South East Central Railway to pay Rs 25K for theft on train

South East Central Railway has been directed by the apex consumer commission to pay compensation of Rs 25,000 to a man whose suitcase was stolen from a train in April, 2010.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 20, 2014, 14:09 PM IST

New Delhi: South East Central Railway (SECR) has been directed by the apex consumer commission to pay compensation of Rs 25,000 to a man whose suitcase was stolen from a train in April, 2010.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), presided by Justice KS Chaudhari, passed the order upholding the Chhattisgarh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission`s decision asking the general manager of SECR to pay Rs 25,000 to Chhattisgarh resident Rakesh Kumar Goutam.

Goutam had approached NCDRC challenging the state commission`s order reducing the compensation of Rs 1.25 lakh granted by the district commission to Rs 25,000.
NCDRC, however, upheld the state commission`s order, saying it did not find "any illegality, irregularity or jurisdictional error in impugned order (of state commission) and revision petition is liable to be dismissed at admission stage."

"Perusal of record reveals that complainant has not filed any cash memo or receipt relating to purchase of jewellery or clothes and has substantiated his claim only by his affidavit.”

"State Commission has rightly reduced the amount of compensation as no other document in support of claim was filed by complainant before the district forum," said the NCDRC bench, which also included member Dr BC Gupta.

In his complaint, Goutam had said that his suitcase and other belongings were stolen when he was travelling in a sleeper coach on a train from Banda to Bilaspur on April 5, 2010. He had kept the suitcase below the berth and, even though he had secured it with a chain, it was stolen during the journey, Goutam had said.
He had claimed that suitcase contained gold ornaments weighing nine tolas, clothes and Rs 15,000 in cash.

Alleging deficiency on part of SECR, Goutam had filed a complaint with the district consumer forum and claimed compensation of Rs 1.25 lakh.

Railways had contended before the district forum that it cannot be held responsible for the articles which Goutam was carrying at his own risk as the valuables were not booked with it.

Thereafter, Railways challenged the order before the state commission, which modified the district forum`s order and asked it to pay compensation of Rs 25,000 instead of Rs 1.25 lakh.