Mumbai: WR slammed for not providing Rail Claim Tribunals with staff

The RCT Ahmedabad has passed a judgment levying a fine on WR authorities for not providing support staff, and hence delaying judgments in accident cases

With an average of 10 accidents everyday on Mumbai rail lines, the suburban railway especially is a dangerous place, if care is not taken while traveling. There are also the Rail Claim Tribunals (RCTs) that look into these accident cases and then decide the compensation meant for the victims and their families.

WR officials have to pay a fine of R100 per day for every case at the tribunal where arguments have got over but no judgment could be given because of lack of staff. File pic
WR officials have to pay a fine of Rs 100 per day for every case at the tribunal where arguments have got over but no judgment could be given because of lack of staff. File pic

Earlier this month, the RCT Ahmedabad has come down heavily on Western Railway for being indifferent and not providing RCTs with staff, thus delaying the judgment in accident cases. On June 26-27, the RCT of Ahmedabad gave a judgment wherein a fine was levied on the WR authorities for not providing support staff.

“This staff is required for us to type the judgment after the hearing is over,” said N Misra, Member (Technical). But due to shortage of staff, the efficiency of work gets affected. Sources said that the orders must be passed normally within 21 days once the hearing and arguments are over.

As part of the fines levied, the WR officials have been asked to pay a fine of Rs 100 per day for every case at the tribunal where arguments have got over but no judgment could be given because of lack of staff. In Mumbai RCT too, there are staff shortage issues.

In fact, in the two-member team, a judicial member has not been appointed yet in Mumbai. Sources said that there are 19 RCTs in India which deal with compensation given to the victims involved in accidental death, injury and loss in train accidents.

The technical members cannot call witnesses or issue summons, as this authority lies with the judicial members. Presently 55,000 claims are pending at an all-India level, including 6,000 claim cases at the Mumbai RCT. Sources claimed that selection of judicial members had taken place in May 2014, and since November 2014, files for appointment are lying idle.

Initially there were 3,500-odd cases, and everyday around 15-cases regarding these claims come before the RCT bench. The judgment by RCT Ahmedabad has come for the first time and sources claim that this will surely be a wake-up call for RCTs, as normally accident cases pile up and victims or their families keep waiting.

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