Decided on February 27,2003

PUSHPA BABU Respondents


P.RAMAKRISHNAM RAJU,PRESIDENT - (1.) THE opposite parties in C.D. 197/1999 on the file of the District Forum -II, Hyderabad are the appellants.
(2.) THE case of the complainant is that while she was returning from Guruvayur along with her husband by Hyderabad Express from Trichur on 14.9.1998, some unknown persons committed theft of her jewellery and other belongings from her suit -case during that night when they were sleeping. When she noticed this at about 3.00 a.m., she could not find either the Ticket Collector or Railway Protection Force anywhere. Hence, on reaching Gudur Station she complained to the Guard, but, merely advised her to report to Railway Police. Accordingly they had to break their journey to lodge a complaint before the Railway Police, but, no action was taken. The deficiencies lodged by her in her complaint are, on pulling the chain the train did not stop, the shutter connecting one compartment with the other was found open, bolt for locking the shutter was not working, the Guard of the train did not receive the complaint, no railway official was present either in the train or outside to take action, only when the train was not allowed to proceed from Gudur the police official came, no intimation about the progress of the complaint despite repeated telephone calls from Hyderabad and the complainant was informed by the Head Constable as such thefts are common in that particular route. Hence, she filed the complaint. The District Forum found that there is deficiency in service and accordingly directed the opposite parties to pay a compensation of Rs. 50,000/ - towards loss of goods stolen and mental agony etc. together with costs of Rs. 1,000/ -.
(3.) EX . A -1 and Ex. A -2 are the copies of the complaint dated 14.9.1998 and 19.9.1998. Ex. A -1 is the complaint with the Railway Police at Gudur. Either in Ex. A -1 or Ex. A -2, the details of stolen articles are not disclosed. Ex. A -3 is the list of articles stolen along with their value. But the complainant could not file any proof regarding purchase of those items. But the photographs Ex. A -4 and Ex. A -5 taken during a Wedding Ceremony on 11.9.1998 to which they attended show gold earrings, necklace and gold bangles and Ex. A -6 and Ex. A -7 show another pair of gold earrings, gold necklace and gold bangles. Ex. A -8 is the wedding invitation which took place at Guruvayur Temple, Kerala on 12.9.1998. Section 100 of Indian Railways Act reads that the Railway Administration is not responsible for non -delivery of any luggage unless it is booked under a receipt and in case of accompanied baggage. There is no responsibility unless negligence or misconduct on the part of its servants is established. The learned Counsel for the appellants submits that every coach provides for locking the bags under the berths with hooks and the complainant failed to keep her bags properly. Therefore, he contends that neither there is negligence nor misconduct on the part of its servants.;

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