Consumer Forum penalises Railways for not refunding ticket amount

Bangalore (SBC):  A consumer forum here has penalised the Indian Railways for failing to refund non-confirmed tickets citing lapses on the part of a commuter in following the procedure to claim refund.

The III Additional Bangalore Urban District Consumer Redressal Forum has asked the IRCTC/South Central Railway to pay compensation of Rs.1000 to the complainant, Venkat Thoutam of Bangalore, besides directing the Railways to refund Rs.2614.  Mr.Thoutam had booked four tickets under the Tatkal scheme for December 23, 2012 and all of them went under waiting list. When the travel chart was finalised, only his ticket got confirmed and the other three remained in waiting list and hence, the others could not travel.

Following this, he had submitted travel deposit receipt (TDR) claiming refund of amount that he paid while booking the tickets. However, in response to the forum’s notice, the Railways contended that IRCTC was not the authority for refund claims but it was the Chief Commercial Manager (Refunds). It was also contended that the complainant failed to submit non-travel certificate from the ticket checking staff.

However, the forum, comprising its president T. Rajashekaraiah and Member Subhashini, held that “refusal of the IRCTC/South Central Railways to consider the request of the complainant for refund only on the ground that the non-travel certificate was not produced is not proper and it clearly amounts to deficiency in service.”

Though IRCTC claimed that TDR should have been submitted to the Chief Commercial Manager (Refunds), the forum noted that as IRCTC itself had stated in its affidavit that Chief Commercial Manager (Refunds) had “regretted” the case, it implied that refund claim was referred to Chief Commercial Manager (Refunds), who had refused to order refund.

  • Commuter had booked four tickets under the Tatkal scheme
  • The tickets were wait-listed; only one ticket was confirmed