Systematic endeavour to defraud railways, observes court


New Delhi: Dismissing a minor boy’s fraudulent claim for compensation for injuries allegedly sustained after falling down from a train, the Delhi High Court ordered action against him for making a false claim and also observed that the railway claims tribunal act was being misused.

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Justice Valmiki J. Mehta said: “It is high time that this practice of filing fraudulent claims against the railways… is looked into very strictly, though, of course, in those limited number of cases where it is ex-facie clear that a fraud is sought to be perpetrated on the railways.”

“I am noticing that many cases are coming up before this court where it is more than amply clear that there is a systematic endeavour to defraud the railways because of the enactment and implementation of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987, which provides for statutorily fixed compensation in case of an untoward incident,” he said.

Justice Mehta said that the applicant committed the offence of perjury, giving false evidence, giving and using false declaration and making a false claim.

“Accordingly, while dismissing the appeal, I direct the registrar general to make a complaint to the concerned metropolitan magistrate having jurisdiction,” said Justice Mehta said Thursday.

The applicant, while appealing against a railway tribunal’s order, said that he along with his father, while travelling in an electrical multiple unit (EMU) train March 2, 2010, from Dayabasti to Sadar Bazar railway station, fell down from the train and sustained injuries. He said that their tickets were also lost in the accident.

Dismissing the plea, the court said: “I completely agree with the findings of the Railway Claims Tribunal in that the appellant had failed to make out the requisite case that he was injured while travelling as a bonafide passenger in a train.”

In the present case, the alleged ticket was admittedly not with the minor but with his father, who suffered no injuries and who claimed to have continued the travel in the train till the next station, the court said.

“The facts of the present case show a clear attempt by the applicant, who is only a minor, and therefore actually his father, to defraud the railways,” said the court.

“For pursuing a fraudulent case and seeking compensation, perjury has been committed by making statements on oath before the Railway Claims Tribunal by filing an affidavit by the minor’s father,” said Justice Mehta.