High Court, awarding a compensation of Rs 8 lakh to the legal heirs of an elderly woman.

Justice HP Sandesh passed the order, allowing a petition filed by the legal heirs of victim Jayamma, who died at the Channapatna railway station in Ramanagara district on February 22, 2014.

The court said it was an untoward incident as defined under Section 123 of the Indian Railways Act, and the Railways is liable to pay the compensation under Section 124A of the Act.

Jayamma was getting down from a train after realising that she had boarded the wrong one when the incident occurred. Jayamma, accompanied by her sister Rathnamma, had purchased tickets to go to Mysuru in the Tirupati passenger train. But they board the Tuticorin Express by mistake.

As they were getting down from the train, Jayamma fell on the platform and died on the spot, while Rathnamma managed to alight safely.

Jayamma’s legal heirs moved the high court after the Railway Claims Tribunal rejected their claim in 2016, holding that the cause for the death was due to self-inflicted injuries under Section 124A of the Indian Railways Act, though it had accepted that Jayamma was a bonafide passenger.

The Tribunal also held that the incident occurred due to Jayamma’s deliberate act of jumping from a moving train instead of adopting safe options of either getting down at the next stop or pulling the chain meant for an emergency stop.

The counsel for the family argued that the sisters alighted from the train after realising that they had boarded a wrong train. The deceased accidentally fell from the train, resulting in her death, as she lost balance as the train might have just started.

The high court noted that the Tribunal erroneously concluded that it was a deliberate act of jumping from the moving train and causing self-inflicted injuries.

This was after taking note of the fact that the sister of the deceased had safely alighted from the train.

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