The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum noted in its order that non-refund of fare of unused tickets after nearly three years of having applied for refund shows "total collapse of the efficiency of Railways".
"In the present case, the Ticket Deposit Receipt was issued on November 12, 2010, for the refund applied on November 12, 2010, and till now, at the time of argument, the complainant has not been returned the fare. This shows the total collapse of the efficiency of Railways for refund of unused tickets.
"The complainant shows he was informed by Railways that there was no seat available as chart has been prepared. The reply (of IRCTC) shows a different story. It states tickets were confirmed after preparation of the chart...
"All this clearly establishes harassment suffered by the complainant along with others due to unfair service of Railways. We hold the opposite party guilty of deficiency and direct to pay compensation of Rs 25,000 to the complainant inclusive of value of the ticket, compensation and litigation expenses," the bench presided by C K Chaturvedi said.
The order came on the complaint of Delhi resident Subrata Bhaumik who said he had booked six tickets under 'Tatkal Seva' on November 2, 2010, for travelling to Delhi, but since he was informed through Railway enquiry that the tickets were not confirmed, he travelled by bus.
When he went to collect the refund, he was informed that his tickets had been confirmed. On filing an RTI application, he came to know that tickets were not confirmed after chart was prepared, he said.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, in its defence, contended that Bhaumik's ticket had been confirmed, but since it was booked under 'Tatkal Seva', refund of fare was not permissible as per rules.
The forum, however, rejected the contention by relying on the RTI reply.