The Kota man fought and won the battle with Indian Railways for 5 years to get a refund of just Rs 35. Sujit Swamy has fought this legal battle and has helped almost three lakh people in the process, who have had to face similar things. In addition to the refunds from him, the Railways have sanctioned a refund of Rs 2 crore 43 lakh to 2 lakh 98 thousand IRCTC users. According to PTI, Swamy has revealed that he has filed around 50 Right to Information (RTI) requests seeking reimbursement from him.
He said: “About 50 RTI applications, letters to Railways, IRCTC, Ministry of Finance and Department of Tax Services, the fight was really long, but in the end, I am satisfied that all users, including me, will receive a refund. Rs 2.43 crore”.
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Swamy claimed that the IRCTC, in response to his RTI query, said that 2 lakh 98 thousand users, many of whom may have bought multiple tickets, would receive a refund of Rs 35 per ticket. The total cost is Rs 2 crore 43 lakhs.
“My repeated tweets seeking refunds by tagging Prime Minister, Railways Minister, Union Minister Anurag Thakur, GST Council and Finance Minister are playing a vital role in approving Rs 35 refund to 298,000 users,” Swamy told PTI. He wrote several letters to four government departments requesting a refund of 35 rupees collected as service tax even after the cancellation of the ticket before the GST came into effect.
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In 2017, Swami booked a train ticket to New Delhi from his hometown in the Golden Temple Mail for July 2nd. When he canceled the ticket costing 765 rupees, he got a refund of 665 rupees with a deduction of 100 rupees instead of 65 rupees. Although he canceled his ticket before the Goods and Services Tax (GST) came into effect, he was charged Rs 35 as service tax.
He sent RTI inquiries to the Ministry of Railways and Finance. Initially, in response to one of its RTIs, the IRCTC stated that for tickets booked before the GST came into force and canceled after the implementation, the service tax collected at the time of booking would not be refunded. However, Swamy again received a response from the IRCTC stating that if the ticket was booked or canceled before July 1, the full service tax would be refunded.
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On May 1, 2019, he received a refund of Rs 33 with a full deduction of Rs 2 worth of service tax in his bank account. They continued to fight and the case was finally resolved on Friday of last week. The railways told them, “The Railway Board has sanctioned refunds (Rs 35) to all users (Rs 2.98 lakhs) and the refund collection process is underway and all passengers will receive their refunds gradually.”
“After all users have received a refund of Rs 35, I have donated a total of Rs 535 to PM Care Fund for my five years of fighting, which is Rs 100 per year.” That is what Swami said.