Con­sumer court fines rail­ways Rs 30,000

Consumer Voice - - In The News -

Gon­dia Dis­trict Con­sumer Re­dres­sal Fo­rum (Ma­ha­rash­tra) has im­posed a penalty of Rs 20,000 and a cost of Rs 10,000 on Cen­tral Rail­way for de­fi­ciency in pro­vid­ing ser­vices as per its Cit­i­zens’ Char­ter. Lawyer Sud­hir Rathod lodged a com­plaint as the rail­ways failed to pro­vide ba­sic fa­cil­i­ties like wa­ter and light in his com­part­ment in Ch­hat­tis­garh Ex­press.

Rathod had boarded the train from Habib­ganj sta­tion in Bhopal on 3 Novem­ber 2011 with con­firmed reser­va­tion. He dis­cov­ered the coach lacked the ba­sic ameni­ties. He and his co-pas­sen­gers who had boarded the train from ear­lier sta­tions com­plained about the same. After the train reached Itarsi, he com­plained to the lo­cal train ticket ex­am­iner (TTE), who as­sured that wa­ter would be filled and lights re­paired at Nag­pur.

When noth­ing was done at Nag­pur sta­tion, Rathod lodged a writ­ten com­plaint with the sta­tion master after reach­ing Gon­dia. After wait­ing for over a year, he filed an RTI query in which the rail­ways ad­mit­ted that due to staff short­age there was no TTE in six coaches that day. Rathod then ap­proached the con­sumer fo­rum, de­mand­ing com­pen­sa­tion for men­tal tor­ture and ha­rass­ment caused due to ab­sence of ba­sic fa­cil­i­ties.

A bench com­pris­ing chair­man Atul Alashi and mem­bers Wa­man Choud­hari and Var­sha Patil ruled that lack of wa­ter, light and TTE came un­der the def­i­ni­tion of ‘de­fi­ciency in ser­vice’. They also held that due to a TTE’s ab­sence the pas­sen­gers were pre­vented from reg­is­ter­ing a com­plaint.

While re­fer­ring to the ‘Cit­i­zens’ Char­ter for Pas­sen­ger Ser­vices of In­dian Rail­ways’, the fo­rum made it clear that rail­ways was com­mit­ted to pro­vide safe and de­pend­able train ser­vices and also en­sure ad­e­quate pas­sen­ger ameni­ties. Cit­ing an ear­lier decision by New Delhi State Con­sumer Fo­rum in the case of North­ern Rail­way ver­sus Prakash Chan­dra, the judges stated that rail­ways should also pro­vide light­ing, fans, cush­ioned berths and wa­ter on board and TTEs should be made avail­able to at­tend to com­plaints/ griev­ances.

Air In­dia told to pay Rs 1 lakh to flyer for lost bag

A con­sumer fo­rum in New Delhi has asked Air In­dia to pay an NRI flyer a com­pen­sa­tion of Rs 1 lakh in a lost bag­gage case. The amount will be di­vided equally be­tween the con­sumer wel­fare fund and the com­plainant for men­tal agony, hu­mil­i­a­tion, in­con­ve­niences, loss of bag­gage due to neg­li­gence, phys­i­cal dis­com­fort and lit­i­ga­tion ex­penses.

On 30 De­cem­ber 2010, the com­plainant had landed at the IGI air­port and for­got one of his bags there. He went back to IGI the same day and ap­proached the in­quiry desk of Air In­dia. CCTV footage showed that the bag was picked up by a loader work­ing with Neha Avi­a­tion, a pri­vate agency un­der con­tract with the air­line for load­ing and un­load­ing ser­vices.

A po­lice com­plaint was lodged the fol­low­ing day. De­spite sev­eral rounds of cor­re­spon­dence and fil­ing of RTIs, the bag could not be found. Air In­dia tried to blame DIAL, re­spon­si­ble for gen­eral se­cu­rity and man­age­ment of the air­port.

Air In­dia claimed that it was un­able to carry out any probe as the loss was re­ported very late. Although the footage re­vealed that the staff kept the hand bag­gage in the bag­gage re­claim hall at IGI, Air In­dia re­fused to ac­cept the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the bag be­ing left unat­tended at the ter­mi­nal. Po­lice had raided the house of the loader but failed to find any ev­i­dence, Air In­dia said.

The court, how­ever, said that while the cus­tody of bag­gage was with the com­plainant when the bag was left at the air­port, it had been proved that it ‘went back to the cus­tody of Air In­dia’. The al­le­ga­tion of Air In­dia that mat­ter was re­ported too late did not have any cre­dence as the com­plainant ap­proached Air In­dia on the day of loss it­self, said the or­der presided over by judge CK Chaturvedi.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.