Indian railway is the 4th largest railway network in the world. It is also the world’s 9th largest employer. It carries more than 25 million passengers every day, more than the entire population of Australia. To run Indian railway in a smooth manner ‘Indian Railway Act’, 1989 was enacted. It is comprised of XVI chapters and 200 sections.
Chapters of the act are as follows:
Chapter I (Sec.1-2) – Under this chapter all the basic definitions are defined such as carriage, commissioner, consignment, consignee, fair, freight, etc.
Chapter II (Sec.3-4) – It defines various zones in India and appointments of general manager.
Chapter III (Sec.5-10) – It is all about duties, powers, appointment and annual report of commissioners.
Chapter IV (Sec.11-20)– It has all the information related to construction and maintenance of works by the railway authority such as payment of amount for damage or loss, accommodation works, over bridges, under bridges and many more such work.
Chapter V (Sec.21-29) – It deals with opening of railways. Also includes power to suspend the traffic temporarily and power to close railway opened for the public carriage of passengers.
Chapter VI (Sec.30-32) – This chapter empowers railway to fix rates of tickets and other commodities sold by the railway.
Chapter VII (Sec.33-48) – Under this chapter railway rates tribunal can be constituted and powers, appointments, decisions, reliefs of the tribunal are defined. Tribunal is also required to submit a report to the central government.
Chapter VIII (Sec.49-60) – It has provisions related to carriage of passengers. Sections define exhibition of certain timings, fares for stations, cancellation of ticket and refund, maximum number of passengers for each compartment etc.
Chapter IX (Sec.61-87)– It defines provisions related to carriage of goods.
Chapter X (Sec.88-92)– Power of railways to declare notified stations and disposal of unremoved goods at notified stations.
Chapter XI (Sec.93-112) – Responsibility of Railway administration as carriers is defined under this chapter. Procedure for claiming compensation and who has the burden of proof.
Chapter XII (Sec.113-122) – Important things related to train mishaps are covered in this chapter such as inquiry by commissioner, procedure of conducting inquiries and law related to return the amount.
Chapter XIII(Sec.123-129) – It defines the liability of railway administration for death and injury to passenger due to accidents. Defines the procedure for compensation, determination of compensation in respect of any injury or loss of goods.
Chapter XIV(Sec.130-136) – It is related to hours of work, grant of periodical rest of railway servants. Also defines the supervisory power on railway servants.
Chapter XV(Sec.137-182) – It mentions all the penalties of offences such as attempting to travel or travel without ticket, creating nuisance or drunk while travelling, needlessly interfering with means of communication in a train, begging and hawking in the train, making a false claim for compensation, attempting to hurt persons travelling by railway, travelling on roof, step or engine of a train, breaking a level crossing gate and many more. It also defines the jurisdiction of magistrate and place of trial.
Chapter XVI (Sec.183-200) – It covers all other miscellaneous powers and administration.
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