Railways has been directed by a consumer forum here to pay Rs 1 lakh to a passenger as compensation for theft of her handbag while travelling from Delhi to Ludhiana in the executive class of Amritsar Shatabdi.
The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum observed that the snatching of her handbag from a moving train could have been prevented and the Railways cannot escape from its liability.
"The facts of the case clearly disclose that the criminal activity of theft has been committed in open daylight in a moving train, which Railways was not able to prevent. It affects the safety of life and property of the passengers in the train. Railways cannot escape from this liability," a bench headed by C K Chaturvedi said.
"Keeping in view the entire circumstances, we award compensation of Rs 1,00,000 for all the loss including litigation expenses, due to criminal activity on train by an outsider in broad daylight, which could have been prevented by adequate measure of Railway Protection Force," the bench said.
The order came on the complaint of Ludhiana resident Smriti Thapar, who said that 10 minutes after the train left New Delhi station and was slowly passing under a bridge near Sadar Bazar Station, a "miscreant" entered the compartment she and her two daughters were travelling in and snatched the handbag which was on her lap.
She had raised an alarm and tried to apprehend the thief but he jumped out of the train, Thapar said, adding an FIR was lodged on October 14, 2009, a day after the incident.
Nobody has been apprehended or arrested pursuant to the said FIR till date and the police closed the case as untraced, she had contended. No one had appeared on behalf of the Railways despite issuance of notice, the forum noted in its ex-parte order.