BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM:
(UNDER THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986)
SRI P.APPALANAIDU, M.A., B.L., B.Ed., MEMBER.
PRESENT:- SRI N.JAGANNADHA RAO, B.Sc., B.L., PRESIDENT.
SMT P.RUKMINI, B.A., B.L., MEMBER
WEDNESDAY, THE 04TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2009
Gokavarapu Krishna Rao,
S/o Appala Raju,
45 years, Business,
Vimal Show Room,
M.G.Road, Vizianagaram. …….Complainant.
1. The Chief Commercial Manager,
Northern Railway, Baroda House,
2. The General Manager (OPS), IRCTC.,
9th Floor, Bank of Baroda Buildings,
16th Parliament Street, New Delhi.
3. Kameswari Tours & Travels,
IRCTCs E-Ticket Service Agent,
P.S.R.Complex, Vizianagaram. …..…Opposite parties.
This complaint coming on for final hearing before us on 10-12-2008 in the presence of Sri K.Venu Gopal, Advocate for complainant and of Sri I.Suresh, Advocate for opposite party No.1 and opposite parties IRCTC and Kameswari Tours & Travels (IRCTCs E-Ticket Service Agent ) called absent and remained exparte and having stood over for consideration, the Forum made the following:
1. The case of the complainant is that he along with his wife booked two tickets of 2nd A/c for traveling from Delhi to Azmir on 20-11-2007 in train No.9270 MKI PBR Express through the Kameswari Tours & Travels (IRCTCs E-Ticket Service Agent ), a traveling agent at Vizianagaram. He reached Delhi in the early morning of 20-11-2007 and found for the said train no 2nd A/c compartment was not attached at all. He also complained that they were not allowed to travel in 3rd A/c. Inspite of the fact, they possess 2nd A/c ticket for the same train thus forced him to continue the jouney in general compartment. Terming it the failure of the railways in making alternative arrangements while cancelling 2nd A/c accommodation inspite of the fact that, tickets were already booked and putting the passengers to inconvenience is termed as deficiency in service and the complainant is seeking compensation of Rs.50,000/- for that inconvenience caused to him and his wife on that day. It is also for refund of the 2nd A/c ticket fair. He claimed to have purchased general ticket for the said journey.
2. The 1st opposite party railways pleaded that for technical reasons 2nd A/c compartment could not be attached to that particular train. It took up a stand that alternate arrangements were made and the 2nd A/c passengers were accommodated in the same train by the railways and alleged that the complainant never approached the concerned for alternative arrangements. It is further pleaded that the complainant has put to strict proof he made journey by ordinary compartment. Without any proof he is not entitled to any compensation. It took up a specific plea, that the 2nd A/c fare was already refunded by the IRCTC and there is no deficiency in service and the complainant is not entitled for any compensation and damages.
Opposite parties IRCTC and Kameswari Tours & Travels (IRCTCs E-Ticket Service Agent ) called absent and remained exparte.
3. At the time of enquiry the complainant marked Ex.A.1 to A.3 and the 1st opposite party did not choose to adduce any documentary proof.
4. Both counsels were heard who reiterated their contentions made in the pleadings. In view of the respective contentions, the point that would arise for determination in this case is.
Whether there is any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties 1
and IRCTC and if so, the complainant is entitled for any compensation or damages
5. POINT:- The fact that the complainant and his wife has confirmed reservation in 2nd A/c coach from Delhi to Azmir on 20-11-2007 is not in dispute and so also the fact on that day for that particular train 2nd A/c coach was not attached at all. The complainant asserts that though he approached the 3rd A/c coach conductor for alternative accommodation. He was not allowed to travel in that coach and so he was forced to purchase general ticket and then travel in general compartment to reach Azmir. The railways equally assert that the passengers were accommodated by making alternative arrangements evidently, the complainant did not approach the concerned authority to avail such alternative arrangements.
6. Though it assert that alternative arrangements were made for 2nd A/c passengers in the same train. The railways could not place any material to substantiate this contention. More over, the contention of the railways that the complainant did not approach for alternative arrangements does not stand to reason at all. Having confirmed reservation in a particular train it is quite natural that the complainant would definitely approach the conductor of 3rd A/c for accommodation and without making such effort he would not have continuous journey in general compartment. That would be the normal conduct of act by an ordinary prudent man. In the absence of any evidence on the part of the railways that they made alternative arrangements for 2nd A/c passengers in 3rd A/c coach, in our view, the contention of the complainant that he was forced to travel in general compartment can be accepted.
7. Though an attempt was made but contended that absolutely no proof that the complainant traveling in that train in general compartment itself as no ticket were produced, in our view, if we take into consideration that the complainant had to undertake further journey and booked to Ahmadabad from Azmir and from there had confirmed reservation from Ahmadabad to Vizianagaram. The plea of the complainant that he traveled in the general compartment, though did not file the ticket quite natural and reasonable and can be accepted without production of the ticket. This failure on the part of the railways to prove alternative accommodation to a passenger for a confirmed reservation and forcing him to travel in general compartment in our view definitely amount to deficiency in service on the part of the railways.
8. Now coming to the question of compensation there cannot be any doubt that the complainant must have suffered mental agony and tension while it was found that in the last moment the promise accommodation was not available in the train and he must have been put to any amount of inconvenience for traveling in general compartment along with his wife. In our view, the 2nd A/c fare already collected from the complainant have been evidently refunded, awarding compensation of Rs.10,000/- for the inconvenience and hardship caused to the complainant and his wife in performing the journey from Delhi to Azmir though had a confirmed reservation would be just and proper. Accordingly this point is answered.
9. In the result, the complaint is allowed directing opposite parties 1 and IRCTC to pay compensation of rs.10,000/- (Rupees ten thousand only) within 30 days from the date of receipt of this Order to the complainant besides costs of rs.1,000/- (rupees one thousand only) Avocate fee is fixed at Rs.1,000/- (Rupees one thousand only) The complaint against opposite party Kameswari Tours & Travels (IRCTCs E-Ticket Service Agent ) dismissed.
Dictated to the Steno, transcribed by him, corrected and pr nounced by us in the open Forum, this the 04th day of February, 2009.