7 Feb :Rail passengers cannot be left at the mercy of burglars and hooligans, the Supreme Court has said rapping the Railways for its failure to protect the luggage of passengers, including those travelling in reserved air conditioned compartments which have attendants, from getting stolen.
"We cannot leave the passengers at the mercy of hooligans who enter reserved compartments. We know how unauthorised passengers enter even reserved compartments in your trains," a bench of Justices B N Aggrawal and G S Singhvi snapped at the Railways counsel Annapurnia.
The counsel had taken the stand that theft of luggage as alleged by the woman passenger Pinki Gupta cannot be countenanced on the ground that unauthorised persons cannot enter a reserved compartment. She had contended that the passenger was apparently lying.
However, the bench was not impressed with the argument and after making the stinging observation, dismissed the special leave petition filed by the South Western Railway officials challenging the compensation awarded by the districtconsumer forum, Bangalore, to the woman.
Pinki, a resident of Bangalore had boarded the Bangalore Rajdhani Express on 24th October, 2005 at Nizamuddin along with her two children aged six and three-and-half years respectively.