Discriminatory refund rules introduced on cancellation of waiting tickets and reservation counter has become a point of discussion as the High court has issued a notice to the Rajasthan Railways for the same.
The division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice V K Vyas issued notice on a PIL by Sujeet Swami.
An advantage to online ticket-bookers
The online ticket reservation offers an undue advantage to the ticket-bookers. The tickets which are not confirmed are automatically canceled, thereby ensuring that amount is refunded back into passenger’s linked bank account.
However, contrarily, if the passengers get tickets booked through reservation counter, cancellation could be done only at the counter. Moreover, if cancellations are made timely for tickets booked through reservation counter, passengers’ money is forfeited.
Trouble for Passengers
The final chart is prepared four hours before the departure of the train. However, passengers are required to cancel tickets half an hour before the departure time of the train, failing which full amount is forfeited.
In other words, had a passenger booked a ticket at the reservation counter and failed to get it canceled half an hour before the departure of the train, his full amount gets forfeited.
In the wake of this discrimination, the petitioner Sajid Ali’s lawyer said that this sort of discrimination is illegal and arbitrary. Owing to this discrimination, the railways had earned Rs 1,621 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 1,536 crore in 2015-16, sources informed.
A menace for passengers without Internet access
The petitioner said that the discriminatory refund structure is a bane for the poor customers. This is because poor don’t have any Internet access and in that case, he has to book tickets at the counter.
According to the petitioner, the reservation form should be amended and include IFSC details and the bank account number. This will ensure direct refund of cancelled amount and save passenger’s time and energy.