In a unique case of persistence, and determination, a passenger from Kota finally defeated the mighty Indian Railways, and forced them to refund Rs 33 for his canceled ticket.
The passenger had to fight the battle for 2 years and had to file numerous RTIs to finally get his due. In fact, he was expecting Rs 35 but received Rs 33, and for this Rs 2, a new battle will soon start.
Is there any point in fighting such a battle?
You will soon find out!
The Fight For Rs 35: This Is What Happened!
In the month of April 2017, Sujeet Swami from Kota had booked a ticket from Kota to New Delhi for which he paid Rs 765. The train was Golden Temple Express.
The date of the journey was July 2nd, 2017.
However, he had to cancel the ticket as it was a wai-listed ticket, and he was shocked when he saw the amount refunded: He received Rs 665, which means, Rs 100 was deducted from the ticket fare.
Rs 65 is the cancellation charge for a wait-listed ticket.
Hence Indian Railways deducted Rs 35 extra as a cancellation charge, and Sujeet decided to fight the case.
Why This Fight Took 2 years?
The issue here was that of GST.
The ticket was booked in April, and the journey date was July 2nd, a day after GST was supposed to be implemented.
After Sujeet filed RTI, IRCTC replied that as per commercial circular number 43 from Indian Railways, in case of a ticket booked before GST, and canceled after GST, the service charge charged at the time of booking shall be not refunded.
This is the reason IRCTC deduced Rs 100: Rs 65 as cancellation charge and Rs 35 as service charge.
However, later, IRCTC changed the rule and decided to refund the service charge applicable at the time of booking tickets.
But the amount was not refunded, despite the explanation. Sujeet had to take several follow-ups, and he also approached the Lok Adalat.
He says, “I kept following the matter through RTIs. It was a long battle I had to fight. My RTIs were transferred 10 times from one department to another from December 2018 till April end. Finally, I have received Rs. 33 in the bank account,”
Finally, on May 1st, he received the refund of Rs 33, which is Rs 2 less than what he was promised. Sujeet will once again take a followup, and ensure that Rs 2 is returned.
As per Sujeet, 9 lakh passengers had canceled their tickets between July 1 and July 11th, for the tickets which were booked before July 1st, that is GST. He said, “The total service tax charged from these passengers amounts to Rs. 3.34 crore. Most of the passengers did not even know about it and must have forgotten,”
Do you think that Sujeet’s fight was worthwhile?