N Railways asked to pay Rs 5K to handicapped man

New Delhi: A physically challenged man, who had to pay a fine of Rs 259 to Railways and faced attendant difficulty and humiliation due to issuance of wrong ticket by a booking clerk last year, has been awarded Rs 5000 in damages by a Delhi consumer forum.

The district consumer disputes redressal forum bench headed by its President C K Chaturvedi directed Northern Railways to pay the compensation to Vinod Sharma saying he had to suffer due to negligence of the ticket counter clerk.

Sharma was negligently issued wrong ticket of express train instead of a superfast train by the counter clerk.

"Keeping in view the humiliation and harassment suffered by him (Vinod) for no fault of his due to negligence of railways clerk and loss of goods worth Rs 25,000, though there is nothing to accept or reject either side's claim, we award a compensation of Rs 5,000 to the complainant, which will be paid by opposite party (Railways)," the bench said.

The consumer forum awarded compensation to Vinod as the Railways decided not to contest his complaint.

"The case of Vinod is admitted by the Railways, which has not filed any defence or version in the court to justify the conduct of the Railway clerk. We have heard Vinod, who is a poor handicapped person and having faith in consumer court moved this complaint and came personally on crutches," the bench observed while awarding the compensation.

Sharma had filed a complaint saying he undertook a journey from New Delhi to Samastipur in Bihar in August 2010, purchasing a ticket from railways' handicapped counter for a superfast train.

He alleged the counter clerk issued a wrong ticket due to which, during the journey, the ticket examiner charged him Rs 259 as penalty. He said he also lost some of his goods due to harassment in the train.

He apprised the bench that he had made a complaint to the Railway and they had stated that necessary disciplinary action had been taken against the clerk.