Even before the Bombay High Court could issue notice to the Railways on a contempt petition against them for failing to implement its (HC’s) order of ensuring passenger safety, the Railways sent their advocate to seek time to file reply.
The petition was filed by Samir Zaveri alleging that the Railways have failed miserably to ensure commuters’ safety.
Zaveri — who himself lost both his legs in a railway accident — had filed a public interest litigation seeking swift medical aid for the injured. Directions are being passed since 2004 in his plea laying down various guidelines for the Railways to respond to injured and to take steps for preventing accidents.
Although some steps have been taken by the Railways, much is still left to be done, said Zaveri’s advocate Dipesh Siroya. He said the Western Railway is violating not only the guidelines laid down by the court in January but also its own in an affidavit submitted last year.
In 2004, the court had directed that the victim be shifted immediately to the nearest private/ government/ corporation hospital, keeping walkie-talkies in all trains and at least two light-weight folding stretchers in all stations to be cleaned after each use. This is still not being done.
The petition seeks that the chief commissioner of Railways, general manager of Western Railway, officers of the railway board, and the station master at Vasai Road be sent to jail for six months for not implementing court orders.
The Railways will file its reply by December 11.