GUWAHATI: In order to ease the settlement of claims by rail users especially goods transporters, a new bench has been opened at the Railway Claims Tribunal, Guwahati along with a new building. The additional bench has been shifted from Kolkata to Guwahati due to high pendency of cases here as a result of having just one bench.
It may be mentioned here that, the main objective of setting up of such Claims Tribunals is to provide quicker relief and early payment of compensation to railways users. There are 21 benches of the Railway Claims Tribunals at 18 major cities spread throughout the country. The claim cases are normally for death and injury in case of railway accident and untoward incident and for loss, damage, destruction, deterioration, non-delivery of animal/goods booked by railway or for the refund of fare or freight in case the claimant is not satisfied with the relief provided by the railway administration.
It may be mentioned here that, Railway Claims Tribunal, Guwahati bench deals with all types of railway related claims cases from rail users of Assam, Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. So there are huge numbers of claim cases especially from goods transporters. With just one bench it was leading to huge pending cases before the tribunal. As a result, railway users of the concerned states used to suffer due to long pendency period of their claim cases.
As a result of the functioning of the additional bench of the Railway Claims Tribunal, numbers of pending cases got reduced drastically. All passenger related claim cases upto 2015 have been cleared and only 6 cases of 2016 are left. Thus only cases filed in 2017, 2018 and 2019 are now being heard. At present there are 2109 cases which include 246 death cases, 10 injury cases and 1853 goods/refund cases. In respect to few large goods/refund cases modalities are being worked out to settle for out-of-court settlement in consultation with freight customers. Thus, as per a press release, with the opening of this additional bench the long pendency period has come down substantially thereby bringing relief to a great section of rail users from this region.
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