Railway Authorities not free from blame where roof riders are killed/injured due to speeding trains

Supreme Court: Showing distress over the incident that occurred in 2011 where At least 14 young men were crushed and 20 others seriously injured having been hit by the Over Bridge and fallen from roof top of Himgiri Express which was running on a high speed, the Court held that though the people who travelled on roof top also contributed to the mishap, the Railway Administration was not free from blame as it must be expected of the persons concerned to be aware of the inherent danger in allowing the train to run with such speed having large number of persons travelling on roof top.
It was contended by the Railway Authorities that the roof riders refused to come down, in view of the volatile situation which occurred due to disturbance caused as a result of over 2 lakh candidates coming to Bareilly for recruitment in the Indo Tibetan Border Police, a decision was taken to move the train out of Bareilly with an idea to disperse the crowd. The Court rejected the said contention and said that even though it can be accepted that this was a reasonable and proper exercise as the crowd had to be dispersed which had congregated in Bareilly, it does not justify the further movement of train at a speed of 75 km per hour. It was further noticed that the Administration can certainly be taken to be aware of the fact that the Foot-Over Bridges or any structures on the way could possibly be a hindrance and could have caused such incident with people in large number on roof top and reasonable care would naturally be expected of those in charge of the Administration.
The bench of T.S. Thakur, CJ and UU Lalit, J, hence, directed that a Committee headed by a senior officer and assisted by at least three persons from the administration having technical knowledge and expertise be constituted within a period of four weeks from the date of this order to have an assessment of all road over bridges or infringements and to chalk out an action plan to remove such infringements. The Court further 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 and to file periodic status Reports every six months in this Court. [Anil Kumar Gupta v. Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 657, decided on 05.07.2016]

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