For failing to “discharge its duties”, a penalty of Rs 10,000 has been levied on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism and Corporation (IRCTC) by the District Consumer Forum.
Finding it deficient in services, the Forum also ordered IRCTC to refund the train booking amount to a Mohali resident within a month, which had not been returned till now.
Harjinder Singh Bhatia had booked two tatkal tickets online, in August 2011, from Chandigarh to Lucknow to visit his ailing grandmother.
With the unfortunate death of his grandmother on the day of the journey, Singh rushed to the railway station only to find his train running 15 hours late.
Singh then rushed to New Delhi in a taxi to get another train to Lucknow.
As the Chandigarh-Lucknow train was running over three hours late, he cancelled the tickets a day later and was supposed to get a refund amount of Rs 1,828.
However, on not receiving any response from the opposite party, he wrote a mail, the response to which was that his refund was still in progress.
But despite 19 months, 25 mails and a legal notice no refund was credited to his account.
Meanwhile, Singh contended the IRCTC was putting off the matter with one context or the other.
However, IRCTC maintained it had no role in deciding the refund of tickets. It contended the refund complaint was forwarded to the concerned departments, as required.
Slamming these contentions, the Forum ruled “It was the duty of IRCTC to follow up with their own department and ensure the refund reaching to the complainant without any delay.”
Also, the Forum observed that IRCTC had honorous duty towards railway users and consumers for providing hassle-free services, which includes reservation of tickets and refund.