Railway Claims Tribunal
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Railway Claims Tribunal

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Railway Claims Tribunal
: In 1890, an enactment known as the Indian Railway Act was legislated and passed by British Parliament. This piece of legislation was aimed at various matters concerning railways. After independence, it was felt that some changes be brought in the Act to fulfill needs of people in the present day. So maintaining some provisions of Act of 1890, rendering some provisions redundant and replacing new provisions, a new legislation named as The Railways Act, 1989 was enacted, which came into force from 1st July, 1990.

Broad features of this Act are that Railways were re-constituted in zones with a General Manager for each zone. Central Government had power to fix the rates of carriage of passengers and goods. Provision for compensation by Railways on account of loss, damage of goods etc. and also due to accidental deaths and injury was maintained. Special provisions were introduced regarding monetary liability of railways as carriers of goods etc. The Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987 was enacted to provide speedy disposal of claims against the Railway Administration.
Although Railway Administration made a way to compensate the consignor/consignee of goods etc. and also for compensation for loss of lives yet people were not often satisfied and they went to Courts, which took very long time to decide the claims and litigation was protracted for indefinite period. Therefore, the necessity was felt to expedite the disposal of claims at the earliest, which resulted in establishment of the Claims Tribunal, which would exclusively deal with such claims and speedily dispose of the same. As a result, the burden of Courts was reduced and speedy relief was made available. Even the refund of fares and freights was also brought within the purview of Tribunal.

The RCT Act is to provide for the establishment of a Railway Claims Tribunal for inquiring into and determining claims against a Railway Administration for loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery of animals or goods entrusted to it to be carried by railway or for the refund of fares or freight or for compensation for death or injury to passengers occurring as a result of railway accidents or untoward incidents and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The scheme of the Act shows that it made provisions for establishment of Tribunal, its Benches, officers and staff, their term, eligibility, the jurisdiction, powers and authority of Tribunal, its procedure, execution of its orders and appeals. In this way, the Act is a self-contained Act, which has solved the problems of public at large.

Aims & Objectives
The substantive liability of the railway administration for loss, destruction, damage, non delivery or deterioration of goods entrusted to them for carriage and for death or injuries or loss to a passenger in a railway accident or untoward incident is laid down in The Railways Act 1989. The consignor/consignees and passengers or their representatives prefer claims for compensation for loss of and damage to, booked goods and are not satisfied with the decisions of the railway administration, file suits in courts of law. Claims for compensation for death of or injury or loss etc to passengers in train accidents are at present settled by claims commissioners. As the litigation in the courts of law and before the claims commissioners is very protracted, it has been decided to set up a specialised Tribunal for speedy adjudication of such claims. The setting up of such a claims Tribunal with Benches in different parts of the country, and with judicial and technical members, will provide much relief to the rail users by way of expeditious payment of compensation to the victims of rail accidents and to those whose goods are lost or damaged in rail-transit.

Jurisdiction of Tribunal
(1) The Claims Tribunal exercises all such jurisdiction, powers and authority as were exercisable immediately by any Civil Court or a Claims Commissioner appointed under the provisions of The Railways Act,-

(a) relating to the responsibility of the railway administrations as carriers under Chapter VII of The Railways Act in respect of claims for-

(i) compensation for loss, destruction, damages, deterioration or non-delivery of animals or goods entrusted to a railway administration for carriage by railway ;

(ii) compensation payable under Sec.124 & 124A of The Railways Act or the rules made thereunder; and

(b) in respect of the claims for refund of fares or part thereof or for refund of any freight paid in respect of animals or goods entrusted to a railway administration to be carried by railway.

Download Railway Claims Tribunal Forms:
# Application under Section 16 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act. 1987 in respect of claims for compensation for loss; destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery of animals or goods. - Form 1

# Application for compensation under Section 16 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act. 1987 in respect of claims for compensation for death; or injury as a result of train accident or untoward incident. - Form 11

# Application under Section 16 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act. 1987 in respect of claims for refund of fares or part thereof or for refund of any freight paid in respect of animals or goods entrusted to a railway administration to be carried by railway. - Form 111

# See sub-rule (5) of Rule 5 of the Railway Claims Tribunal (Procedure) Rules , 1989] Receipt Slip - Form 1V

# Application for Registration of Legal Practitioner's clerks under Rule 36 of the Railway Claims Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1989 - Form V

# Form of Affidavit as prescribed unde Rule 14 of the Railway Claims Tribunal (Procedure) Amendment Rules, 2002. - Form VIII

# Application for execution of order as prescribed under Rule 31B of the Railway Claims Tribunal (Procedure) Amendment Rules, 2002.- Form IX

# Identity card to be issued to a Registered Clerk of the Legal Practitioner under Rule 36(3) of the Railway Claims Tribunal (Procedure) Amendment Rules, 2002. - Form XIII
 

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