Protesters stopping running Train is an offence under Railways Act: Allahabad High Court

Protesters stopping running Train is an offence under Railways Act: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court ruled that the protesters stopping running train is an offence under Railways Act.

Court Observation 

The single judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh stated that if any Railway servant or any other person obstructs any train by squatting or picketing or during Rail Roko Agitation and Bandh etc., the offence under Section 174 (a) of the Railways Act would get attracted. 

It was noted by the court that the Driver of the train in his evidence very categorically said that he found a large number of people holding Congress Party flags standing on the railway track. 

The bench observed that a large number of people on railway track staging protest would amount to picketing.


A complaint was filed by the RPF, Post Unnao stating that the Station Master, Northern Railways, Unnao gave information to the RPF/GRP, Unnao that Train No.18191 UP was stopped soon before it was about to reach Platform No.2 by some protesters of the Congress Party having flags and banners in their hands. 

On the said information, Incharge Inspector, Srinivas Mishra along with Constables Durgesh Kumar Yadav, Dheeraj Kumar Singh and Antesh Kumar Tewari reached to the over bridge, which was on the eastern side of the Unnao Railway Station. 

The RPF team found that 150-200 people had Congress Party flags and banners in their hands standing under the over bridge.


Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, assisted by Rohit Kumar Singh and Rohit Kumar Tripathi, appearing for the appellants, submitted that the protest was staged at the open space near the railway track by the appellants and other Congress workers, and it was not the Rail Roko Agitation as held by the trial court.

She contended that the appellants did not ask the protesters to come on the railway track or climb on the engine of the train.

She submitted that this was neither ‘Rail Roko’ Agitation nor the protest on the railway track, but it was a symbolic protest to hand over the memorandum to the President of India through City Magistrate, Unnao .


The court observed that the protesters, including the appellants, had stopped the train for 15 minutes by picketing on the railway track and climbed on the engine of the train when it was stopped.

The court held that the offence under Section 174(a) of the Railways Act is clearly established against the appellants.

“In a democratic polity governed by a written Constitution, people have rights of protest against the Government’s policies, perceived atrocities” the court said.

The bench stated that if law prohibits or restricts exercise of this right in certain ways and manners, then such a law would amount to putting reasonable restriction.

The court found that awarding the sentence to the appellants for a maximum sentence of two years of simple imprisonment in the facts and circumstances of the case, is excessive.

The court modified the impugned judgment and order passed by the trial court to the extent that the appellants are sentenced with fine only.

Case title:  Annu Tandon and three others v/s State Through Railway Protection Force

Citation: CRIMINAL APPEAL No. – 638 of 2021

Click here to read the Order/Judgment 

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