New Delhi, Aug 28, 2018 : You may think that refunding a cancelled railway ticket is a piece of cake – not so for Mumbai-based Aniruddha Shembavanekar, who spent 4 years in a consumer dispute with the IRCTC to refund a ticket that was cancelled by the railways.
Aniruddha is among several others who are waiting for their cancellation refunds.
Earlier this year Sujeet Swami, a 30-year-old MTech, moved a petition in Lok Adalat, to get a refund of Rs 35 that was charged as GST but not refunded. “Rs. 100 were deducted instead of Rs. 65 against cancellation of a waitlisted ticket. I filed an RTI with IRCTC in July last year…and lodged complaint with the IRCTC immediately. I was informed that the amount would be refunded, but to no avail,” Swami said to NewsBytes.
In fact, in an RTI query by Swami, IRCTC revealed that 9.55 lakh passengers, who booked their tickets before GST implementation and canceled them between 1-11 July, were charged service tax. “Shocking that over 9.55 lakh passengers were charged Rs. 35, which amounts to over Rs. 3.34 crore. Most of the passengers did not even know about it and must have forgotten,” Swami said to NewsBytes.
This is why it is important to care about your train cancellation refunds.
In Anirudhha’s case, The Better India reports that in April 2014, the Vile Parle resident had booked train tickets on the Howrah Mumbai mail for his wife and son, who wanted to travel from Jabalpur to Mumbai in June 2014. He was later informed that the train had been cancelled due to some unavoidable circumstances.
After filing a complaint in October of 2014, stating that he had not yet received his refund, he was told that he has missed the stipulated window of 72 hours in which he could claim for a refund.
Furious, he filed a complaint in the South Mumbai District consumer dispute redressal commission forum — and after four years got a ruling in favour of his complaint.
A report in DNA said that the South Mumbai District’s consumer dispute redressal commission has pulled up IRCTC, the subsidiary of Indian Railways for failing to refund the ticket charges of a train that was cancelled by the Railways due to some unavoidable circumstance. The forum held that it was mandatory for the firm to refund the amount as the consumer had not availed of its services, and by denying the same, there was a deficiency of service. The forum therefore penalised the firm.
The consumer forum, in it’s verdict said, “The claim that the complainant had to file its TDR within 72 hours is unsustainable and baseless. Since the railway on its own canceled the train then it quite natural that complainant was entitled to the refund of the amount automatically through IRCTC.”
According to the DNA report, the forum has ordered IRCTC to refund Aniruddha Shembavanekar’s ticket amount of Rs 1,855. along with Rs 7,500 towards his mental agony and Rs 2,500 towards his litigation charges.