The Madras High Court on Friday ordered a compensation of Rs 8 lakh with interest, for a man who had died after falling off the Chennai suburban train in the city.
In 2013, Srinivasan had boarded the Tambaram to Chennai Central suburban train, but reportedly slipped and fell between the Saidapet and Mambalam stations.
Srinivasan's family approached the Railway Claims Tribunal to seek compensation for his death. However, the Tribunal dismissed the case, stating that compensation cannot be awarded as there was no proof that he had travelled on the train.
The family then approached the Madras High Court.
On Friday, Justice Muralidharan said that the burden of proof to show that a passenger was travelling without a ticket was on the Railways and not on the passenger.
â€śWhen a person dies in an accident by falling down from train, it is not possible for the legal heirs to produce the ticket or valid authority to travel in the train. Depending upon the facts and circumstances of a given case, the Tribunal and/or the Appellate Court infers about the deceased being a bona fide passenger. In the present case, facts and circumstances prima facie indicate that the deceased was a bona fide passenger who lost his life in the railway accident,â€ť the Judge said.
According to one report in The Hindu, the counsel for the family had pointed out that an amount of Rs 2,510 was recovered from the body of the deceased man. The court observed that since he had Rs 2,510 in his pocket, he would most likely have purchased a ticket costing Rs 15-20.
Besides compensation of Rs 8 lakh, the Railways will also have to pay 7.5% annual interest from the date the claim was filed.