A consumer forum has asked Indian Railway Catering and Tourism (IRCTC) to pay INR 25,000 as compensation fee to a passenger who was denied a refund on his unused wait-listed ticket approximately three years back.
It all started with the complaint lodged by Subrata Bhaumik – a New Delhi resident who had booked six tickets using the “Tatkal” service on November 2, 2010. However, prior to the date of the journey, he was informed by the Railway enquiry that the booked tickets were not confirmed. Subsequently, Bhaumik decided to travel by bus.
When he approached the Railway to collect the refund on the tickets, he was told that the tickets had been confirmed (and hence no refund). However, shocked by such flip flops on IRCTC’s part, Bhaumik went on filing an RTI application which later confirmed that the tickets were not confirmed even after the final chart was prepared.
IRCTC, however, denied any wrongdoing on its part by claiming that the tickets had been indeed confirmed, adding that the Railway’s existing policies barred them to issue a refund to the tickets since they were booked under the Tatkal service.
However, the consumer forum slammed IRCTC’s stand by saying, “In the present case, the Ticket Deposit Receipt was issued on November 12, 2010, for the refund applied on November 12, 2010, and till now, at the time of argument, the complainant has not been returned the fare. This shows the total collapse of the efficiency of Railways for refund of unused tickets,” the Times of India reports.
The bench hearing the case also stated that the entire fiasco “clearly establishes harassment suffered by the complainant along with others due to unfair service of Railways. We hold the opposite party guilty of deficiency and direct to pay compensation of Rs 25,000 to the complainant inclusive of value of the ticket, compensation and litigation expenses.”