Pune: The District Consumer Forum has directed the Indian Railways to refund ticket cost of Rs 2,500 with 18 per cent interest since 2016, as the train August Kranti Rajdhani Express was cancelled due to the Jat protest but the passenger did not get a refund even after many attempts. The Railways has been directed to pay compensation of Rs 10,000 for mental agony and litigation cost.
Manish Kumar, an Air Force serviceman from IAF station in Lohegaon, moved the forum in October 2016 against officer-in-charge, e-ticketing cell, Air Force Station, Lohegaon, PCDA, New Delhi and Chief Commercial Manager (Refunds), North Western Railway HQ, Jaipur, Rajasthan.
The complainant booked a reservation ticket of AG Kranti Rajdhani (12954) for journey dated February 21, 2016, and another ticket of Trivandrum Express (16331) journey dated February 22, 2016.
All these bookings were done through PCDA which provided the facility of e-ticketing at reservation cell, Air Force Station, Lohegaon. On February 21, 2016, due to Jat Andolan in Haryana, the train (AG Kranti Rajdhani 12954) was cancelled.
The complainant faced hardship. He reached his station of duty with his family by another train for which he had to pay fine and ticket fare.
The complainant tried to cancel his original ticket on February 21, 2016, but the ticketing centre at Air Force Station, Lohegaon, was closed with Saturday and Sunday consecutive holidays. Hence, the complainant could cancel his ticket only on Monday, February 22. The TDR ticket was filed by e-ticketing cell, Air Force Station, for Trivandrum Express, but was not filed for AG Kranti Rajdhani Express and was advised that it will be cancelled at the railway station.
The complainant approached all the concerned people but his complaint was not redressed. The complainant prayed for refund of ticket-fare of Rs 2,500 with 18 per cent interest, Rs 3,500 for the additional fare paid in emergency travelling to his station of duty and Rs 50,000 towards mental agony and Rs 3,000 towards costs of the case.
After the forum issued notices to the opponents, e-ticketing cell officials appeared while the Railways and PCDA didn’t appear hence order was issued ex-parte against them.
“Jat Andolan was an unforeseen event and TDR was filed for e-ticket for the journey from Mumbai to Pune on February 22, 2016. Since there is no provision for cancellation of ‘I ticket’ by e-ticketing cell, no refund case was taken by us. The complainant himself is responsible for non-cancellation of I-ticket,” the officer submitted.
The forum held that the Railways must pay compensation of Rs 10,000 as well as refund the ticket fare of Rs 2,500 with 18 per cent interest since filing of the complaint in October 2016.
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