HC ends a man`s 22-year-long search for justice

Delhi HC has finally come to the rescue of a man who was running in search of justice for over 22 years after losing his leg while boarding a train.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has finally
come to the rescue of a man who was running from `pillar to
post` in search of a proper forum to get justice for over 22
years after losing his leg while boarding a train.

A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Rajiv Shakdher
has asked the petitioner, Tilak Raj Singh, to appear before
its single judge bench and listed the matter for further
hearing on March 12.

"The interlocutory application ...is allowed. The parties
shall appear before the learned single judge on March 12, for
further proceedings in the matter," the court said.

The court was hearing Singh`s plea against the 2010
single bench order which had refused to entertain his petition
on the ground that his claim was time barred as it had been
filed after 21 years of the accident.

The incident occurred at Muzaffarnagar railway station on
October 20, 1987, when Singh got down from the train while
going to Ludhiana from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

Singh`s counsel had alleged that when his train stopped
at Muzaffarnagar station, he got down to change his boggie as
the coach he boarded had inadequate lighting. However, the
train started running without any alarm.

Singh fell down and got entangled between the wheels of
the train and suffered grievous injuries while trying to board
the train once again. This resulted in amputation of his leg
when he was admitted in a hospital at New Delhi, according o
the counsel.

Singh had claimed damages from the Railways. Government
had sanctioned a sum of Rs.5,000 as ex-gratia to him. However,
Singh refused to accept the said amount and filed a civil suit
in a Meerut court in 1990, claiming damages from the Northern

The Meerut court in 2002 had rejected Singh`s claim,
saying that it did not have the jurisdiction. He had then in
2008 approached the Railway Claims Tribunal at Ghaziabad which
had also dismissed his claim. Upon this, he had moved the high

"The learned single judge has come to an explicit finding
that the original suit, which was filed before the civil court
at Meerut, was within the period of limitation.

"The single judge, however, proceeded to reject the
appellant’s plea for exclusion of time spent before the civil
court on the ground that he ought not to have continued with
the said proceedings once an objection was taken with regard
to jurisdiction by the respondents (the Centre and Northern
Railways)," the court observed, while allowing Singh`s claim
petition which has been returned with the response that the
forum concerned did not have the jurisdiction to entertain
and try his claim.

Setting aside the single judge verdict, the court said
that certain crucial aspects of the case were not appreciated
by the single judge, even though Singh had fulfilled all the

"In our view, the appellant has fulfilled the twin
criteria of due diligence and good faith, as encapsulated in
section 14 of the said Act, contrary to what has been held by
the learned single judge. Accordingly, we are of the view that
the impugned judgement cannot be sustained," the bench said.


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