Railways can't deny damages to licensed porters: Kerala HC
Tuesday February 6 2007 12:02 IST
KOCHI : The Kerala High Court on Monday held that the Railways could not deny compensation to licensed railway porters who meet with accident while on duty.
According to the Indian Railways Act, passengers, including railway employees and platform ticket holders, are entitled to compensation in case of death or injury suffered in a railway accident or other untoward incident.
According to the Railways, porters are neither employees nor passengers. They are only contractors licensed to help passengers to carry their goods. Hence, they are not entitled to compensation from the Railways.
Justice C N Ramachandran Nair turned down the plea, and accepted the contention raised by advocate Jayapradeed, counsel appearing for the defendants of a deceased porter, that there was no justification for denial of the benefit to licensed railway porters working in hazardous circumstances, when not only bona fide passengers and employees, but also platform ticket holders are provided with the benefit.
The court directed the Railways to pay a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to Philomina, Deffy and Joffy, wife and children of Devassy, a licensed porter at Aluva railway station, who accidentally fell from the platform into the railway track below while pulling a cart filled with goods, and run over by a goods train on March 3, 2003.
The Railway Claims Tribunal had dismissed their petition in limine.