SC grants compensation to UP rail accident victims

New Delhi, July 5 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday awarded compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the 14 people who were killed in February 2011 in a train accident in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahajahanpur district.

A bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit also awarded compensation of Rs 15 lakh to those who suffered permanent disability, Rs 75,000 to those who suffered grievous injuries and Rs 25,000 to those suffering simple injuries.

The deceased and the injured were returning from an Indo-Tibetan Border Police recruitment camp in the state’s Bareilly city when the accident took place on February 1, 2011.

Fourteen youth who were travelling on the roof of Himgiri Express were killed after being hit by the low overbridge near Shahjahanpur and one died after he fell from Traveni Express in Hardoi district in Uttar Pradesh.

Pronouncing the judgment, Justice Lalit said that the railway administration “must take every care so that such tragedy is not repeated” and “The first step in that behalf is to have an assessment if any such infringements exist and then to create a road-map to remove such infringements.”

The court’s order came on a PIL by Anil Kumar Gupta.

The court directed the railways to constitute a committee to be headed by a senior officer and assisted by at least three persons from the administration having technical knowledge and expertise that would “make an assessment of all such infringements and to chalk out an action plan to remove such infringements.”

It is possible, the court said that in “some cases road over bridges may have been built by state governments, municipal administrations or such bodies. Nonetheless, the action plan must contemplate ways and means to deal with and remove such infringements”.

Directing that the committee be set-up in four weeks from Tuesday, the court said: “We hope and trust that the Committee shall take appropriate steps in collecting data as stated above and creating road map or action plan to remove such infringements, in the shortest possible time.”

The court directed the Committee to “complete the work as early as possible so that all infringements could be removed in shortest possible time and, in any case, not later than two years”.

“We direct the Committee to file periodic status Reports every six months in this court,” the judgment said.

Directing that the copies of its order be sent to the Railway Minister and the Secretary, the court asked them to ensure the compliance of its orders and directions.

The court further directed that “all Central Police Organisations must issue guidelines or Standing Order a ensuring that only 600 candidates or such number of candidates as could easily be managed or taken care of be called in one cycle on a particular day”.

It said that the copy of its directions be sent to Union Home Secretary also.



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