K.S. Chaudhari, Presiding Member
This revision petition has been filed by the petitioner against the order dated 03.05.2012 passed by the Goa State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Panaji (in short, ‘the State Commission’) in Appeal No. 02/2012 – Mrs. Maria Easter d’Abreau Noronha & Anr. Vs. The M.D., Indian Airlines/Air India by which, while allowing appeal, order of District forum allowing complaint was modified and compensation was enhanced.
2. Brief facts of the case are that complainants/respondents travelled from Mumbai to Goa on 14.3.2009 by OP/petitioner by Flight No. IC/613. Complainant No. 1 was about 76 years of age so, wheelchair was requested. An attendant came with wheelchair. Complainant No. 1 was being wheeled by the said attendant, the right hand arm rest of the wheel chair gave way and the complainant no. 1 had a fall on the ground and suffered fracture around her right hip joint. Airport Medical Doctor attended her and she was admitted to SMRC hospital, but as complainant preferred to go to Grace Cardiac Care Hospital, she was taken their by ambulance. She was discharged from hospital on 28.3.2009 and was advised physiotherapy from 30.3.2009 to 29.5.2009, which she underwent. Complainant asked OP to reimburse Rs.1,03,671.75 as medical expenses and Rs.4,00,000/- as compensation, but OP intimated that they were ready to settle the legitimate medical bills within the framework of their rules and regulations. Alleging deficiency on the part of OP, complainant filed complaint before District forum. OP resisted complaint and submitted that due to uneven surface wheelchair tilted and complainant fell down, so, no negligence can be attributed to the attendant. It was further submitted that as per complainant’s advice, she was taken to Grace Cardiac Care Hospital at Margao in an ambulance along with airport officers and attendant and prayed for dismissal of complaint. Learned District Forum after hearing both the parties, allowed complaint partly and directed OP to pay Rs.79,672/- as hospitalization charges. Complainant filed appeal before State Commission and learned State Commission vide impugned order enhanced medical expenditure to Rs.1,03,680/- and enhanced compensation from Rs.25,000/- to Rs.2,00,000/- and further awarded Rs.5,000/- as cost against which, this revision petition has been filed.
3. Respondent did not appear even after service and sent a letter with a request that the matter may be decided as per record.
4. Heard learned Counsel for the petitioner and perused record.
5. Learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that learned District Forum allowed medical expenses and compensation on higher side; even then, learned State Commission committed mistake in enhancing this amount without any justification; hence, revision petition be allowed and impugned order be set aside.
6. Learned State Commission in paragraph 14 of the judgment observed that complainant incurred expenditure of Rs.13,258/- on medicines and it was further observed that bills issued by Grace Hospital were of value of Rs.1,30,000/- whereas, learned District forum observed that complainant included expenditure incurred on taxi travel in the claim and in such circumstances, allowed only Rs.79,672/- (being difference between hospitalization charges and charges said to have been paid to the attendant). We do not find any bill of the Grace Hospital for Rs.1,30,000/- and in such circumstances, State Commission has committed error in allowing Rs.1,03,680/- the amount claimed by complainant in complaint and we are of the view that amount awarded by learned District Forum in respect of medical expenditure was correct.
7. Learned District Forum allowed Rs.25,000/- as compensation and learned State Commission enhanced it to Rs.2,00,000/- on the ground that complainant was deprived of ordinary pleasures of life with her grandchild and social status of the complainant and of the airlines. On the other hand, learned Counsel for the petitioner has drawn our attention towards Clause 1A of the conditions of contract relating to Non-International Carriage according to which, in case of injury to a passenger, passenger was entitled to get Rs.750/- per day during the period he remained disabled with a maximum limit of Rs.1,50,000/-. As per complaint, complainant remained hospitalized for a period of 14 days and as per Clause 1A, she was entitled to Rs.10,500/-, whereas District Forum had already allowed Rs.25,000/- as compensation. In such circumstances, there was no justification with the State Commission for enhancing compensation from Rs.25,000/- to Rs.2,00,000/-.
8. We are of the view that learn
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ed District Forum’s order allowing medical expenses and compensation was most appropriate and learned State Commission without any justification enhanced amount which is liable to set aside. 9. Consequently revision petition filed by the petitioner is allowed and impugned order dated 3.5.2012 passed by learned State Commission in Appeal No. 2 of 2012 – Mrs. Maria Easter d’Abreu Noronha & Anr. Vs. The Managing Director/Chairman, Indian Airlines/Air India is set aside with no order as to costs.