At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE V.K. JAIN
By, PRESIDING MEMBER
For the Petitioners: Vivek Sarin, Sadaf Chowdhary, Advocates. For the Respondents: -------
The complainants in these matters who wanted to travel from Chandigarh to Ahmedabad, booked tickets on Indigo Flight No.6E-455 which was to take them from Chandigarh to Delhi and connecting Indigo Flight No.6E-432, which was to take them from Delhi to Ahmedabad. The complainants were informed on 2.1.2018 that the Flight No. 6E-455, which was to leave Chandigarh for Delhi on 4.1.2018 had been cancelled due to bad weather. Since the complainants chose to travel from Delhi to Ahmedabad on Flight No.6E-432 itself, they came from Chandigarh to Delhi by taxi and then boarded Flight No.6E-432 from Delhi to Ahmedabad. The learned counsel for the petitioner also states on instructions that the fare which the complainants had paid for Chandigarh Delhi Sector was duly refunded by them to the agent through which the tickets were booked. Alleging deficiency on the part of the Airlines in rendering services to them, they approached the concerned District Forum by way of separate consumer complaints seeking compensation for the agony and harassment caused to them and the expenses which they had to incur on travelling from Chandigarh to Delhi.
2. The complaints were resisted by the petitioner primarily on the grounds that the flight from Chandigarh to Delhi had to be cancelled due to bad weather and advance intimation of the cancellation was sent to the complainants on phone as well as through SMS on 2.1.2018.
3. The District Forum vide its order dated 14.9.2018 directed the petitioner to pay the taxi fare which the complainants had to pay for travelling from Chandigarh to Delhi. The petitioner was also directed to pay Rs.15,000/- as compensation to them along with cost of litigation quantified at Rs.3,000/-
4. Being aggrieved from the order passed by the District Forum, the petitioner approached the concerned State Commission by way of separate appeals. Vide impugned order dated 6.8.2019, the State Commission dismissed the appeals. Being aggrieved, the petitioner Airlines is before this Commission.
5. The only issue involved in these petitions is as to whether the petitioner was able to prove before the District Forum that the flight had to be cancelled solely on account of bad weather which according to the petitioner, had been predicted by the Metallurgical Department. As noted earlier, the flight was cancelled two days in advance on 2.1.2018. No document was placed before the District Forum to prove that the petitioner had received advance intimation on or before 2.1.2018 from Metallurgical Department or from the concerned airport that the weather was likely to be poor on 4.1.2018. No certificate was produced from the concerned airport to prove that on account of bad weather, they had advised the airlines to cancel the flights which were scheduled to leave Chandigarh on 4.1.2018, around the time Flight 6E-455 was to take off. This is also not the case of the petitioner that no flight left Chandigarh airport at or around the time at which Flight No. 6E-455 was to leave Chandigarh from Delhi. In these circumstances, the concurrent finding of fact returned by both the Fora below in this regard does not call for any interference by this Commission in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction. In the absence of any documentary proof of the alleged bad weather, the findings so rendered by them cannot be said to be perverse and, therefore, should not be interfered by this Commission. Even otherwise, the amount awarded by the Fora below being rather trivial these are not the cases fit for interference by this Commission in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction.
6. It is submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the complainants had admitted in their rejoinder that there was bad weather in Chandigarh on 4.1.2018. On a perusal of the pleadings, I am of the view that the admission is with respect to receipt of message from the airlines that the flight had been cancelled on account of bad weather and it is not an admission of actual bad weather on 4.1.2018 in Chandigarh. The petitioner was to satisfy the District Forum that it had received advance intimation on 2.1.2018 that the weather was likely to be severe on 4.1.2018 and resulted in cancellation of the flight on that day. That material however, was not produced before the concerned District Forum
7. The learned counsel for the petitioner relies upon the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Interglobe Aviation Ltd. Vs. N. Satchidanand [(2011 7 SCC 463] as well as on the Civil Aviation Requirements issued by office of Director General of Civil Aviation. The above-referred decision and circular would have been relevant had the petitioner been able to prove that they had actually received advance intimation on 2.1.2018 that the weather was likely to be severe on 4.1.2018 to the extent that the flights were not likely to take off from Chandigarh airport on that day, around the time Flight 6E-455 was to take off. If the weather was bad at or around the time Flight 6E-455 was to leave, but seats were avail
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able on the other flights which left Chandigarh for Delhi on that date, the complainants should have been accommodated on those flights. 8. The learned counsel for the petitioner submits that he had filed an application before the State Commission for additional evidence in order to submit the weather report of 4.1.2018. In the facts and circumstances of the case, I find no justification for allowing additional evidence at this stage. 9. For the reasons state hereinabove, both the revision petitions stands dismissed with no order as to costs.