Oral Order: (B.N. Rao Nalla, President)
1) This is an appeal filed under Section 15 of the Consumer Protection Act by the opposite parties praying this Commission to set aside the impugned order dated 06.06.2014 made in CC 128 of 2012 on the file of the DISTRICT FORUM, Ranga Reddy
2) For the sake of convenience, the parties are described as arrayed in the complaint before the District Forum.
3). The case of the complainant, in brief, is that the complainant no. 2 has purchased air ticket for journey on 07.11.2011 from Hyderabad to Lucknow by Flight No. 6E312 along with first complainant and on reaching Lucknow the first complainant could not find her luggage and she informed the same to the opposite party officials. On 08.11.2011, she visited the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport where she was shown the CCTV footage which confirmed that the baggage was loaded duly, which is, big black suitcase of 19 kgs weight and contained mostly gifts brought from abroad for the kith and kin of the first complainant worth of Rs.28,800/-. On 11.11.2011, the opposite party officials shown images of some unclaimed baggage by way of e-mail which was not belonging to her. Despite many requests, the opposite parties did not respond. Hence the complaint to direct the opposite parties to pay an amount of Rs.28,880/- towards the loss of baggage along with compensation of Rs.25,000/- for mental agony.
4) The first opposite party opposed the above complaint by way of written version contending that the complainants did not lose any luggage and further the same has been delivered to the complainant, she did not even produce the basic evidence before the District Forum to substantiate her allegation against them, they conducted initial probe by sending the unclaimed baggage pictures to her but they stated that the same do not belong to them. The complainants did not produce any material worth its credence to show that they have lost the baggage. As per the Conditions of Carriage, IndiGo’s liability for loss, delay or damage to Baggage is limited to Rs.200 per kg with a maximum of Rs.3,000/- only, however, IndiGo assumes no liability for fragile or perishable articles. They have no liability to pay any amount and hence prayed to dismiss the complaint.
5) The second opposite party though served with notice, called absent and hence set exparte.
6) During the course of enquiry before the District Forum, in order to prove their case, the 2nd complainant filed her evidence affidavit and got marked Ex.A1 to A-6 and the first opposite party filed evidence affidavit and got marked Ex. B1.
7) The District Forum, after considering the material available on record, directed the opposite parties to pay an amount of Rs.28,800/- towards the cost of lost baggage along with Rs.3,000/- as costs of litigation within 30 days, after which, the amounts shall be paid with 6% interest pa till realization.
8) Aggrieved by the said order, the opposite parties preferred this appeal before this Commission.
9) Both sides have advanced their arguments reiterating the contents in the appeal grounds, rebuttal thereof along with written arguments. Heard both sides.
10) The points that arise for consideration are,
(i) Whether the impugned order as passed by the District Forum suffers from any error or irregularity or whether it is liable to be set aside, modified or interfered with, in any manner?
(ii) To what relief ?
11) Point No.1 :
There is no dispute that the respondents/complainants travelled on 07.11.2011 from Hyderabad to Lucknow by Flight No. 6E312 of the appellants/opposite parties. The respondents/ complainants contended that after reaching Lucknow Airport they found missing the baggage which contained mostly gifts brought from abroad for the kith and kin of the first complainant worth Rs.28,800/- vide Ex.A6 estimation of the contents of the baggage. On 11.11.2011, the appellants/opposite party officials shown images of some unclaimed baggage which did not belong to her. They further contended that CCTV footages at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport confirm the loading of her baggage. Ex. A1 shows the payment of fare charges of Rs.6,601/-.Ex.A2 is the e-mail from the respondents/complainants to the appellants/ opposite parties rejecting that the baggage shown to them did not belong to them. Ex.A3, dated 10.01.2012 is the letter from the respondents/complainants to the appellant to take action at the earliest for the loss of baggage for which there was no reply from them that the said baggage was already delivered to her.
12) On the other hand, the appellants/opposite parties contended that the respondents/opposite parties did not loose any baggage and it was delivered at Luck now airport and the complaint was filed to extort money from them. If that is true, it is not known as to why they sent the e-mail showing the unclaimed baggage for verification of the respondents/complainants. The respondents/ complainants specifically mentioned the list of items stating that they were brought from abroad and did not mention any valuables like, cash, jewellery or any important valuables.
13). The District Forum opined that the appellants/opposite parties did not take steps to trace the lost baggage which amounts to deficiency in service and hence the respondents/complainants are entitled to Rs.28,800/-.
14) The appellants in their written arguments have admitted that the first respondent had booked only one luggage at the time of check in at Hyderabad Airport and it was delivered at Lucknow Airport and the first respondent did not give any complaint at the time of delivery to the effect that her baggage was missing and without complaint at the time of delivery is prima facie evidence that the baggage has been delivered in good condition and in accordance with the IndiGo CoC. If the respondents/complainants did not give the complaint, why did they send the images of unclaimed baggage through e-mail and hence the contention of the appellants/opposite parties that the respondents/ complainants did not give any complaint is false. Further, the appellants/opposite parties did not prove that they have delivered the baggage at Lucknow Airport through CCTV footages as shown at Airport in Hyderabad. The appellants/opposite parties failed to prove that the baggage booked at Airport in Hyderabad, was also scanned at the time of delivery at Lucknow airport and produced the scanned video footages before this Commission. The appellants/opposite parties to escape from their liability coming forward to pay Rs.200/- per kg with a maximum of Rs.3000/- only. The respondents/ complainants have listed the items that were placed in the missing suitcase, otherwise, they would have exaggerated the same with valuable ornaments and since they are the gift articles as alleged brought from abroad. It is the bounden duty of the appellants/opposite parties to prove that the said suit case was delivered at Lucknow airpo
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rt since the entire machinery was within the custody and control of the appellants/opposite parties, but, they failed to prove the same which amounts to deficiency in service. We do not find any infirmity in the impugned order. 15) After considering the foregoing facts and circumstances and also having regard to the contentions raised on both sides, this Commission is of the view that there is no infirmity or irregularity in the impugned order. There are no merits in the appeal and hence it is liable to be dismissed. 16) Point No. 2 : In the result, the appeal is dismissed confirming the impugned order dated 06.06.2014 in CC 128 of 2012 passed by the District Forum, Ranga Reddy. There shall be no order as to costs. Time for compliance four weeks.