The State Consumer Commission here has refused to set aside the fine of Rs 60,000 slapped on the Railways for causing discomfort to a former High Court judge and his family by shifting their seats, saying doing so without informing them was deficiency in service.
Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission upheld the 2014 order of a disrict forum here which had said that the Railways’ action resulted in “humiliation” to the judge who was “not used to such hiccups and inconvenience in journeys”.
The state commission, presided by Justice Veena Birbal, dismissed the appeal of the Railways against the forum’s decision, saying “in our view, berths of complainants (judge and his family) were re-arranged and clubbed together without the knowledge and prior intimation to the complainants which led to harassment and physical discomfort and this is a fit case of deficiency of service.”
The district forum had passed the order on the complaint of Justice Dilip Raosaheb Deshmukh, a former Chhattisgarh High Court judge as well as Chairman of Company Law Board, who underwent the hardship while travelling from Datia in Madhya Pradesh to Bhopal by train with his wife and daughter in 2012.
The coach, in which his and his family’s seats were reserved, was closed from inside. When they tried to board the train and on enquiring with the ticket-checker, it was found that their seats had been shifted to another coach, the judge had said in his complaint.
“Facts clearly show an attempt inside Railways to accommodate some other persons in place of reserved seats for complainants (the judge and his family) for whatever reasons, resulting in avoidable hardship, inconvenience, humiliation and harassment to a Judge, who is not used to such hiccups and inconvenience in journeys during his career,” the forum had said in its order.
The Railways, in its appeal against the forum’s order, denied the allegations of causing suffering and discomfort to the judge and his family contending that the seats were shifted as the same was booked under VIP quota and as per a 2005 circular if a male VIP is accompanied by women, their seats are clubbed together.
It had also said that the complaint was not maintainable as the district forum did not have territorial jurisdiction, a contention turned down by the state commission calling it “baseless”.
( Source – PTI )