The Bombay High Court on Thursday summoned general managers of the Western and Central railways after the railway authorities failed to provide satisfactory answers about providing ambulance services and first aid facilities to railway accident victims.
A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud summoned the Western Railway General Manager R.K. Verma and Central Railway General Manager Bharat Bhushan Modgil and asked them to remain present on next date of hearing on March 23.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Sameer Zaveri, a victim of railway accident who lost both legs.
The court asked the petitioner’s lawyer to give surprise visit at some stations on both the railway lines after their counsels claimed that they have provided their own ambulances at some of the stations.
Suresh Kumar, counsel for WR said that they have ambulances at Churchgate, Bombay Central and at Parel. Besides, they have ambulances service by NGOs at Dadar, Bandra, Andheri and Borivli.
A. Samant, counsel for Central Railway, claimed that they have their own ambulances at VT and Kalyan. “Besides, we also have first aid boxes with 31 items,” said Samant.
However, the railway authorities who were present in the court were unable to answer court queries.
Following a court query, when Suresh Kumar informed that the railways had made a profit of around Rs 20,000 crore, the chief justice remarked, “You can’t even spend Rs 20 lakh for the passengers in that case.”