RailYatri has sought licence from IRCTC to carry out its Railway bookings operations. The Delhi High Court had held its train travel booking services as unauthorized and impermissible, earlier this month.
The court had said that the company could carry out operations only as per rules laid out by IRCTC. The judgment was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice V Kameswar Rao.
Speaking with Entrackr, co-founder of RailYatri Kapil Raizada said that the company has decided to abide by the court ruling and is “working with concerned authorities to complete the required compliances as per the operating framework of IRCTC, and expect this to be completed at the earliest.”
He clarified that the judgement was only related to train booking travel and all other business verticals were outside the purview of this judgement.
RailYatri is backed by Nandan Nilekani, Omidyar Network, Helion Ventures, besides other well-known angel investors. It provides comprehensive information about trains, passenger amenities at stations, platforms and the speed of the train, in addition to personalized alerts.
“On a deeper consideration of the methodology applied by M/s Stelling, through its platform railyatri.in connecting the customer to the RSPs (Retail Service Providers) and booking tickets by collecting money in its wallet and earning revenue, is surely unauthorized,” the court had ruled while dismissing the writ petitions filed by Stelling Technologies, which owns and manages the mobile application.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) had deactivated the access credentials of Retail Service Providers (RSP) or authorized agents who had got associated with the travel app.
To ease the pressure of booking, IRCTC had appointed several Principal Service Providers (PSPs) for booking railway tickets on its website. In turn, each PSPs could enroll several hundred agents as RSPs, but they are all bound by rules and regulations of IRCTC.
The lawyer for IRCTC Nikhil Majithi contended before the court that the RSPs, by associating with RailYatri, had violated their contractual terms with IRCTC.
Stelling, in its contention, informed the court that RailYatri was only an online platform, which acts as a facilitator between the customer and the authorized agents of IRCTC. Even the ticket booking was done by the RSPs using their access credentials. The aim of the RailYatri was to make ticket booking easy and offers value-added services too, it said.
IRCTC also claimed to have received complaints from several customers about non-receipt of refund after cancellations of tickets booked through RailYatri.
The Court noted IRCTC counsel’s contention that if such activities are not controlled, huge amounts of public money would be susceptible to being siphoned/misappropriated.