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RAILWAY CLAIMS TRIBUNAL ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 54 of 1987


  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7. Amendments to the Railways Act
  • Act nº 54 of 1987

Preamble

THE RAILWAY CLAIMS TRIBUNAL ACT, 1987

[Act, No. 54 of 1987]

[23rd December, 1987]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for establishment of a Railway Claims Tribunal for inquiring into and determining claims against a railway administration for loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery of animals or goods entrusted to it to be carried by railway or for the refund of fares or freight or for compensation for death or injury to passengers occurring as a result of railway accidents1[or untoward incidents] and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty-eighth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

1. Inserted by Act 28 of 1994, section 7 (w.e.f. 1-8-1994).


Chapter 1

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) It shall come into force on such date1as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint.

1. 8-11-1989


Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "application" means an application made under section 16;

(b) "appointed day" means the date1with effect from which the Claims Tribunal is established under section 3;

(c) "Bench" means a Bench of the Claims Tribunal;

(d) "Chairman" means the Chairman of the Claims Tribunal;

(e) "Claims Tribunal" means the Railway Claims Tribunal established under section 3;

(f) "Judicial Member" means a Member of the Claims Tribunal appointed as such under this Act, and includes the Chairman or Vice-Chairman who possesses any of the qualifications specified in sub-section (3) of section 5;

(g) "Member" means a Member (whether Judicial or Technical) of the Claims Tribunal, and includes the Chairman and Vice-Chairman;

(h) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

(i) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules;

(j) "Railways Act" means the Indian Railways Act, 1890 (9 of 1890);

(k) "rules" means rules made under this Act;

(l) "Technical Member" means a Member of the Claims Tribunal who is not a Judicial Member, and includes the Chairman or a Vice-Chairman who possesses any of the qualifications specified in sub­section (4) of section 5;

(m) "Vice-Chairman" means a Vice-Chairman of the Claims Tribunal.

Explanation. --References to the Vice-Chairman in this Act shall be construed as references to each of the Vice-Chairman;

2[(n) "untoward incident" shall have the meaning assigned to it in clause (c) of section 123 of the Railways Act, 1989 (24 of 1989);

2[(o) words and expressions used and not defined in this Act but defined in the Railways Act or the rules made thereunder shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in that Act or the said rules.]

1. 8-11-1989

2. Clause. (n) re-lettered as Clause. (o) and inserted before Clause. (o) as so re-lettered by Railways (Amdt) Act ( 28 of 1994), Section.8.


Chapter 2

Section 3. Establishment of Railway Claims Tribunal

The Central Government shall, by notification, establish a Claims Tribunal, to be known as the Railway Claims Tribunal, to exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on it by or under this Act.

Section 4. Composition of Claims Tribunal and Benches thereof

(1) The Claims Tribunal shall consist of a Chairman, four Vice-Chairmen and such number of Judicial Members and Technical Members as the Central Government may deem fit and, subject to the other provisions of this Act, the jurisdiction, powers and authority of the Claims Tribunal may be exercised by Benches thereof.

(2) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, a Bench shall consist of one Judicial Member and one Technical Member.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Chairman--

(a) may, in addition to discharging the functions of the Judicial Member or the Technical Member of the Bench to which he is appointed, discharge the functions of the Judicial Member or, as the case may be, the Technical Member, of any other Bench;

(b) may transfer a Vice-Chairman or other Member from one Bench to another Bench;

(c) may authorise the Vice-Chairman or the Judicial Member or the Technical Member appointed to one Bench to discharge also the functions of the Vice-Chairman or, as the case may be, the Judicial Member or the Technical Member of another Bench.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this section, it shall be competent for the Chairman or any other Member authorised by the Chairman in this behalf to function as a Bench consisting of a single Member and exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority of the Claims Tribunal in respect of such classes of cases or such matters pertaining to such classes of cases as the Chairman may, by general or special order, specify:

Provided that if at any stage of the hearing of any such case or matter, it appears to the Chairman or such Member that the case or matter is of such a nature that it ought to be heard by a Bench consisting of two Members, the case or matter may be transferred by the Chairman or, as the case may be, referred to him for transfer, to such Bench as the Chairman may deem fit.

(5) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Benches shall sit at such places as the Central Government may, by notification, specify.

Section 5. Qualifications for appointment as Chairman, Vice-Chairman or other Member

(1) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as the Chairman unless he--

(a) is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court; or

(b) has, for at least two years, held the office of a Vice-Chairman.

(2) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as the Vice-Chairman unless he--

(a) is, or has been, or is qualified to be, a Judge of a High Court; or

(b) has been a member of the Indian Legal Service and has held a post in Grade I of that service or any higher post for at least five years; or

(c) has, for at least five years, held a civil judicial post carrying a scale of pay which is not less than that of a Joint Secretary to the Government of India; or

(d) has, for at least five years, held a post under a railway administration carrying a scale of pay which is not less than that of a Joint Secretary to the Government of India and has adequate knowledge of rules and procedure of, and experience in, claims and commercial matters relating to railways; or

(e) has, for a period of not less than three years, held office as a Judicial Member or a Technical Member.

