Consumer Court Orders Indian Railways to Compensate Passenger for Stolen Luggage

Indian Railways

A consumer commission court in Delhi has directed the concerned general manager of the Indian Railway to pay over Rs 1.08 lakh to a passenger whose luggage was stolen during a journey, citing negligence and deficiency in services.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (Central District) considered a complaint where the passenger’s bag, containing valuables worth Rs 80,000, was stolen by unauthorized individuals in January 2016 between Jhansi and Gwalior while traveling in a reserved coach of the Malwa Express.

The complaint asserted that it was the responsibility of the railways to ensure a safe, secure, and comfortable journey, including the safety of passengers’ belongings.

The commission, led by President Inder Jeet Singh and member Rashmi Bansal, asserted jurisdiction as the complainant boarded the train from New Delhi and journeyed continuously until reaching Indore. Moreover, it noted that the office of the opposing party, the General Manager of Indian Railways, fell within its jurisdiction.

The commission dismissed the railway’s argument that the complainant was negligent in safeguarding her belongings or that the luggage was not properly booked. Highlighting the inconvenience faced by the complainant in registering an FIR following the theft, the commission emphasized the ordeal she endured in pursuing her legal rights.

Concluding that the complainant had substantiated her case of negligence and deficient service against Indian Railways, the commission held the railways accountable for the theft of valuables kept in her bag during a journey with a reserved ticket. It noted that had there been no negligence or deficiency, such an incident would not have occurred. The commission awarded Rs 80,000 as reimbursement for the loss of valuables, along with Rs 20,000 for the inconvenience, harassment, and mental agony suffered, in addition to Rs 8,000 as litigation costs.

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