The Bombay High Court has directed the Western Railway to bear the medical expenses of a month-old infant who was found abandoned in the ladies’ compartment of a suburban train at Virar station last month.
The counsel appearing for the petitioner, Arif Doctor, had invited the attention of the court to the incident where a 30- day-old infant was found abandoned in a train on October 25. Initially, after the station master issued a memo, the railway police took the baby to Alliance Hospital for treatment.
The hospital authorities, however, refused to admit the baby after the railways informed the hospital that it would not bear the expenses as he was not injured in a railway accident. The baby was then taken to the government hospital in Virar for medical treatment, and after discharge, was admitted to a children’s home in Bhiwandi.
“A 30-day-old baby was found abandoned in a ladies compartment and it was the duty of the railway authorities to bear the medical expenses of the boy,” said Justices V M Kanade and Shalini Phansalkar Joshi.
Stating that the railway authorities should have given proper treatment to the boy in a private hospital, the court said, “ The order passed should not be construed to mean that only injured passengers should be given treatment by the railway authorities. We expect that on humanitarian ground, even in such a condition where the baby was in need of medical treatment, the railway authorities could have exercised their discretion and ensured that he was given treatment at the earliest in nearby hospitals.”
The court was hearing a petition filed by activist Samir Zaveri for setting up medical facilities at railway stations.