Indian Railways Ordered To Pay Rs 9.43 Lakh To Pune Man For Jewellery Theft From Train Coach

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Mubarak Ansari

Pune, 25th September 2021: The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Pune, to pay Rs 9.43 lakh to a passenger whose gold ornaments were stolen from inside the second AC coach. The commission has also ordered the DRM to pay compensation of Rs 35,000 towards mental agony and litigation cost.


Manoj Hiralal Malu of Mukundnagar had filed a complaint in this regard on 25th August 2016. The commission delivered a judgement on 16th September 2021.


Complainant’s case: Manoj and his wife Kavita had gone to Hyderabad to attend a marriage ceremony. They attended the function at Hyderabad and started their return journey from Hyderabad to Pune on 15/05/2015 by train 17032 (Hyderabad-Mumbai Express) in 2nd AC coach. He took three trolley bags, two handbags and some sweet boxes.


According to the complainant in the course of the journey, there was one person as a co-traveller who was having a discussion of routine nature. On the next morning, five persons claiming to be from the military approached him when he came out of the washroom around 8.15 am as the train was crossing Loni station.


They offered to help him get his baggage out of the coach as there will be a rush as their goods have to be loaded. He handed over the baggage to them who kept them at the gate and he sat on his seat. The train reached Pune railway station at 9.05 am.


“I went to the gate and found my baggage but those five people were not there. I hired a coolie and got my baggage out of the coach. After going home, when I checked the baggage, I found 14 gold ornaments worth Rs 9.43 lakh stolen”, Manoj stated in his complaint.


Manoj lodged an FIR with Government Railway Police (GRP) station, Pune, on the same day. Police investigated the case and issued him a letter stating that though his complaint was genuine, the five accused could not be nabbed.


After that, he sent letters to the railways and filed a complaint with the consumer forum.


Version of the railways: In a written statement, the railways submitted that the consumer commission does not have jurisdiction to decide the case.


“Nowadays it has become a fashion in public at large to approach this forum for any act though not cognizable by the forum. The railway administration is providing transport facilities to the public at large through its largest network extending from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and Railway is a large public utility undertaking Organization in India. For the service of the passengers, the railway administration has provided all amenities and facilities in the railway for the benefit of the passengers just like hooks provided below the seat to knot the luggage”, the railways stated and demanded that the complaint be dismissed with Rs one lakh fine on the complainant.



Judgement: “There is a deficiency on the part of the opposite party (railways) as intruders entered in the reserved compartment and made a false story. Unauthorised person provoked the complainant to keep luggage near the door of the compartment due to which the jewellery of the complainant was stolen. Hence the complainant is entitled to get an amount of Rs 9,43,000 on account of gold ornaments that are stolen in the compartment. Complainant is also entitled to get compensation of Rs 20,000 towards mental agony and Rs 15,000 towards costs of the complaint”, the judgement states.