N PARAMESWARAN PILLAI Vs. UNION OF INDIA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: KERALA)
UNION OF INDIA
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Sethi, J. -
(2.)Denying them the benefit of the amendment to the Railways Accidents and Untoward Incidents (Compensation) Rules, 1990 as amended in 1997 and relying upon its earlier judgment in Union of India vs. Thankaraj [1999 (3) KLT 320], the High Court refused to enhance the compensation for the death of P. Suresh Kumar in a train accident which had occurred on 17-7-1997. Relying upon a judgment of this Court in Rathi Menon vs. Union of India (2001) 3 SCC 714 the appellants have prayed for setting aside the impugned judgment and for enhancement of the compensation.
(3.)The facts giving rise to the filing of the present appeal are that while travelling from Thiruvalla to Jamnagar in Train No. 6334 on a valid ticket issued by the Southern Railways, the deceased was accidentally thrown out of the train on account of over-crowding near electric pillar at Km. 134/4-5 between Chakarapalli and Penukonda Railway Stations. As a result of the fall, the deceased got injuries all over his body and ultimately died. A case as Crime No. 38 of 1997 was registered and ultimately closed finding it as a case of accidental death. The appellants thereafter prayed for the award of compensation of Rs. 4 lakhs which was disposed of by the Railway Claims Tribunal vide its judgment dated 29th October, 1998 holding the appellants entitled to the payment of Rs. 2 lakhs by way of compensation for the untoward incident along with interest at the rate of 15% per annum from the date of default. In the appeal before the Division Bench of the High Court the order of the Tribunal awarding compensation was upheld and the appellants held entitled @ 12% per annum from 29-12-1997, the date of petition till 29-11-1998.
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