Man Received Rs. 33 Compensation for Cancelled Railway Ticket after Two-Year Attempts: Finally after two years of hard attempts, a Kota-based 30 year old engineer received Rs. 33 as recompense from the Indian Railways which charged him the amount as service tax in spite of him withdrawing the ticket previous to the implementation of GST.
The ticket was booked in the year 2017, before the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that is on the month of April and then cancelled it. It was booked for a trip on July 2, 2017, a day later the new tax rule came into force.
Sujeet Swami, had been struggling the battle to get a compensation of Rs. 35 from the IRCTC for the withdrawal of a Kota-Delhi train ticket but received the amount after deduction of Rs. 2.
The 30 year old Swami had booked a ticket from Kota to New Delhi in April, 2017 in the Golden Temple Mail, for a passage on July 2. At that time the ticket was priced at Rs. 765 and was wait listed, so he cancelled it but in return received Rs. 665 as refund.
Swami said, “Rs. 100 was deducted instead of Rs. 65 against cancellation of a wait listed ticket. I have been following up the case since 2017 and was given only assurances that the amount would be refunded.”
The additional amount of Rs. 35 was charged to him as service tax, even though he annulled the ticket previous to the implementation of GST.
For the RTI filed by Swami, The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) in its response said that as per the commercial circular number 43 of the Ministry of Railways, for tickets reserved in advance the implementation of GST and cancelled after implementation, service tax charged at the time of booking will not be compensated.
Therefore, total of Rs. 100 (Rs. 65 as clerical charge and Rs. 35 as service tax) was charged in contradiction of the cancelled ticket.
The RTI in its response said it further that it was well ahead decided that for tickets booked before July 1, 2017, and cancelled, the over-all amount of service tax charged at the time of booking will be repaid.
“So, a sum of Rs. 35 will be refunded,” the IRCTC had said in its account to Swami’s RTI enquiry.
On 1 May 2019, Swami received Rs. 33 in his bank account. He had previously moved an appeal in Lok Adalat in April 2018, which, he said, was inclined of in January 2019, saying that the matter was out of its authority.
Swami to a news agency said, “I kept following the matter through RTIs. It was a long battle I had to fight. My RTIs were transferred 10 times from one department to another from December 2018 till April end. Finally, I have received Rs. 33 in bank account.”
He said that as an alternative of recompensing him for the “harassment” instigated, the IRCTC take away Rs. 2 from the compensation amount.
“I will follow the case again as the IRCTC had said it will refund Rs. 35 as per its commercial circular number 49,” Swami said.
On the other hand, he is not the only person who got affected. Additional RTI filed by him showed that there were more than 9 lakh passengers who booked their tickets in advance of implementation of GST and cancelled them in the middle of July 1 to July 11, when the service tax was charged.
While quoting the reply to his RTI, Swami said, “The total service tax charged from these passengers amounts to Rs. 3.34 crore. Most of the passengers did not even know about it and must have forgotten.”