Six railwaymen punished for Gaisal train mishap
A fast track court has sentenced six railway personnel to two years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 11,500 each for negligence of duty.india Updated: Jun 23, 2007 16:10 IST
A fast track court has sentenced six railway personnel to two years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 11,500 each for negligence of duty in one of the worst train collisions, the 1999 Gaisal train accident, which had officially claimed 287 lives.
The judgement was pronounced on Friday by the Judicial Magistrate of Islampur Fast Track court in Islampur, Ajyendranath Bhattacharjya.
The accused were found guilty under sections: 337 (Injury following negligence in duty), 338 (Serious injury following negligence in duty and 304(A) (Death following negligence in duty).
The quantum of punishment under Section 337 was six months imprisonment and fine of Rs 500, under section 338 two years imprisonment and fine of Rs 100, and under 304(A)two years imprisonment and Rs 10,000 fine.
All the terms will run concurrently, the judge said. The accused were, however, granted bail and allowed one month time during which they could appeal to the higher court.
The railwaymen convicted were: Assistant Station Master of Pahjipara, Kamiyakayan Singh, Assistant Station Master of Kishanganj, SP Chandra, Kishanganj (East) Cabinman, Muhammad Allauddin, Panjipara (East) Cabinman, Gulab Chandra Gupta, the guard of Awadh Assam Express, Baidyanath Choudhury, and Pointsman of Kishanganj Jagdish Ram and Cabinman of Panjipara, Subhas Singh who died recently.
On August 01, 1999, the Guwahati-bound Awadh Assam Express collided head on with the Delhi-bound Brahmaputra Mail when the two trains came face to face on the same track at Gaisal in Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal, leading to one of the worst train disasters in the country.
A CBI inquiry was ordered to find out whether it was a terrorist act or railway failure immediately after the accident and the CBI filed a chargesheet on July 20, 2001. On the basis of the chargesheet, the Islampur court heard 38 witnesses before awarding the punishment.
Deposing on behalf of the CBI earlier, advocate Partha Tapaswee said the CBI findings were that the accident had not resulted from "a momentary failure".
The concerned railwaymen had 20 minutes time to avoid the accident which occurred due to error in operation and was a case of negligence of duty, he added.