The State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission of Punjab has directed the northern railway authorities to pay Rs 22,000 to a senior citizen as he suffered harassment after the train got delayed for over ten hours.
64-year-old Sujinder Singh had booked two tickets: from Amritsar to New Delhi in the Hira Kund Express on 1st August 2018 and the return ticket in Shan-E-Punjab on 03 August 2018.
However, Singh complained that the departure of Hira Kund Express from Amritsar, which was to be at 11:45 pm that day, got delayed multiple times. The departure was changed multiple times. The train finally arrived at Amritsar railway station at 10.30 am.
He explained that he suffered from breathing problem and chest infection, low blood pressure, sugar and cervical pain. Singh had to take help of two people to move from one platform to another.
Singh had to go to Delhi for a medical check-up at AIIMS but the train reached the New Delhi station at 1:15 pm. However, the OPD over there remained open from only 9 am to 1 pm and the delayed train prevented him from getting any medical check-up.
Singh alleged deficiency in service by the railways and claimed that he was harassed and humiliated. He moved the Consumer Commission of Amritsar against the station master, Northern Railways, Amritsar and DRM Ferozpur, who were ordered to pay Rs 22,000 as compensation and cost of litigation to Singh.
The Northern Railway authorities, DRM Ferozepur and Station Master, Amritsar, filed an appeal before the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Punjab, arguing that a proper announcement about delay in departure of the train was made but the circumstances were beyond control
“Spending money for purchase of tickets and to travel a long distance on two occasions is not only an expenditure, which has been incurred by the complainant but harassment suffered by him while waiting for coming/going of the train is also not disputed,” Commission Bench of Justice Daya Chaudhary (president), Rajinder Kumar Goyal and Urvashi Agnihotri (members) said upon hearing the matter.
“As far as the stand taken by the appellants/opposite parties that waiting rooms are available at the railway station, the same does not appear to be convincing, as keeping in view the space of the waiting rooms vis-à-vis number of passengers, it is hardly believed that everyone who is waiting can get a place to sit,” they added, as reported by the Indian Express.