A consumer court has directed the IRCTC to pay a compensation of Rs 7,000 along with ticket and RTI costs to a Thane resident for his sufferings due to the rail corporation's deficient service in giving wrong train schedule to him.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles the catering, tourism and its online ticketing operations.
Complainant Gopal Bankatlalji Bajaj, from Kamothe in Navi Mumbai, had booked his train ticket through the IRCTC portal for a reserved seat in Nagpur-Mumbai Express for travelling from Amravati to Mumbai on May 5, 2013.
He made an online payment of Rs 300, and he got the ticket with PNR number on his mobile via an SMS from IRCTC.
However, when he arrived at Amravati station at the specified time to board the train, which was scheduled to depart at 1940 hrs, he was informed that it was late by four-and-a-half hours.
As he had to reach his office the next day, he purchased a general ticket for Rs 180. He then travelled the entire distance with extreme difficulty in general (unreserved) compartment of another train, the complainant stated before the Thane District consumer Redressal Forum.
He also informed the forum that the IRCTC had informed him in reply to an e-mail that the train was on time.
However, later the complainant sought the train running status vide an RTI query from the IRCTC headquarters in New Delhi, which informed him that the train was running behind its schedule on that day.
The IRCTC also refunded Rs 300 which he paid for the first ticket that he had booked.
However, unhappy with wrong information being provided by IRCTC about train schedule, Bajaj also sought refund of the money he spent on the second ticket and also the RTI charges, besides the compensation for sufferings and legal expenses.
The forum relied on the fact that IRCTC refunded Rs 300, which means there was a delay in running of the train, and also the RTI reply kept before it.
Thus, Forum president Sneha Mhatre, and members Madhuri Vishwarupe and N D Kadam recently ordered the IRCTC to pay the new ticket cost of Rs 180, and also the Rs 150 RTI cost along with 12 per cent interest from May 5, 2013, to the complainant, along with Rs 5,000 towards mental his sufferings and Rs 2,000 for his legal expenses.
The forum observed that in falsely informing that the train was running as per schedule, the IRCTC has given deficient services to the complainant.