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Consumer forum asks TNSTC to pay up for ill-treating pregnant woman
THE TIMES OF INDIA, 19 NOVEMBER 2018


Chennai: Met with injustice at the hands of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), a pregnant woman and her family, who were pulled up for not possessing bus tickets despite paying for them, have earned relief at the consumer forum. The transport corporation, found guilty, has been directed to pay Rs 7,000 compensation along with the sum due to her.

Recently, N Malarvizhi, from Ponneri located in Chennai’s outskirts, boarded a government bus at Tiruvellivoyal village along with her family. She gave a Rs 100 note to R Sivakumar, the conductor, to buy five tickets to Velur village, her destination.

Before the conductor could issue the tickets, two drunk men had began creating a ruckus within the bus. As other passengers were finding it difficult to deal with the nuisance,the conductor had to coerce the men into getting down from the bus at the subsequent bus stop.

Meanwhile, ticket checking inspectors got into the bus and pulled up a pregnant Malarvizhi and her family for not possessing tickets.

Malarvizhi, who occupied the seat behind the driver’s cabin, was unable to get the tickets from the conductor amid all the chaos and excess crowd. Though she tried to explain that she was not at fault and gave the tickets’ fare to the conductor, the checking inspectors refused to buy her reasoning.

This resulted in a verbal duel between them. As Malavizhi demanded the balance Rs 75 due to her, the checking inspectors gave a blank sheet of paper and made her write down that it was her fault to have not possessed the tickets. They threatened her with dire consequences, if she refused to do so. Out of fear, Malarvizhi wrote the letter and left the spot.

She filed a complaint with the Kancheepuram division of TNSTC, Villupuram, requesting them to take action against the conductor and checking inspectors for misconduct and not returning the balance Rs 75. Since there was no response, she filed a series of RTI petitions to get copies of the tickets, memo issued to the tickets, memo issued to the conductor regarding this incident and approached the Tiruvallur District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum.

TNSTC initially refuted her claim and stated that she did not pay Rs 100 and that they did not force her to write the letter. None of the co-passengers submitted any complaint, the transport corporation said, requesting the forum to dismiss the complaint. Evidence collected and submitted by Malarvizhi, however, helped her in proving the TNTSC guilty The forum in its order dated August 28, ordered the TNSTC to pay Rs 7,000 as compensation and return Rs 75 balance at 9.5% interest.

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