The Indian Railways has been ordered by a consumer forum in New Delhi to pay over Rs 36,000 to a 60-year-old man for leaving him stranded on a small station in a cold winter night in the process of making him change his berth from one bogey to another of the same train.
Worse still, East Delhi resident R S Bhatnagar, then 56, had to spend the December 30, 2008 night at station despite having a confirmed second class AC ticket, but the travel ticket examiner made him deboard the train saying his berth has been upgraded to the first class AC coach at another end of the train.
And the train left the station before Bhatnagar could walk its whole length to take his upgraded berth, leaving him stranded at Pataudi in Haryana for a whole night.
"Due to misbehaviour/negligence of TTE, (despite) having confirmed ticket the complainant had to wander here and there during severe winter cold night and he had to spend whole night unnecessarily (at a station).
"The complainant had suffered great mental tension and harassment and he had unnecessarily incurred Rs 9,580 an air ticket to reach Delhi without any rhyme and reason," said New Delhi District Consumer Forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi.
The forum's order came on Bhatnagar's plea, in which he said he had booked a second AC ticket for Rs 1,547 for December 30, 2008 to return to Delhi, but he was 'pressured' by the TTE to change seats from second AC to first AC.
He alleged he had to deboard to move to the first AC coach, which was at the very end of the train and could not get back on as it stopped at the Pataudi station only for a few minutes.
As a result, he had to spend the night at the station and had to take a flight the next day to reach Delhi which cost him Rs 9,580, Bhatnagar said in his plea.
The forum, in its ex-parte order, asked the Railways to pay Bhatnagar Rs 11,127, as cost of the second AC ticket and the air fare, along with Rs 25,000 as compensation for harassment.