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Bike theft in parking premises

(Querist) 21 April 2024 This query is : Resolved 
hi.. I am a parking contractor with Indian railway, recently a bike was stolen while it was parked in our shed, though we are liable compensate the loss to the customer, but bike turned out to be without valid insurance. even though I am ready to compensate the bike owner is asking for huge amount. (50000rs for 10year old hero Honda splendor), now he has filed a police complaint with GRP, where the GRP police are threatening me of booking a criminal FIR against me. what are my leagl chances,? tomorrow i am going to police station to meet the inspector, kindly suggest me how to handle this situation.
Isaac Gabriel (Expert) 21 April 2024
The registered valuer can arrive the value with the date of purchase of the vehicle which could be basis for compensation.Proceed accordingly.
T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Expert) 21 April 2024
Since you are collecting the parking charges to lok after the vehicles and also have undertaken the liabilities agaisnt the loss or damages, you are obliged to meet events that takes place during the course of your business.
You may negotiate with the bike owner to some extent and try to solve the matter amicably otherwise you may have to suffer mental agony also besides the financial loss
kavksatyanarayana (Expert) 21 April 2024
You amicably settle the issue. Otherwise, you have to face legal and other problems.
Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Expert) 22 April 2024
even i the vehicle was not insured still you have no escape from its being stolen.

rather if the vehicle was insured it was for your rescue as you could shift liability to insurer.

You can get him fined by Traffic Police for driving uninsured vehicle to your parking lot. But this does not save from from the consequences narrated by experts above.
What are the contents of the contract given to you by the Railway authorities relating to the liability in case a vehicle is stolen? By any chance are you displaying a Board that vehicles are parked at the owner's risk? It’s always best to review the specific terms of the contract.

My view is that Railways are permitting the general public to use its place to park their vehicles levying a parking fee per hour or some such specific time. Because Railways cannot attend to the collection of Parking fees from every individual vehicle, the usual practice is that they auction the place for a specific period so that the highest bidder after paying the amount of bid is permitted to collect parking fees from vehicles that are parked and such contract is valid for a specific period say one year or two years.

During such a specific period, the Parking Contractor with his collection gets more than the bid amount and that is his profit for undertaking the work. While doing so, the Parking Lot Contractor becomes Bailee and if he can prove that reasonable care and precautions are taken to safeguard the vehicle, there is a possibility of his being let off with a small amount of damages to be paid, as the vehicle is permitted to be parked outside Railway station on railway property to keep order in the area.

If the Parking Lot Contractor, who takes about Rs.20 or so per hour is expected to make good the loss of motorcycles, which nowadays cost almost a lakh rupees, the parking fee needs to be hiked manifold and/or the parking lot is to be insured (in case any insurance company is ready to make such insurance) against theft based on average number of vehicles parked in the lot at any given time.
P. Venu (Expert) 26 April 2024
As the contractor, you are liable to pay damages relatable to the present value of the scooter taking into consideration the age of the vehicle as well as its wear and tear.

It is not decisive that the vehicle has not been insured.

Your liability is civil and not criminal. As such, GRP or the local police is not competent to file a FIR.

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