Compensation Arising Out Of The Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987

Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench.

Vaibhav Srivastava

2 months ago|3 min read

1.1K

The Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench recently held that the concept of compensation for accidents arising out of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987 is clearly beneficial legislation therefore the conditions for condonation of delay required to be relaxed. 

The Single Bench of Justice Manish Mathur held that the aspect of condonation of delay is required to be seen in the context of beneficial legislation enacted for the purposes of awarding compensation to persons who are injured or die due to an accident arising out of the use of Railway property.

The facts of the case were that the appellant’s application for condonation of delay in filing claim has been dismissed along with the claim application vide order dated 30.09.2021. The F.A.F.O. vide order dated 26.11.2021, had been admitted while summoning the lower court records, which have been forwarded by the tribunal concerned. 

The appellant argued that upon death of his son, Late Ajay Kumar, on 05.07.2015 went into shock and was mentally disturbed for a prolonged time due to which claim application was filed with a delay of three years and six months. The Petitioner gave an explanation to the Court that the delay in filing claim application was neither deliberate nor intentional. The provisions of Act being beneficial in nature, the Tribunal should have leaned towards hearing on merits 

Per contra, the Respondent submitted that actually the claim has been filed after four years, five months and 25 days from the date of alleged accident, excluding the time of limitation. It was further submitted that such a delay was clearly intentional, since the delay has not been precisely explained and as such was rightly rejected by the Tribunal.

Examining the submissions of the parties, the court noted that while rejecting application for condonation of delay on the ground that reason for delay has been given only in general terms and has not been explained satisfactorily.

Relying on the decision of the Apex Court in Manoharan versus Sivaranjan and others reported in (2014) 4 Supreme Court Cases 163, Steel Authority of India Ltd. and others versus National Union Water Front Workers and others reported in 2001 (19) Lucknow Civil Decision 1339 and Prem Singh and Others Versus Birbal and others reported in (2006) 5 SCC 353, Justice Manish Mathur observed that the Tribunal erred in law in rejecting the claim application on the ground of limitation without adverting to purpose of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987-

“It is apparent that the Tribunal has taken a very pedantic and hidebound view of the application for condonation of delay. It is no doubt true that the claim was filed with considerable delay but the Tribunal was required to have taken a pragmatic approach to advance the cause of merit and justice instead of rejecting the application for condonation of delay merely on the ground of delay of three years and six months” 

The court further observed that it is apparent that impugned order dated 30.09.2021 is not in accordance with law and is therefore set aside. The appeal succeeds and is allowed. The application for condonation of delay in filing claim petition consequently stands allowed. The matter is remitted to the Tribunal concerned for consideration afresh of the claim application on merits.

Details:
Case:- FIRST APPEAL FROM ORDER No. - 273 of 2021

Appellant:- Ram Badal Mishra 

Respondent:- U.O.I. Thru. General Manager Northern Railway New Delhi 

Counsel for Appellant:- Pradeep Kumar Singh, Amrita Singh, Manish Kumar Srivastava

Counsel for Respondent:- Manendra Nath Rai, Mahendra Kumar Misra

Click here to read/download the order


1.1K

Vaibhav Srivastava

I am Vaibhav Srivastava, law and policy researcher, and a senior-year student of the integrated Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (BA. LL.B.) program. I have a deep vested interest in expressing my opinion on legal standpoints and love to pitch forth my analysis on public fora.

Comments

more

Read More