Indian Railways — harassment of a lady by TT by misusing a rule
I wish to draw your attention to an incident where rules were misused to harass an honest citizen.
I had my tickets booked for T.No. 2952 Rajdhani from New Delhi to Mumbai Central, Seat no 13/15, coach A1. I had joint E- ticket with my husband as master passenger..Just 15 mins before the depature the diversion in the route was announced and expected 8 hrs delay in arrival was expressed which was more than usual in these expected (gujjar agitation) circumstances also. My husband got panicked as this meant he can`t even attend second half of the office. So he got down to enquire from TT regarding the conditions and process of cancellation TT, `Vijay Kannan `told him it can be done through internet only and that the refund would not exceed 50% of the total amount. He further added that contrary to the announcement being made of an 8 hr delay the train islikely to be much more late will probably reach Mumbai not before 1930 Hrs. This information was not encouraging.
My husband came back to the cabin and we discussed that cancellation was not possible because of non availability of internet at the station. I decided to continue with my journey and he decided to take flight so that he could attend office. I went upto the door of the bogey to send off my husband.
However, on my return to my seat, after seeing off my husband, I found a lady and girl occupying our seats. I was really surprised to see this as we had not cancelled the tickets. Both ladies on enquiring told that they had been given those two seats and they are related to one of the TTs.
TT came after about 45mins and told me that the tickets were cancelled by your husband and therefore allotted to another passenger.He also showed me the seat numbers written on the palm of the hand as a proof to the conversation. When I refuted this claim he asked me to show the PAN ID which I told him is carried by my husband who had left the train in a hurry. He told me that he will talk to me later.
Then after 1 hour he sent an attendant and called me at the back of the cabin. He said your husband had asked for the cancellation and he has given the seats to RAC. I said this was impossible . Then he told me that I`m not having PAN ID of master passenger in which case my ticket in invalid and I cannot travel on the train. (this after paying full amount for the tickets, what a rule !!). I told him that you met my husband and know I`m a genuine passenger and that these were unusual circumstances where a passenger is not availing services even after paying for them. I also suggested other identity solutions like my own Pan Card. Finally, I advised the TT that even the Master passenger’s Pan card could be shown as proof on arrival. He sent me back. I thought matter is over as I have agreed to their terms and conditions and returned to my seat. But my harassment had just begun !!
After 2 hrs he again sent an attendant to call me again at the back of the cabin. This time there were two TTs and both were telling me that my ticket was invalid and the consequences of traveling without ticket. Their tone was threatening. They kept on talking and discussing the matter which I told them I can`t help in these unplanned and sudden circumstances and ready to pay the penalty .They suggested that they could do me a favour. I do not understand what favour they were talking about. I told them I `m ready to pay the amount if this they think should be penalized under the circumstances I have explained to them, They charge me a fine of Rs. 3, 950 which I never denied and agreed to pay. Since I was not carrying that much cash I was made to give them in writing that I`ll pay this much amount at Mumbai central. Through out this ordeal I kept telling myself “ I am a law abiding citizen, I have bought my ticket legally and paid for it…I can prove my identity..so what have I to fear”.. I gathered the courage to tell them that they have harassed me as they wanted to accomodate those two ladies which both of them denied hastily.
Kindly note that throughout this ordeal, the train was fast traveling, away from Delhi (where my husband was) and it was already dark and drizzling. May I ask these law implementers what did they expect a lady to do midway, in a fast traveling train at night? Are all passengers who do not carry the ID on the train to be treated as thieves. What would they have done if the master passenger had been robbed of the purse which carried his ID? Please note Airlines seek similar photo proofs but they check them before boarding and the ID sought is of the individual boarding. It is interesting to note that even the ticket and internet terms & conditions do not specify the consequences of not carrying the proof!!
By now it was clear to them that I was not going to break the law or grease their palms. I came back on my seat and after 1-2 hrs i.e. after eating their dinner both ladies were shifted to other cabin and seat was given to a person who had 1st no. in RAC ( imagine 1st RAC was given after 6-7 hrs from the start of train).
Next day in the afternoon TT came to me that he will approach me 10 min before Mumbai central which he never did. Just before getting down I looked for him. He was standing on the platform waiting for me with the cops. He called the police, which he claimed had been informed in advance. If calling cops was routine procedure then they should have informed me beforehand . I was shaken and completely broke down to see how a well educated citizen is being treated as a criminal. I cannot explain the mantal trauma I underwent . Good for me, My husband was also at the platform waiting with PAN card and money.I don`t how I would have handled it alone. So much for an honest citizen who paid for the ticket, was willing to prove her identity!!
We were asked to pay Rs.3, 950. Our request to meet a senior official was declined with rhetoric that he was the boss at that point of time. A receipt was cut against for Rs.3, 950 collected from us. Our request to add a line that the passenger was willing to show ID on arrival and master passenger was also present at the time the receipt was cut at Mumbai Central was promptly declined. The receipt carries only TTs version.
I want to ask few things :
1. What was my crime that I was so much harassed?
2. These were unusual, unplanned circumstances, where I`m a honest citizen traveling with proper Passport and ID was harassed so much for one rule!!. Inspite of carrying a proper Electronic Reservation slip ticket which is most mandatory as written on the ticket.
3. Are TT only robots, can`t they see the circumstances and use their judgement and if there was any such thing he should have called train superintendent. I don`t think so that TT had authority to put my ticket as invalid as no clear written rules are there regarding the consequences of not having PAN ID. Afterall I was traveling with the ticket and my husband had to get down and TT had met him on the station.
4. How come TT had cancelled my ticket beforehand and had allotted to other two people who traveled on those seats till dinner time before checking the tickets.
5. How come 1st RAC was confirmed after 6-7 hrs of the start of train when other waiting lists tickets were already cleared .
6. Why such a rule is being followed so blindly when no body else is claiming my ticket and my husband after boarding the train had to leave because of delay which everybody knew.
7. Why TT always called me at the back of the cabin, used to send an attendant to call me and never talked to me at my seat. Is this the way a respected lady who is traveling alone is treated.
8. Why TT never approached me after that and straight away called cops on the platform.
9. Why TT has not informed me beforehand that he had to call cops on platform as a routine procedure (is this is a routine procedure, I doubt!) .They could have at least saved a educated person who understands and is fully cooperating with them from the mental trauma.
10. Why the TT was continuously grinning, mockingly, when I was lodging the complaint. Was he satisfied and happy to see his mission harassing a law abiding citizen accomplished.
11. If TT knew the laws so well why he did not informed my husband that the E- ticket can be cancelled only before the chart preparation not after that as per the rules on the internet site. And why he kept on insisting that my husband had told him to cancel the tickets when this is not possible by any law/rules.
I had always believed that rules are made for people convenience but in our country they are misused to harass common people.
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