Northeast Frontier Railways
This is a discussion on Northeast Frontier Railways within the Judgments forums, part of the General Discussions category; State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission West Bengal BHABANI BHAVAN (GROUND FLOOR) 31, BELVEDERE ROAD, ALIPORE KOLKATA – 700 027 S.C. ...
- 09-01-2009, 06:49 PM #1
Northeast Frontier Railways
State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
BHABANI BHAVAN (GROUND FLOOR)
31, BELVEDERE ROAD, ALIPORE
KOLKATA – 700 027
S.C. CASE NO. : FA/09/56
DATE OF FILING : 05.02.2009 DATE OF FINAL ORDER: 29.05.2009
1. Northeast Frontier Railways
Head Office, Maligaon, Assam.
2. General Manager
N.F.Railway, Maligaon, Assam.
3. Divisional Railway Manager
4. Station Master
Sri Kailash Bhatrai
S/o Sri Iswari Prasad Bhatrai
House No. 242J, Katre Vihar,
Air Force (Gurudwara)
Hasimara, Dist. Jalpaiguri,
BEFORE : MEMBER : MR. P.K.CHATTOPADHYAY
MEMBER : MR. S.COARI
FOR THE PETITIONER / APPELLANT : Mr. A.Ghosh, Ld. Advocate
FOR THE RESPONDENT / O.P.S.: Mrs. S.Banerjee, Ld. Advocate
: O R D E R :
MR. S.COARI, LD. MEMBER
The present Appeal has been directed against the judgement and order dt. 5.11.08 passed by the ld. District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Circuit Bench, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, in Case No. CF 07/2007 wherein the Ld. District Forum allowed the petition of complaint on contest with cost of Rs. 1,000/- along with a direction upon the Ops to refund Rs. 404/- to the complainant together with compensation of Rs. 25,000/- in favour of the complainant.
The case of the complainant, in brief, before the Ld. District Forum was that the complainant was a bonafide passenger having valid ticket for his journey on 29.12.06 from Hasimara to Sealdah by Kanchankanya Express train. The complainant was to appear in M.A.Examination scheduled to be held on 31.12.06 to 5.1.07 in Kolkata. On boarding the reserved compartment the complainant to his utter surprise found another passenger occupying the berth which was reserved by the complainant. The complainant approached a TTE to resolve the problem, but instead of helping the complainant the TTE declared him to be a passenger without ticket and compelled the complainant to pay Rs. 404/- and on payment of such fine another ticket was issued in favour of the complainant. The complainant suffered mental trauma due to such ill-behaviour and unjust fine at the instance of the Railway Authority and being aggrieved he instituted the complaint case.
The Ops contested the case by filing written objection thereby denying all the material allegations contained in the complaint contending inter alia that due to inadvertence the complainant’s name was recorded in the Reservation Register on 25.12.06 instead of 29.12.06. Due to such inadvertent entry in the Reservation Register the concerned TTE had no option but to treat the complainant, who was travelling on 29.12.06, to be a ticketless passenger and accordingly charged him Rs. 404/- for which the Railway administration cannot be held responsible.
The Ld. District Forum while disposing of the case has observed that there was certainly deficiency in service at the instance of the Railway administration, i.e. the Ops, and that for no fault on the part of the complainant he was harassed and subjected to mention trauma and unnecessarily compelled to pay a fine and accordingly disposed of the case in favour of the complainant as mentioned above.
The only moot question that revolves round the present Appeal is as to whether the Ld. District Forum was justified enough in disposing of the case in the manner as discussed above.
DECISION WITH REASONS
At the time of hearing the Ld. Advocate appearing on behalf of the Appellants has submitted before us that there was no intentional laches on the part of the Ops so far as it relates to taking fine from the complainant as his name was not in the Reservation Register and for this the concerned TTE cannot be held responsible as he was under the impression that the berth was lying vacant on that day and accordingly another passenger was issued ticket for the self-same berth on 29.12.06. While elaborating his submissions the Ld. Advocate for the Appellants has submitted before us that due to inadvertence such a situation cropped up which was quite unintentional on the part of the Ops and the Ld. District Forum did not appreciate the peculiar circumstances in which the complainant was charged with fine at the instance of the Railway authority. While concluding his submissions the Ld. Advocate for the Appellant has urged before us that the Ld. District Forum did not appreciate the actual state of affairs and has unnecessarily passed a harsh order thereby allowing compensation to the tune of Rs. 25,000/-, which is certainly an excessive and uncalled for amount. According to the Ld. Advocate, the main judgement cannot be treated as a judicial one and accordingly the same is liable to be set aside and the Appeal should be allowed.
We have duly considered the submissions put forward by the Ld. Advocates for both sides and have also gone through the materials on record including the impugned judgement and find that in this case the complainant has put up a specific case to the effect that he was a bonafide ticket holder of the concerned train on 29.12.06. He was supposed to appear in the M.A. Examination on 31.12.06. But with such mental trauma and harassment he was compelled to face the examination with endless sufferings and accordingly he sought for redressal before the Ld. District Forum. In this connection, the story put forward by the OPs is to the effect that due to some inadvertence and unintentional mistake the name of the complainant was not in the Reservation Register which has resulted in a misconception and allotment of ticket for the second time in respect of another person, for which the Ops were not responsible. However, from the materials on record we find that there is no denial on the part of the Railway administration that the complainant was a bonafide ticket holder, but due to some inadvertence his name was not entered in the Reservation Register, which has resulted the issuance of ticket in favour of another passenger on the self-same date. We have duly appreciated the standpoint taken by the Appellants. But there is no escape from the admitted fact that this has unnecessarily resulted in complainant’s paying find which was not only unjust but improper also. From the materials on record we find that a bonafide passenger was asked to pay fine for a folly, which is not clearly explained and that the Ld. District Forum has rightly adjudged the Railway authority responsible towards harassment meted out to the complainant. However, considering the facts and circumstances of the case we are of considered opinion that ends of justice would be met if the compensation amount be reduced to Rs. 12,000/- from Rs. 25,000/- thereby keeping the remaining portion of the judgement unaltered. Accordingly, the Appeal succeeds in part on contest without any order as to cost.
Hence, it is ORDERED that the Appeal stands allowed in part on contest without any order as to cost. The compensation amount of Rs. 25,000/- awarded by the Ld. District Forum in favour of the complainant is reduced to Rs. 12,000/- (Rupees twelve thousand only). The other portions of the impugned judgement remain unaltered. Appellants are directed to pay the awarded amounts to the Respondent within 30 (thirty) days from the date of communication of this order, failing which the same will carry interest @ 10% (ten per cent) per annum for the period of default.
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