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Claims related to goods.

Compensation for Loss, Damage etc. of Goods/Animals

What is a Railway Claim (Goods/Animals) -

         A railway claim may be defined as a formal demand by the rightful claimant for compensation in respect of the goods or animals entrusted to the Railway Administration for carriage from o­ne station to the other and that have not reached the destination in the condition handed over by virtue of -

a)      Complete non-delivery of the consignment.

b)      Partial delivery of the consignment.

c)      Pilferage, damage, deterioration of packages.

d)      Rotting of perishables like fruits and vegetables.


False Claims

         Section 149: Making a false claim for compensation

         If any person requiring compensation from a railway administration for loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery of any consignment makes a claim which is false or which he knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Time-barred claims

         As per the provision in Section 106 of the Railways Act, 1989, claims for non-delivery or partial delivery or damage of consignment has to be filed within 6 months from the date of booking of the consignment. After expiry of the period of six months, the case becomes time-barred and are generally not entertained. The General Managers of zonal railways are however, empowered to settle time-barred cases at their discretion after satisfying themselves about the reasonableness of late filing of claims.

Suit-barred claims

          The definition of suit-barred cases may be seen in the light of item Nos. 10 & 11 of Part II of the schedule of the Indian Limitation Act 1963 which read as under :

Description of Suit

Period of Limitation

Time from which period starts

10. Against a carrier for compensation for losing or injuring goods

Three years

When the loss or injury occurs

11. Against a carrier for compensation for non-delivery of, or delay in delivering goods

Three years

When goods ought to be delivered

         Accordingly, a claims case which becomes three years old is termed as suit-barred and thus, no suit can be filed against the railways in regard to that case. The reasons for the case becoming three years old may be many i.e. for want of relevant documents (not accompanying the claims notice), for want of some clarification from the party, etc. after which the claims is normally repudiated. However, in some cases, the delay in settlement of claims is o­n account of the railways i.e. for want of report of the tracing inspectors, for fixing of Inter-railway liability & Staff responsibility, etc. resulting in the case becoming suit-barred. Such cases are however, not repudiated casually as suit-barred but are decided o­n merit of the case. The General Managers of zonal railways enjoy the discretionary powers for waiver of suit-bar aspect. 

Not Received Cell

          In order to achieve the objective of giving better after-sale service to the customers, the Indian Railways have established "Not Received Cells (NR Cells) at Divisional & Zonal level. The duty of these Cells involve tracing and connecting consignments which do not reach the desired destination within reasonable transit-time. For even better monitoring of cases, an NR Cell is also working at Railway Board. An aggrieved customer can directly contact the NR Cell/concerned officer o­n phone or by E-mail.

N R Cell                      Phone. No.            Fax. No.             E-mail

Railway Board            011-3384416          011-3386950


West Central Railway  9752415977           0761-2677072

Jabalpur                       0761-2627480          0761-2678280

Bhopal                          0755-2454602          0755-2457166

Kota                              0744-2467021          0744-2467160 

Monetary Powers of claims settling officers

          For settlement of claims, different monetary powers have been stipulated for officers of the claims offices of the zonal railways. The monetary powers are given below.

General Manager                                     Unlimited

CCM in HAG or Coordination Head         Rs. 4,00,000

CCO                                                         Rs. 2,00,000

Dy. CCM(Claims) or Dy. CCO                 Rs. 60,000

SCM                                                         Rs.15,000

ACM                                                         Rs. 8,000


Claims for unbooked luggage

 No compensation is payable for unbooked luggage or luggage which is in the care and custody of the passenger.


Beware & Take Care

(a)     No compensation for unbooked luggage or for luggage in the care & custody of the passenger.

(b)    Do not mis-declare the contents of the consignment.

(c)     Filing false claims will invite punishment/Fine or both.

(d)    Railways do not pay compensation for goods booked at owner's risk.

(e)     Always conform to prescribed packaging conditions while packing goods

(f)     Railways are liable to pay o­nly 50% of the amount of liability for goods (normally to be carried in covered wagons), but carried in open wagons at the request of the party.

(g)     Railways are not liable for shortage in consignments booked o­n "Said to Contain" Railway Receipt i.e. booking is not supervised by railway staff. For such cases, the o­nus for proving the weight of the booked consignment or the number of packages in the consignment lies with the consignor as per Section 65(2) of Railways Act, 89.

(h)    Avoid repudiation as Time-bar !File your claims within six months from the date of booking of consignment.

(i)     Avoid repudiation as Suit-bar ! Enclose all necessary documentswith the claims application.

(j)     Get value of your lost consignment ! Pay %age charge while booking !

(k)    Avoid damage by wet, etc. ! Remove the consignment from the platform at the earliest.

(l)     Take delivery of consignments within 7 days of arrival ! Unclaimed Consignmentswill be disposed off as per stipulated procedure !

Source : West Central Railway CMS Team Last Reviewed : 05-04-2017  

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