Madras HC orders Southern Railway to pay compensation to passenger as it was probable that the ticket was lost during the accident and upheld findings of the Tribunal.

TITLE: Union of India Vs. V.Vetrivel

Decided On: September 1, 2023.

C.M.A.No.1415 of 2023 and CMP No.14103 of 2023.

CORAM:  Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sunder Mohan.


The Respondent purchased a II class train ticket at Erode Railway Station to travel from Erode to Morappur and boarded in train No.12686. At about 03.50 hrs., while the train arrived on platform no.2, he tried to get down from the train, he lost his balance and slipped down between the gap of platform and train due to which he sustained grievous injuries in his right hand. In the said accident, his right hand was amputated at the level of upper limb. Hence, filed the claim petition. The Appellants stated that the accident occurred due to the negligent act of the respondent who alighted from the moving train, fell down and sustained injuries; hence the appellant is not liable to pay compensation for the self-inflicted injury under Section 124-A(b) of the Railways Act, 1989; that the respondent was not a bonafide passenger; that no ticket or travelling authority was found in possession of the respondent and prayed for dismissal of the petition.

Legal Analysis and Decision:

The Railways Claims Tribunal, on consideration of the documents, held that the respondent was a bonafide passenger and he sustained injuries in an untoward incident that took place on 20.03.2019 and directed the appellant to pay a sum of Rs7,00,000/- as compensation
to the respondent.

The Appellants contented that The DRM (Inquiry) report states that the respondent fell down while trying to get down from the running train, lost his balance, slipped down and fell into the gap between the platform and the train, due to which he sustained grievous injuries in his right hand. The learned counsel further submitted that the respondent was not a bonafide passenger as he was not found in possession of train ticket or travel authority. However, the Tribunal had on erroneous appreciation of facts held that the respondent was a bonafide passenger; that the incident was an untoward incident; that therefore the appellant is liable to pay compensation and prayed for allowing the appeal. The respondent fell down from the train due to his own negligence, it cannot be said that it is not an untoward incident, as defined under Section 123 (c) (2) of the Railways Act.

The injuries as stated earlier suggest that it was grievous in nature. The respondent has filed an affidavit before the Tribunal stating that he had a valid ticket and he had lost it in the accident. It is trite that mere absence of ticket cannot be a reason to hold that the respondent is not a bonafide passenger. Considering the fact that the respondent had discharged his initial burden, it is for the appellant to let in evidence to show that the respondent was not a bonafide passenger. The Tribunal, considering the nature of injuries and the fact that the respondent may not have remembered the exact time of purchase of train ticket rejected the
evidence let in by the appellant and held that it is probable that the ticket was lost during the accident. There is no reason to interfere in the said factual finding of the Tribunal. The respondent is entitled to withdraw the compensation amount decided by the tribunal.


The Court held that the Respondent is the bonafide passenger and he is entitle to claim the compensation amount which was fixed by the tribunal for the damages caused to the respondent. So, the petition of the Sothern Railway was dismissed and Respondent was entitled to claim the Compensation from the Appellants (Sothern Railway).

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