Millennium Post

Rajdhani Exp stale food: No HC relief to catering firm

The Calcutta high court on Friday refused to restore a catering firm's contract to supply food to New Delhi-Sealdah Rajdhani Express, stripped of its responsibility on complaints of selling stale eatables to passengers.

Justice Debangshu Basak denied the interim relief of restoring R K Associates and Hoteliers Pvt Ltd's contract, saying the matter involved the interests of thousands of passengers and it was not feasible to act barely minutes before the scheduled departure of the train.

Passing the order at the fag end of court hours today, Justice Basak noted the train was to depart in a short while and as such an interim order would harm passengers' interest.

While the New Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express departs from Sealdah at 4.50 pm, the corresponding down train departs from the national Capital at 4.25 pm.

The catering firm's contract had been revoked nearly a week ago and it had moved the court challenging the Indian Railways' order terminating its contract.

The court denied relief to the firm while also noting the railways submission that its PSU IRCTC has already taken possession of the train's pantry car. The court, however, directed the petitioner to file an affidavit stating its position within four weeks, while asking the Railways to file a counter-affidavit in another week.

The catering firm claimed the termination of its contract was in violation its clauses and liable to be set aside.

The counsel for the Railways told the court that they have taken possession of the train's pantry car and IRCTC would serve food to the passengers.

The petitioner's counsel, however, contended that as per his client, the pantry car had not been taken possession of at that point of time.
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