Consumer platform helps train passenger find justice

Suffering physical injury on account of an infrastructural shortcoming at a railway station,  Chennai resident K.V. Ramesh takes his grievance to consumer court and wins the case

January 06, 2024 09:17 pm | Updated January 08, 2024 09:05 am IST

Representational picture

Representational picture

Chennai resident K.V. Ramesh’s two-year-long battle with the Indian Railways came to a close recently when he received the claim amount of ₹ 30,000.

Ramesh, now 62 years old, had filed a consumer complaint with the Indian Railways - New Delhi, detailing the circumstances that caused him to jump on tracks from Navajeen Express at Ankaleshwar station in Gujarat.

Ramesh had boarded the train from Chennai on December 5, 2021 and was heading to the town to attend a hearing in a court case. When the train came to a halt at Ankaleshwar station, a second-AC and three other coaches had not made it to the platform at the station. The platform was too short for all the coaches to come into alignment with it.

“The train only stops for two minutes and I had to jump from the train with my luggage. As I did so, I ended up injuring myself,” says Ramesh, a resident of Agaram in Perambur, and a retiree from a private firm he had served as purchase manager.

He registered a complaint with the Ankeleshwar station but did not stop with that. After returning to Chennai, he filed a case with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chennai (North).

“I could not be on time for the court case as the station master was not ready to give the complaint book,” says Ramesh. He fought the case on his own taking help of online platforms and books that he bought for the purpose.

“As per the Railways Act, stations where the platforms are small or when number of coaches are more then the department is supposed to stack sand bags for passengers to alight,” he says.

The medical help taken at a government hospital, a copy of complaint made at station, a copy of the train ticket and case slip were among the elements of proof he submitted to the Consumer Court.

The court copy shared with The Hindu Downtown reads that “the complainant is entitled to get a sum of ₹25,000 as compensation for deficiency in service hardship and mental agony, and ₹ 5000 towards cost of the complaint.”

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