Presentation on the Railway Claims Tribunal Act 1987 I 6 Nov I 6pm

Presentation on the Railway Claims Tribunal Act 1987 I

6 Nov


ALF premises


The Rly Claims Tribunal Act 1987 set up the Tribunals to take care of claims by railway users, both in respect of loss or damage to goods or passengers as well as injury or death on trains.  The object *  was both to relieve courts of the burden, as well as to facilitate settlement without protracted litigation.

The Act now has sole jurisdiction to apply the Rly Act, which defines the kind of events which leading to injury or death,  where the Rly is liable, the exceptions, which parties are entitled to claim in the case of death and  importantly, the scale of compensation payable, which is specified in an schedule to the RCT Act in minute detail..

The Tribunal provides for a bench of two members, one drawn from working judges or lawyers  and the other from serving railway officers from departments that deal with claims related to carriage of goods or passengers. This may have been so that the bench was equipped with knowledge of both the law and the domain. But now,  there is only a single judge, except in very rare, large value, commercial claims.


The system has not provided relevant and substantial relief to rail users, as intended,  for a number of reasons:

  1. The existing judicial system has simply been transplanted, and brings with it the mind-set of conventional courts
  2. Procedural delays continue
  • Benches are often vacant
  1. Rampant corruption
  2. There is a move to amend the act to put onus of ‘no negligence’ on the claimant.



* The substantive liability of the Railway Administration for loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery 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 Railway Act – 1989. The establishment of Railway Claims Tribunal was necessary for speedy adjudication, providing relief to rail users by way of expeditious payment of compensation to the victims of rail accident or untoward incident, refund of fare and freight and compensation to those whose goods are lost while with railways. It was thought that the setting up of such a Claims Tribunal with Benches in different parts of the country with Judicial and Technical Members, will provide much relief to the rail users and reduce burden of the civil courts


About myself:



1.       B Sc (Physics) – Loyola College, Chennai-1970

2.       M Sc(Physics)-Madras Christian College, Chennai- 1972

3.       PG Diplôme (Public  Administration) – Ecole Nationale d’Administration, Paris-1997 (one-year programme)

4.       PG Diploma in Software Technology (PGDST)-National Centre for Software Tech  (NCST, now  C-DAC), Mumbai-2000

5.       PG Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights Law– Distance programme -National Law School of India University, Bangalore-2004

6.       Diploma in Cyber Laws – Distance programme – Asian School of Cyber Laws,  Pune and Govt. Law College, Mumbai-2006

7.       LLB – Mumbai University- 2011

8.       Workshop on advanced patent specification drafting – Venture Centre, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune  -2013

9.       Certificate course on Arbitration law and procedure at NLSIU, Bangalore Feb 2015




  1. Sub-editor, Indian Express, Chennai – 1973-74
  2. Officer with State Bank of India, Delhi Circle – 1974-77
  3. Class I officer with Indian Railways – 1977 to 2010 – retired as Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officer, Western Railway – Mumbai
  4. Financial Adviser, Heavy Water Board, Under DAE – 1993-1998
  5. Member, Railway Claims Tribunal, Mumbai- Aug 2010 to Sep 2013
  6. Writing  on current development in science for lay-person readers,  and some other topics,  since 2001

[website: ]

  1. Have been and continue  as Arbitrator/Conciliator




        Date of birth: 6th Sep 1951