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A year on, Kota engineer still to get Rs 35 refund from IRCTC


Press Trust of India Jaipur
A Kota-based engineer is on an arduous task for a year to get a refund of Rs 35 from the Indian Railways which charged him the amount as service tax despite him cancelling the ticket prior to the implementation of GST.
The ticket was booked in April last year, before the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and subsequently cancelled. It was booked for a journey on July 2, a day after the new tax regime came into force.
Sujeet Swami, a 30-year-old MTech, had moved a petition in Lok Adalat, which issued notices to the Railway Board Chairman, West-Central Railways General Manager, IRCTC General Manager and Kota Divisional Railway Manager.
The matter is slated to be heard on May 28.
"The ACJM court of Mahendra Kumar Agarwal, after admitting the petition, issued notice to the respondents in the matter. The next hearing is scheduled on May 28," counsel of the petitioner Rohit Singh Rajawat said.
Swami had booked a ticket from Kota to New Delhi in the Golden Temple Mail in April, 2017, for a journey on July 2. As the ticket, priced at Rs 765, was wait listed, he cancelled it, but received only Rs 665 as refund.
"Rs 100 were deducted instead of Rs 65 against cancellation of a wait listed ticket. I filed an RTI with IRCTC in July last year and also lodged complaint with the IRCTC immediately. I was informed that the amount would be refunded, but to no avail," Swami said.
The IRCTC in its reply to the RTI informed the applicant that as per the commercial circular no. 43 of the Ministry of Railways, it was decided that for tickets, which were booked in advance before the implementation of GST, and cancelled after implementation, service tax charged at the time of booking shall not be refunded. So, Rs 100 (Rs 65 as clerical charge and Rs 35 as service tax) was charged against the cancelled ticket.
The RTI reply further said that it was later decided that the tickets booked prior to July 1, 2017, and the same is cancelled, in that case total amount of service tax charged at the time of booking shall be refunded.
"So, a sum of Rs 35 will be refunded," the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) said in its reply to the RTI query.
Swami is not the only sufferer as another RTI query filed by him, in its reply, found that there were over 9 lakh passengers who booked their tickets before implementation of GST and cancelled ticket from July 1 to July 11 when service tax was charged.
"It is shocking that over 9.55 lakh passengers were charged Rs 35, which amounts to over Rs 3.34 crore. Most of the passengers did not even know about it and must have forgot," Swami said, quoting the reply his RTI query received from the IRCTC.

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First Published: Apr 28 2018 | 5:00 PM IST

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