A.K. Annamalai, Judicial Member
1. The opposite party is the appellant. The complainant had hired the services of the opposite party to transport house hold goods to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates from Chennai and paid a sum of Rs. 55,340/- on 25.6.2003 inclusive of all expenses, service charges, Insurance premium and service tax and loading charges etc., The opposite party had collected a sum of Rs.5000/- towards transit insurance premium to cover the transport risks to an extent of Rs. 1,00,000/-. When the complainant after receiving the goods at the residence of United Arab Emirates, he found several house hold items were severally damaged in transit. In spite of letter sent to the opposite parties, they have not compensated the loss of Rs. 64,500/- towards damaged goods and thereby the consumer complaint was filed.
2. The opposite party denied the allegations before the District Forum contending that the consignment was handed over to M/s Direct Shipping Services (P) Ltd., Chennai for transport to the complainant at Sharjah. The opposite party did not collect Rs. 5000/- towards insurance premium to cover all transit risks as alleged the consignment contained very old and used items which were valued only for Rs.31,600/-. The insurance company was not prepared to accept the higher value of Rs. 1,00,000/-. The opposite party had not committed any negligence and deficiency in service.
3. On the basis of both side materials and after an enquiry, the District Forum came to the conclusion that there was deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party, directed the opposite party to pay the value of goods for Rs.64,500/- and also to return the insurance amount of Rs. 5000/- and another sum of Rs.2000/- collected for storage, insurance premium and Rs. 10,000/- as compensation and Rs.3500/- as cost.4. Aggrieved by the impugned order, the opposite party had come forward with this appeal contending that the District Forum erroneously allowed the complaint and the facts of the goods damaged were disputed and the value also disputed and the compensation awarded is excessive and there by the appeal is to be allowed.
5. When the appeal is taken up for hearing arguments, the Respondent remained absent before this Commission even after effective notice given and appellant side filed the written arguments, the order being passed on merits on the basis of written arguments and the materials placed before us.
6. While considering the contention of both sides and the written arguments of the appellant in para 9, it is admitted that they are always ready and willing to refund a sum of Rs. 5000/- collected towards insurance amount and as for as the transportation of goods and damaged items of consignment after packing and stuffing the goods, it was handed over to M/s Direct Shipping service Private Ltd and the same was kept in the ware house for some times there after put into the container and thereby the appellants dis-owns the responsibility regarding the damage also. The value of the goods disputed and contended it is worth alone for Rs.31,600/-, even though the complainant claimed for Rs.64,500/-.
7. On perusal of the District Forum order, the complainant said to have been paid Rs.32,500/- towards transport charges under Ex.A.1 for with superior quality, package materials and also the opposite party have collected Rs.10,000/- as shifting expenses and Rs.2,000/- as storage charges and also Rs.5000/- towards transport insurance premium to the extent of Rs. 1,00,000/-. But the insurance was not taken and thereby they are ready to refund that amount, the goods damaged were not denied by the opposite party and thereby since the goods were not insured the opposite party/appellant was not in a position to claim the insurance amount as per transport receipt under Ex.A.1, even though the premium was collected from the complainant and thereby the act of the opposite party becomes deficiency in service and on perusal of the entire materials, the District Forum after considering all the materials passed a well considered order and as for as the quantum compensation, is concerned to pay Rs.10,000/- which is disputed by the appellant as excessive in nature and while considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the complainant even though claimed Rs. 64,500/- towards damaged items which is disputed by the opposite party only to the extent of Rs.31,500/- alone and in those circumstances when the District Forum awarded for the refund of Rs. 5000/- for insurance premium and Rs.2000/- towards storage cover and awarding Rs.10,000/- also as compensation. We are of the view it could be reduced to Rs.7000/-. Since the costs awarded also for Rs.3500/- and thereby this appeal is to be allowed in part by
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reducing the compensation for mental agony alone from Rs. 10,000/- to Rs.7,000/- in other respects, the District Forum order to be retained. In the result, the appeal is allowed in part by modifying the order of the District Forum reducing the compensation from Rs.10,000/- to Rs.7,000/- and in other respects the order of the District Forum is confirmed. The directions shall be complied by the Appellant/opposite party within six weeks from the date of this order. No separate costs in the appeal.