(3) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Judicial Member unless he--

(a) is, or has been, or is qualified to be, a Judge of a High Court; or

(b) has been a Member of the Indian Legal Service and has held a post in Grade I of that service for at least three years; or

(c) has, for at least three years, held a civil judicial post carrying a scale of pay which is not less than of a Joint Secretary to the Government of India.

(4) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Technical Member unless he has, for at least three years, held a post under a railway administration carrying a scale of pay which is not less than that of a Joint secretary to the Government of India and has adequate knowledge of rules and procedure of, and experience in, claims and commercial matters relating to railways.

(5) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (6), the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and every other Member shall be appointed by the President.

(6) No appointment of a person as the Chairman shall be made except after consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

Section 6. Vice-Chairman to act as Chairman or to discharge his functions in certain circumstances

(1) In the event of the occurrence of any vacancy in the office of the Chairman by reason of his death, resignation or otherwise, such one of the Vice-Chairmen as the Central Government may, by notification, authorise in this behalf, shall act as the Chairman until the date on which a new Chairman, appointed in accordance with the provisions of this Act to fill such vacancy, enters upon his office.

(2) When the Chairman is unable to discharge his functions owing to absence, illness or any other cause, such one of the Vice-Chairman as the Central Government may, by notification, authorise in this behalf, shall discharge the functions of the Chairman until the date on which the Chairman resumes his duties.

Section 7. Term of office

The Chairman, Vice-Chairman or other Member shall hold office as such for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains,--

(a) in the case of the Chairman, the age of sixty-five years; and

(b) in the case of the Vice-Chairman or any other Member, the age of sixty-two years,

whichever is earlier.

Section 8. Resignation and removal

(1) The Chairman, Vice-Chairman or other Member may, by notice in writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office:

Provided that the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or other Member shall, unless he is permitted by the President to relinquish his office sooner, continue to hold office until the expiry of three months from the date of receipt of such notice or until a person duly appointed as his successor enters upon his office or until the expiry of his term of office, whichever is the earliest.

(2) The Chairman, Vice-Chairman or any other Member shall not be removed from his office except by an order made by the President on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after an inquiry made by a Judge of the Supreme Court in which such Chairman, Vice-Chairman or other Member had been informed of the charges against him and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.

(3) The Central Government may, by rules, regulate the procedure for the investigation of misbehaviour or incapacity of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or other Member referred to in sub-section (2).

Section 9. Salaries and allowances and other terms and conditions of service of Chairman, Vice-Chairman and other Members

The salaries and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of service (including pension, gratuity and other retirement benefits) of, the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and other Members shall be such as may be prescribed:

Provided that neither the salary and allowances nor the other terms and conditions of service of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or other Member shall be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.

Section 10. Provision as to the holding of offices by Chairman, Vice-Chairman etc., on ceasing to be such Chairman or Vice-Chairman, etc.

On ceasing to hold office--

(a) the Chairman of the Claims Tribunal shall be ineligible for further employment either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State;

(b) a Vice-Chairman shall, subject to the other provisions of this Act, be eligible for appointment as the Chairman of the Claims Tribunal, or as the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or member of any other Tribunal established under any law for the time being in force, but not for any other employment either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State;

(c) a Member (other than the Chairman or Vice-Chairman) shall, subject to the other provisions of this Act, be eligible for appointment as the Chairman or Vice-Chairman or as the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or member of any other Tribunal established under any law for the time being in force, but not for any other employment either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State;

(d) the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or other Member shall not appear, act or plead before the Claims Tribunal.

Explanation.--For the purposes of this section, employment under the Government of India or under the Government of a State includes employment under any local or other authority within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India or under any corporation or society owned or controlled by the Government.

Section 11. Financial and administrative powers of Chairman

The Chairman shall exercise such financial and administrative powers over the Benches as may be vested in him under the rules:

Provided that the Chairman shall have authority to delegate such of his financial and administrative powers as he may think fit to the Vice-Chairman or any other officer of the Claims Tribunal, subject to the condition that the Vice-Chairman or such officer shall, while exercising such delegated powers, continue to act under the direction, control and supervision of the Chairman.

Section 12. Staff of Claims Tribunal

(1) The Central Government shall determine the nature and categories of the officers and other employees required to assist the Claims Tribunal in the discharge of its functions and provide the Claims Tribunal with such officers and other employees as it may think fit.

(2) The officers and other employees of the Claims Tribunal shall discharge their functions under the general superintendence of the Chairman.

(3) The salaries and allowances and conditions of service of the officers and other employees of the Claims Tribunal shall be such as may be prescribed.