New Delhi: Railways have to compensate passengers where journey is abandoned due to train being stopped by a crowd and travellers being threatened with violence, a consumer forum here has said.
The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum made the observation while directing Indian Railways to pay Rs 5,000 compensation to a Delhi-based lawyer for inconvenience suffered by him after the train he was travelling on was stopped by an irate mob and he could not complete his trip due to lack of alternative arrangement in November 2009.
"It is a general law that railway has to compensate the loss caused to a passenger due to abandoning of journey, in a situation where a crowd threatens the passengers with violence and detains the train.
"In the absence of any defence by the opposite party (Railways), we hold it guilty and direct it to pay compensation of Rs 5,000 including litigation expenses, for the harassment, inconvenience and lack of alternate arrangement to complete the journey, including expenses of journey," a bench presided by CK Chaturvedi said.
The complainant, Delhi resident Man Mohan Goel, had alleged that while travelling to Alwar in Rajasthan by Shatabdi Express on November 3, 2009 the train was detained by a local crowd for allegedly causing the death of six people.
The train remained detained for couple of hours, but the Railway Police was not called and the mob threatened the passengers with violence, Goel alleged, adding that finding no alternative arrangement and to protect himself from the crowd, he decided to abandon the journey and returned back to Delhi by taxi at additional cost.
The forum proceeded ex-parte against the Railways, observing that it "failed to place its version to explain that accident was beyond the control of the railways".