Holding it guilty of poor upkeep of train coaches, a consumer forum has directed Railways to pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation to a Supreme Court advocate, who injured his fingers due to a loosely covered fan in a train in 2011.
"We hold Indian Railways guilty of deficiency and direct chairman, Railway Board, who is impleaded by us as main party, to pay compensation of Rs 1 lakh inclusive of litigation charges for the deficiency of poor upkeep of coaches," the New Delhi Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said.
A bench headed by CK Chaturvedi and members Asha Kumar and SR Chaudhary directed Railways to pay the amount in a month while also pulling it up for trying to dismiss the issue on the ground of jurisdiction.
The order came on the complaint of Bharat Bhushan Dinkar, who said that he was travelling from Muzaffarpur in Bihar to Delhi in Sapt Kranti Express on August 21, 2011 when upon reaching the upper berth, his hand hit the overhead fan which was fitted with a broken cover, leading to grievous injuries to his fingers in the right hand.
He said upon reporting the matter to railway employees on board, he was given first aid at Narkatiyaganj junction and had to complete his journey in pain.
He said he got his fingers examined at the health centre of Delhi high court and was referred to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital where he took treatment till January last year.
The complainant also told the forum that being an advocate, he was not able to work on the laptop, handle books properly or even hold a pen.
The bench rejected Northern Railway's contention that the forum does not have the jurisdiction to hear the complaint and that as he suffered his injury in Bihar, he should go to that state to file the complaint.
"The whole contention is misconceived and deserves to be thrown out at the threshold. India Railway is one entity and for efficient management of its organisation, it is divided in Nine Zones under the Railway Act.
"He (complainant) suffered pain and inconvenience in whole journey till Delhi and in Delhi he got injury examined and got treated... Railway is directly responsible for injury sustained due to loosely covered fan, to any person in journey anywhere. The facts speak for themselves in the case," it said.