Decided on September 11,2006

S L Bhargava Appellant
Northern Railway (Divisional Railway Manager) Respondents


- (1.) RESPONDENT is one of the largest railways in the world and caters to lacks of passengers everyday. Question arising in this appeal preferred against impugned order dated 13.8.2002 whereby the complaint of the appellant seeking compensation on account of mental agony and injuries suffered by him due to negligence of the respondent Northern Railway was dismissed is ''whether the respondent is responsible qua its passengers who travel by it, if the passenger suffers physical injuries, mental agony, inconvenience due to the mob barging into the bogies, shouting slogans, making cat calls, indulging in uncouth behaviour and making their way to the seats and sleepers occupied by the passengers by unseating them or not.
(2.) BEFORE dwelling with the preposition, we deem it necessary to recapitulate the facts in brief. The appellant and others had booked journey -cum -reservation ticket from Delhi to Haridwar in Sleeper Class for the journey commencing on 11.6.1997. The journey was by Mussoorie Express leaving Delhi Railway Station at 2220 hrs. and as the train reached Ghaziabad Railway Station at about 2320 hrs. a big mob barged into the bog, using indecent language, indulging in uncouth behaviour, threatened the complainant and others to make space for them and eithout being open to any reason by force, they pushed aside the occupants of the reserved bogie intruding into their privacy and thus preventing the appellant and others for making unhindered and comfortable journey and they also shouted slogans of ''JAI KISAN ANN DATA'', etc. they made the cat calls in their own dialect throughout the night thereby disturbing the sleep of the occupants of the bogie that had been fully occupied. Space in between the berths was completely jam -packed making difficult to use the facilities of convenience as the approach to the convenience was extremely difficult and inconvenient. The passengers had to hop and jump over the people sleeping in the passage by skirting and with extreme caution, which invited insolent language and violent behaviour from the mobsters. No TTE or conductor was on duty which was in violation of the directions issued by the Ministry of Railways to the Zonal Railway Managers and the appellant and others were deprived of the comfortable, convenient and safe travel in reserved compartment which amounts to deficiency of service on the part of the respondent.
(3.) THE aforesaid version of the appellant was not effectively controverted by the respondent. Rather preliminary objections were taken that the complaint was not maintainable because he is not a consumer and further that the District Forum has no territorial jurisdiction and that the amount of compensation claimed is excessive, etc. etc. However, the Counsel for the respondent has tried to abjure its liability in the given facts and circumstance of the case by contending that the appellant and his co -passengers were allowed to occupy their seats from Delhi and when the train reached Ghaziabad Station a large number of people who were participating in a rally just barged into the railway station and occupied coaches and seats, etc. and since there was no sufficient police at the railway station to control them though it was the duty of the State Railway police and not Railway Protection Force and the situation was beyond control of the respondent and, therefore, it was not liable to compensate the appellant.;

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