On Monday, the honourable Supreme Court of India held that in case when the train arrives late then Railways are liable to pay the compensation. And the Supreme Court ruled that the railways must offer evidence and an explanation for a late arrival. Therefore, unless and until the evidence explaining the delay occurred that was beyond the control of the parties, the case will be dismissed.
With this in mind, the Court upheld the order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in New Delhi, which had confirmed the original order of the District Consumer Disputes Alwar, which had allowed the respondent’s complaint and ordered the Northern Western Railway to pay Rs. 15,000 for taxi expenses and Rs. 10,000 for bookie fees.
A special leave plea filed by the Northern Western Railway, which was harmed by the ruling, was heard by a bench of Justice MR Shah and Justise Aniruddh Bose. The respondent claimed that due to 4 hour delay in the arrival of the Ajmer Jammu Express Train, he missed his connecting flight from Jammu to Srinagar, which was scheduled to depart at 12:00 noon. As a result, instead of travelling by flight he has to go by taxi, thus he incurred a loss of Rs. 9,000 and the taxi was charged by Rs. 15,000/-. A loss of Rs. 10,000/- was also experienced by the respondent as a result of a boat reservation in Dal Lake.
The district forum therefore made an order in favour of the respondent, which was then upheld by the State Commission in an appeal, and then by the National commission in the revision petition by the challenged judgement and order.
The railroads provided no evidence to explain the train’s delay and/or late arrival in Jammu, according to the Bench. The railways were expected to present evidence and explain why the train arrived late in order to explain why they were late, which they failed to do. It cannot be denied that each pessenger’s time is valuable, and they may have purchased tickets for subsequent journeys, such as the one from Jammu to Srinagar in this case.
Case Name– Northern Western Railway and another vs. Sanjay Shukla
Citation– LL 2021 SC 427
Judges/ Corum– Justice Aniruddha and Justice MR Shah