GSRTC asked to re­fund af­ter couple de­nied re­served seats

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Ke­tan and Anitaben Shah, res­i­dents of Nava Wadaj, Ahmed­abad, moved the con­sumer court af­ter they were not al­lowed to take their re­served seats in a Gu­jarat State Road Trans­port Cor­po­ra­tion (GSRTC) bus they were tak­ing for a pil­grim­age at Pal­i­tana. In May 2012, the Shahs booked their ticket from Ahmed­abad to Pal­i­tana and paid Rs 236 for ticket and reser­va­tion charges in a bus run by GSRTC. How­ever, they were not al­lowed to travel on the re­served seats by the bus driver and con­duc­tor. They were com­pelled to hire a pri­vate ve­hi­cle.

Upon re­turn from Pal­i­tana, the couple made sev­eral re­quests to GSRTC to take nec­es­sary ac­tion against the driver and con­duc­tor. They also de­manded re­fund of ticket amount. But the au­thor­i­ties did not take any ac­tion. Fi­nally the couple moved the Con­sumer Dis­putes Re­dres­sal Fo­rum, Ahmed­abad (ru­ral). Dur­ing the hear­ing GSRTC de­fended its employees, but the con­sumer court came to the con­clu­sion that there was de­fi­ciency in ser­vice. It or­dered GSRTC to re­fund Rs 3,486 to­wards the ticket charges along with the fare paid for hir­ing a pri­vate ve­hi­cle. This amount was asked to be re­funded with nine per cent in­ter­est. The con­sumer court also or­dered GSRTC to con­duct a de­part­men­tal in­quiry against the driver and con­duc­tor on al­le­ga­tions of not be­hav­ing prop­erly with the pas­sen­gers.

Ac­cord­ingly, GSRTC in­sti­tuted an in­quiry against the employees and found them at fault and also awarded due pun­ish­ment to them. How­ever, the cor­po­ra­tion was not happy with the con­sumer fo­rum’s de­ci­sion and chal­lenged it be­fore the Gu­jarat State Con­sumer Dis­putes Re­dres­sal Com­mis­sion. The Com­mis­sion heard the case and turned down GSRTC’s ap­peal.

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