New Delhi, June 14, 2017: The Delhi state consumer commission has upheld an order directing Railways Ministry to pay compensation of Rs 75,000 to a passenger as railway administration failed to prevent unauthorised entry in a reserved seat.
The compensation was awarded to a passenger who had to “face inconvenience and hardship” as his seat had been occupied illegally by other men.
On March 30, 2013, a resident of Delhi’s Lodhi Colony, V Vijay Kumar had booked a lower berth while travelling from Vishakhapatnam in Link Dakshin Express as he was suffering from knee joint pain and wanted to rest during the journey as he was advised bed rest by the doctor.
However, the complainant alleged that when the train stopped at Bina Junction in Madhya Pradesh, few people entered his compartment and occupied his berth. He looked for Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) but none of the officials could be found at the time that forced him to keep standing, which worsens his knee pain.
While claiming that he underwent “a lot of mental stress because of the inconvenience during the journey”, the man moved the district consumer forum claiming Rs 20 lakh as compensation.
Earlier, the district forum had ruled in favour of Kumar directing the railways to pay him Rs 75,000 as compensation. It also asked for deduction of Rs 25,000 from the salary of the TTE deputed in the train compartment on the date of the journey. Kumar, however, appealed before the commission that the compensation amount was too less when compared to the mental tension, agony and suffering faced by him.
The complainant then lodged an appeal in the state consumer forum for enhanced compensation. During the proceedings, the counsel for the Railways said the order of the forum could be set aside as the Railways’ arguments were not heard in the matter.
A bench of Justice Veena Birbal and Member, Salma Noor, said, “The respondent was given a chance to contest the case and it did not avail the opportunity.” The bench, however, dismissed the plea for enhancement of compensation.