Alappuzha: It was a crack in the coach that cost a student dearly. But things proved otherwise with Alappuzha Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum finally cracking the problem. It ordered the Railways to pay a sum of Rs 27,999 to the MTech student A Ayyappan who lost his phone while on train.
Ayyappan, who was staying at Amrithanandamayi Ashram at Vallikavu in Kollam, boarded ‘Parasuram Express’ on June 5, 2017 from Kayamkulam. During the course of journey to Shoranur, his mobile slipped out of the train through a fissure in the coach. Immediately he filed a complaint with the Kottayam Railway Protection Force (RPF) and later with the railway police on reaching Shoranur. He also approached Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum seeking compensation.
The forum has directed Shoranur station superintendent and Thiruvanthapuram division manager to pay the penalty amounting to Rs 27,999 - comprising the cell phone price of Rs 12,999, compensation of Rs 10,000 and the litigation charge of Rs 5,000. The decree was passed by the Consumer Forum president E M Mohammed Ibrahim and member Sheela Jacob.
Though the Railways had denied Ayyappan’s allegations and argued that the coach was perfectly in tact, they did not hold water as the RPF and railway police officers had reported the presence of cracks in the coach. The Forum has directed the Railways to hand over the fine to the aggrieved party in one month, failing which the student is liable to get an additional amount of nine per cent interest of the fine and further lapse would raise the amount to interest to 12 per cent