The Delhi district consumer forum has directed the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to pay Rs 25,000 to a passenger, who was sent a wrong text alert stating that the Mahabodhi Express was cancelled, said a report by the India Today.
Two passengers were set to board the Mahabodhi Express going from Allahabad to Delhi on 29 May. On the same date, they received an SMS from IRCTC which read that the train had been cancelled and the passengers should cancel their tickets if they wanted a refund. It later turned out that the message was sent by mistake and the train did depart for Delhi on that day.
“After receiving the message from IRCTC, I cancelled both the tickets. However, it was important for my son to return to Delhi for some work, I booked a cab for him as no other train was available on that day,” the passenger Akshat Singh said. Mr Singh further added, “But after my son reached Delhi, I was shocked to find that the train had not been cancelled and it departed as per the schedule. I got a refund for just one ticket as the other one was booked on Tatkal. Although under such circumstances I was entitled to get the refund for both the tickets I had booked.”
With the help of advocate Sanjeev Nirwani, he approached the Delhi district consumer forum. He sought a refund for the cab fare and the ticket price as IRCTC did not pay any heed to his repeated requests for a refund. The district consumer forum directed IRCTC to pay Rs 25,000 to the passenger for the financial hardship, stress, inconvenience and harassment caused to him.
Directions by the consumer court
The complaint was heard by Member Anil Srivastava and OP Gupta who upheld the judgement of the district forum on the grounds of deficiency in service. The court observed, “Assuming that the SMS (by Railways) was sent inadvertently, another SMS could have been sent, recalling that the earlier message and intimating that the train would leave from Allahabad at the appointed date and time, which was not done. It itself shows and proves the deficiency significantly,” said a report by the India Today.
Counsel for railway service provider told the court that they are only agents of the Railway authorities. Directions, if any, is to be issued to the Railways for compliance and for taking steps for implementation of the order. The court also concluded that the argument put forth by the corporation that it has nothing to do with the management of the Railways, refund of tickets or cancellation of trains and otherwise does not carry any conviction.
The Logical Indian take
The Logical Indian is perturbed by the manner the passenger faced harassment in the hands of the IRCTC. The message sent by IRCTC was misleading and it certainly caused him financial hardship as well. It was a responsibility on the part of the IRCTC to send another message to the passenger clarifying that the train hasn’t been cancelled.
One wrong message from the IRCTC proved dear for the railway ticket booking service provider. The Logical Indian upholds Akshat Singh’s decision to move the consumer court and seek a refund from the authorities for financial hardship and harassment he had to face. It urges all its community members to seek redressal for such grievances and ensure that justice is meted out to them. The Logical Indian applauds the Consumer court’s decision. It gives hope to ensure the quality of services. And this case proves consumers’ voices are heard.
Read more at India Today
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