Missed flights due to train delays: Supreme Court examines whether railways should compensate passengers

On Friday, the Supreme Court issued a notice in a plea filed by the Federation of India, questioning the order that Indian Railways should pay 40,000 rupees for “compensation due to negligence and lack of service”. This amount will be paid to the person who missed the flight due to a 6-hour delay in arriving at the destination.

The Chamber justices, consisting of Justices KM Joseph and Ravindra Bhat, agreed to consider the jurisdiction of the court and the nature / extent of the responsibility of the Indian Railways when notifying the defendants.

However, the court has made it clear that it will not suspend the enforcement of the order of the National Commission for the Settlement of Consumer Disputes dated October 21, 2020.

The Indian Union, through the Ministry of Railways, has argued before the Supreme Court that if the contested order is carried out it will result in the opening of a Pandora’s box, creating an avalanche of litigation in front of the forums, setting a poor precedent for cases related creates with the reimbursement of fees.

The Indian Railways has claimed that the postponement was beyond their control because it occurred during the excursion rather than at the scheduled time of departure from Allahabad. Further, it has been contended that the Commission excused its case disregarding the realities that Rule 115 of Indian Railway Conference Coaching Rate Tariff No. 26 Part-.I (Volume I) plainly expresses that the Railway Administration doesn’t ensure appearance and flight of trains according to plan displayed in the time table.

As a result, the Railways is not liable for any luggage damage or other annoyance, according to the rules.

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