Restore concessions in the railroads to their pre-Covid era: Bombay High Court petition

Bombay high court in Nagpur knocks railways inability to reclaim concessions from pre-Covid period . Petitioner Sundeep Badana argued that 53 types of passengers were first entitled to compensation when traveling by train .

NAGPUR (English): A city-based lawyer swooped on the railways' inability to reclaim concessions from the pre-Covid period, knocked the Bombay high court bench in Nagpur for a decision on March 19, 2020, to abolish a circulated circular that suspended all these rights for the elderly, war widows, and sportsmen.Petitioner Sundeep Badana argued that 53 types of passengers were first entitled to compensation when traveling by train.On March 19, 2020, the central government reduced the number of tourists who could travel during the pandemic to 23.However, these 23 concessions are yet to be fulfilled after the world returned to normalcy.

A division bench made justices Atul Chandurkar and Urmila Phalke-Joshi order them to respond within four weeks by notifying the respondents, including the secretaries of the railway ministry and the board.On behalf of the respondent, assistant solicitor general NS Deshpande accepted notices.The respondents offered promises for restoring concessions.The petitioner was informed that concessions are only available in special trains after the Covid period in a communication sent by the deputy director (Passenger Marketing-III) on behalf of the Railway Board on September 22, 2021, according to the bench.

The increase in fares was being attributed to the operation of such special trains.Passengers were being charged for these services as part of the 2015 Ticket and Refund Act, which dictate a higher fare for the special train services, but without any concessions, according to him.Badana explained that although the ticket prices were reverted to pre-pandemic levels on November 12, 2021, the concessions that had been withdrawn due to their special tag status since March 20, 2020, were not implemented.It caused pain to the already bereaved citizens and vulnerable segments of the population, including senior citizens, war widows, and sportspeople, among others.

In times of the pandemic, the PIL feels obliged to withdraw concessions to the various classes.According to the defense lawyer, the Ministry of Railways' decision is arbitrary and in violation of the essence of the term socialist, which was introduced in the 42nd amendment Act of 1976 in the preamble to the Constitution of India.