The Railways (Amendment) Bill, 2014, seeks to provide clarity on "accidental falling" from trains to curb misuse of existing provisions and also prevent false claims.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said usually a Bill is never sent to Standing Committee after discussion and reply by the Minister, 'but, we are sending it to the committee keeping the sense of the House in mind.'
The Bill, introduced on August 7, was taken up for discussion and passage after Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda explained reasons for the proposed amendment.
But there was strong attack from members cutting across party lines in the opposition to the Bill saying the railways was trying to shed its responsibility in paying compensation to accident victims.
During the debate on the Bill, the opposition targeted the government for its move to amend the definition of 'accidental falling' in Railways Act.
Gowda said the number of false claims has been increasing manifold and the proposed amendments would help to curb such claims.
According to Gowda, even the claims tribunal have observed that there should be more clarity in the Act to curb false claims and accidental falling need to be defined.
Citing statistics, he said the number of claims rose to over 8,150 during 2010-11 from 136 in 1994-95. During that time, the claims amount jumped to Rs 164 crore from Rs 26 lakh, he said.
Congress member KC Venugopal, who initiated the debate, said the move is "quite objectionable".
"Railways is trying to take decision that is against the will and wish of people," he said and wondered how it can withdraw from its moral responsibility of providing compensation to rail accident victims.

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