Kerala man sues Railways over lack of basic amenities in train, gets Rs 20k compensation

Representative Image | PTI

Kunnamangalam: The nine-year long legal battle pursued by Sasidharan of Kozhikode’s Kuruvachal near Chathamangalam against the Indian Railways over lack of basic amenities in train, finally bore fruits. The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has asked the Indian Railways to pay Rs 20,000 to the person as compensation to physical and mental ordeal he had to undergo.

Sasidharan's complaint dates back to October 2013. He along with his family were returning in AC 3-tier coach of BKN KCVL Express -16311 (Bikaner Junction to Kochuveli) after a small excursion. On the second day when he entered the toilet in the compartment for relieving himself, there was neither water nor allied amenities. He had to rely on another compartment for relieving himself. On the third day too he had the same experience. Similarly, the entire journey travel was in the midst of unhygienic setup.

Sasidharan filed a complaint with station manager in Kozhikode which was his destination station, However, there was no proactive response from the authority. Later in November 2013, he approached the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

Sasidharan fought the case alone with visuals he captured from the train which corroborates the ordeal he had to undergo. While considering the case, the Commission did not agree to the observations listed by the Railways to justify their side. The Commission pointed out that it is the duty of the Railways to provide passengers with water. It also said that Railway should have appointed sanitation employees for such matters.

The commission found that there were serious lapses from the part of the Railways and it created both mental and physical stress to the person. Considering the actualities in the case, the Commission ordered the Railways to pay the person Rs 20,000 as fine. The verdict was announced by District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission president PC Polachan, members V Balakrishnan and S Priya.

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