Sixteen-year-old Monika More, who lost both her arms in an accident at Ghatkopar station on January 11, has refused to file claims in the railway tribunal. The railway tribunal court in CST hears cases filed by aggrieved travellers.
“The maximum compensation awarded in case of an accident does not exceed Rs4 lakh under the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1989. There is no guarantee that such a compensation will be provided. The court case has to be fought for many years. We are unsure whether justice will be done by the tribunal,” said Monika’s uncle Vishwas Jadhav.
Instead, Monika’s family is contemplating suing the railways in consumer court. “She fell in the pit which was left unattended by the railways for over two years. She has lost both her arms due to negligence of the railway authorities,” said Jadhav, adding that “we need Rs25 lakh to Rs1 crore to get electronic prosthetic hands for her”.
Legal experts said two cases of claims cannot be fought at the same time. “They can either file a case in the Railway Claims Tribunal or the consumer court,” said consumer court advocate Uday Wavikar.
Last week, two officials from the Railway Claims Office, deputy chief commercial manager Jagdish Prasad and chief law assistance officer OP Yadav, visited Monika at KEM Hospital and handed her the Railway Claims Tribunal form for filing a case to seek compensation.
“It takes more than a year for a case to get heard and resolved after it comes up for hearing,” OP Yadav told dna.
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said, “We have demanded railway officials to raise the height of 359 railway station platforms by 80 mm. Also a request for compensation has been sent to central railway ministry.”