For 73-year-old Vishnu Kant Shukla, a retired professor, a train ride with a valid ticket turned out to be a harrowing experience. Back on November 19, 2013, Shukla took the Himgiri Express for a journey from Saharanpur to Jaunpur. However, the train ticket examiner (TTE) forcibly evicted him from the train and even humiliated him in front of other passengers. Why did Shukla had to go through the ordeal – all for the Railways’ own error of a misprint on his ticket, where the date of travel was mentioned in the year ‘3013’, reports Times of India. That error on part of the Indian Railways has now come back to haunt it.
On Tuesday, June 12, Shukla received justice from a consumer court in Saharanpur where he was awarded a compensation, five years after he was removed from the train at Moradabad.
While speaking to the daily, Shukla said that he is a retired head of the Hindi department in Saharanpur’s JV Jain Degree College. Shukla said, “I am not a person who would travel by train with a fake ticket and here was a TTE who humiliated me in front of everyone, demanded I pay a penalty of Rs 800, and even got me evicted from the train.” Shukla also said that the journey was important for him as he was on his way to meet a friend whose wife had passed away.
After the incident, Shukla while returning to Saharanpur, filed a case against the Indian Railways for the misconduct in the consumer court. The case was dragged for five long years and on this Tuesday, the court gave orders to rule the case against Railways. The court even issued a penalty of Rs 10,000 on the Railways and an additional Rs 3,000 as a compensation.
The consumer court said, “To de-board, a person of an advanced age in the middle of a journey causes a great amount of physical strain and mental harassment. This clearly shows there were flaws in services provided by the department.”
Railways officials declined to comment on the matter.