ISLAMABAD - A petition has been moved before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking a judicial inquiry into the last year’s Tezgam Express accident which had claimed 75 lives. Shafiq Ullah, a former general manager of Pakistan Railways, filed the petition. The petitioner prayed to the court to hold a judicial inquiry into the 7-UP Tezgam Express train accident of October 31, 2019 and to revoke the contradictory orders made by the Ministry of Railways damaging valuable rights of the affectees of the accident and suppression of material facts”. He stated in the petition that the railways secretary “has deviated from the basic structure of the Railways Act, 1890, creating chaos and panic amongst different cadres by allowing undue advantage to undeserving senior grade officers”. According to the petition, rail accidents happened due to human error or interventions, deliberate or otherwise, which need to be cured with the execution of a due process of the system and appointment of deserving functionaries in accordance with merit and seniority. He added that even in this age of aviation and motorways, the main system of transportation within our country remains the railways and the complete lack of investment in modernizing the service has seen it face numerous problems, the most important being safety.  Therefore, he prayed to the court that it may direct a judicial inquiry of the incident. He also requested the court that the promotion orders of the incumbent Chief Executive Officer and the Federal Government Inspector Railways may be set aside and declared null and void, ab-initio on the ground that both incumbents do not meet the criterion for promotion and posting to the highest echelons.

He further requested the court that respondents may be directed to pay adequate compensation to the bereaved families of the dead and injured persons in accordance to norms of equity and justice.