Railways cannot dub a regular passenger a habitual litigant to discourage him just because he complains of deficiency on part of the Railways every time he finds something lacking on his journey, the New Delhi Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has said.

“...We cannot ignore the complaints of public which is a routine experience in Indian railways and judicial notice of such cases can be taken by us. The fact that the complainant has every time made a complaint when he travelled and found one or other complaint, cannot be dubbed as habitual litigant to discourage him,” a Bench comprising president C.K. Chaturvedi and member S.R. Chaudhary said.

The District Forum said so while deciding the complaint of one M. Lalla highlighting the lack of water onboard the train from Dehradun to Nizamuddin.

On September 14, 2009, Lalla was travelling from Haridwar to Nizamuddin railway station when he along with fellow passengers brought to the notice of TTE the lack of water. He then made a complaint at the New Delhi railway station and other passengers also gave their particulars.

Northern Railway filed an affidavit saying Lalla is a habitual litigant and pointed out similar other complaints filed by him against the Railways and also said that a notice had been put at the stations that due to pump failure water will be filled at Haridwar and not at Dehradun.

“We believe the complainant and direct Northern Railway to improve its services rather taking shelter of public announcements or notice pasted at stations to say that due to pump failure water will be filled at Haridwar and not Dehradun,” the Forum said.

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