At, Kerala State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Thiruvananthapuram
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.Q. BARKATH ALI
For the Appellant: M/s. Menon & Pai, Advocate. For the Respondent: Dhananjayan, Advocate.
P.Q. Barkath Ali : President
This is an appeal filed by the opposite party in CC 124/2011 on the file of Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Palakkad challenging the order of the Forum dated January 12, 2012 directing the opposite parties to pay an amount of Rs.80,000/- as compensation and a cost of Rs.2000/-.
The case of the complainant as detailed in the complaint before the Forum in brief is this:
The complainant availed the services of opposite parties by booking tickets to Srinagar with his family consisting of four members through opposite parties authorized agent M/s.PL World ways through internet Sri.Madhu Kayaratt, Manager, collected an amount of Rs.1,87,229/- and delivered the tickets at the complainant’s house at Chittur Road, Palakkad on 24/5/2010. The trip was scheduled as Coimbatore-Delhi, Delhi-Srinagar and Srinagar – Delhi in the opposite party Airlines and Delhi – Coimbatore via spice jet. While returning from Srinagar to Delhi, at Srinagar Airport there was no display of the Airlines which was scheduled to leave at 12.30 PM. After a delay of 2 hours the aircraft took off at 14.40 hrs and when he reached at Delhi, the connecting aircraft was also late. Due to the delay he was not able to catch the connecting flight. Therefore he had to re-route the journey via Bangalore which caused an additional expense of Rs.70,000/-. The Spice jet airlines in which the complainant had booked his return ticket to Coimbatore has refunded the amount. Complainant filed the complaint seeking an amount of Rs.70,000/- being the expense incurred by him and a compensation of Rs.2 lakhs.
1st appellant/opposite party is Senior Manager Air India Chennai and 2nd appellant/opposite is Chairman and Managing Director Air India Limited. They in their version contented thus before the Forum: It is admitted that the flight No.IC 1826 from Srinagar to Delhi on 31/5/2010 was delayed. It was on account of operational constrain to and ATC clearance. Complainant has not suffered any monitory loss as obtaining full refund of ticket of spice jet flight from Delhi to Coimbatore. That being so the complaint has to be dismissed.
Both parties have filed proof affidavits and Ext.A1 to Ext.A8 were marked on the side of the complainant before the Forum. On an appreciation of evidence the Forum found that there was deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties and awarded Rs.50,000/- as the additional expenses incurred by the complainant and Rs. 30,000/-as compensation and a cost of Rs.2000/-. The opposite parties have come up in appeal challenging the said order of the Forum.
Heard both the counsels.
The following points arising for consideration.
1. Whether there was any deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties?
2. Whether the impugned order of the Forum can be sustained?
The counsel for the appellant argued that the Forum has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint as cause of action arose at Delhi. There is no merit in the above contention. Complainant has booked the ticket through the authorized agent of the opposite party and paid the amount to the authorized agent at Palakkad and the tickets were delivered to the complainant at his residence in Palakkad. Section 11(2)(C) of Consumer Protection Act clearly provides that the complaint can be instituted in a District Forum within the local limits of whose jurisdiction, the cause of action, wholly or in part arises. Therefore I am of the view that the District Forum has jurisdiction to entertain the complaint.
It is admitted case of the opposite parties that the flight No.IC 1826 from Srinagar to Delhi ti which complainant travelled on 31/5/2010 was delayed by 2 hours. The specific case of the opposite parties is that the delay occurred due to operational constrains and ATC clearance and foggy weather. But no documents were produced by the opposite parties to prove the same. Therefore the Forum is perfectly justified in not accepting the case of opposite parties, but accepting the case of complainant and holding that there was deficiency of service on the part of opposite parties.
There is another aspect i
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n this case. Complainant has filed EP before the Forum and the opposite parties have already paid the amount to the complainant without any protest. That apart Forum has awarded Rs.50,000/- towards the expense incurred by the complainant and Rs.30,000/- as compensation and Rs.2,000/- as cost. I find no ground to interfere with the said finding of the Forum. In the result I find no merit in this appeal and the same is here by dismissed with a cost of Rs.5,000/-.