Know Your Rights: Railway Accidents & Untoward Incidents (Compensation) Rules; check details inside

Know Your Rights: Railway Accidents & Untoward Incidents (Compensation) Rules; check details inside

Under the Railway Accidents & Untoward Incidents (compensation) Amendment Rules, the initial amount for compensation which was Rs 4 lakh has been increased to Rs 8 lakh in cases regarding the death of a passenger or any loss of limb.

Bimal BhutaUpdated: Monday, March 13, 2023, 08:25 AM IST
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Representative image | PTI Photo(PTI12_28_2016_000004B)

Indian Railways (IR) is the largest rail network in Asia and the world's second-largest under one management. Section 124A of the Railways Act states that during the working of the railways if an untoward incident occurs then the railway administration must pay compensation to the victim or the dependent of the victim whether or not there has been any wrongful act, neglect or default on the part of the railway administration.

Compensation amount

Under the Railway Accidents & Untoward Incidents (compensation) Amendment Rules, the initial amount for compensation which was Rs 4 lakh has been increased to Rs 8 lakh in cases regarding the death of a passenger or any loss of limb. If a person becomes blind or deaf, he / she shall be granted Rs 8 lakh in compensation. A person is also granted the same amount if there is severe facial disfigurement. For injuries, the amount varies from Rs 32,000 to Rs 8,00,000, depending on the nature of the injury sustained.

Ex-gratia relief

Ex-gratia relief is granted by the railway board or welfare department just after an accident, and the amount of moral relief is Rs15,000 to the next of kin of the dead, Rs5,000 if there is a case of grievous hurt and Rs500 in the case of injuries which are simple in nature.

Not eligible for compensation

Person who attempts suicide

Any injury inflicted on oneself

Injury caused by a person's own unlawful act

An act committed by intoxicated or insane person

Process to claim compensation

Section 125 of the Railways Act, 1989, allows a victim or dependent of a deceased person to apply for compensation to the Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT).

Steps taken for speedy settlement

As soon as a passenger train accident or untoward incident takes place, all particulars of injured and those killed may be obtained and claim application forms sent to claimants; the record should also be made available to the RCT bench concerned

When claims are filed and put up for hearing, the railways should give all possible assistance to the RCT for speedy settlement

Written statements are to be filed by the railways in such cases within 15 days of receipt of notice from RCT

After the decretal amount of a claim has been sanctioned, the railways have to ensure that cheques are issued and dispatched within 15 days

Prior finance concurrence in respect of the accident compensation claims cases has been dispensed

Chief claims officers have been empowered to satisfy the decree accident compensation claims up to Rs8 lakh

Applicant can file a claim at the RCT Bench having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the applicant or the place where the passenger purchases his ticket or where the accident or untoward incident occurs or where the place of destination station lies, as against only at the place of occurrence of the accident earlier

Holding circuit benches at RCT Benches where pendency of cases is high; now, circuit benches are also held at the place of accident

Zonal Railways have been directed to fill up the vacancies of officers / staff in RCT Benches urgently whenever such vacancies arise

A maximum of three adjournments for each case permitted for claim applications filed before RCT

RCT to pass final orders within 21 days of final hearing of the case filed before it

One copy of order of RCT for accident compensation claims to be supplied free of cost to the applicant within three days of the passing of final orders

Relevant rules and procedures in connection with compensation claims in respect of “accident” have been incorporated on the Indian Railways' website – www.indianrailways.gov.in; it also contains the formats of different application forms needed for filing compensation claims

Railway Claim Tribunal, Mumbai

180 / P D'Mello Road,

19/T WIG-WAM,

CSMT area, Mumbai – 400 001

Tel: 022 2262 3917

(The writer is a Vile Parle-based social activist)

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