IN THE DISTRICT CONSUMERS’ DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM AT MYSORE PRESENT: 1. Shri.D.Krishnappa B.A., L.L.B - President 2. Smt.Y.V.Uma Shenoi M.Sc., B.Ed., - Member 3. Shri. Shivakumar.J. B.A., L.L.B., - Member CC 402/08 DATED 17.04.2009
Complainants 1. Krishna S.Metrani, S/o Late Subrao K.Metrani 2. Smt.Vijayalakshmi K.Metrani, W/o Krishna S.Metrani, Both R/o D.No.MIG-1/596, Hebbal III Stage, Mysore-570016. (By Sri.B.K.Mohan, Advocate)
Vs. Opposite Parties
1. M/s Sahara Airlines, No.39, St.Marks Road, Bangalore-560001.
2. Travel Air, Franchisee, World Tours and Travels, No.3540, Silver Tower, Opp. Clock Tower, Ashok Road, Mysore-570001. (By Sri.J.Purushotham, Advocate for O.P.1 and Sri.T.N.Nagananda, Advocate for O.P.2)
Nature of complaint : Deficiency in service Date of filing of complaint : 15.12.2008 Date of appearance of O.P. : 20.02.2009 Date of order : 17.04.2009 Duration of Proceeding : 1 MONTH 27 DAYS PRESIDENT MEMBER MEMBER Sri.D.Krishnappa, President
1. The grievance of the complainants who have filed this complaint against the opposite parties is, that the second complainant lost her father at Nashik on 15.12.2006. On receipt of the message about his death, they wanted to travel from Mysore to Mumbai and then from Mumbai to Nashik in a Cab arranged by their relatives. They in order to urgently go to Mumbai from Bangalore they booked Air tickets from second opposite party for traveling in flight No.S2-216 belonging to first opposite party, which was scheduled to leave Bangalore at 20.45 hours and reach Mumbai at 22.15 hours.
They on enquiry with Airport authorities of Bangalore and at the counter of first opposite party, they did not give them the departure time of the flight, but only promised that the flight will leave early. The flight on that day left Bangalore at 22.48 hours and arrived at 12 in the midnight at Mumbai, but by that time, bus had left to Nashik and no taxi driver agreed to take them to Nashik, at that time then waited up to 5 am and then traveled to Nashik by paying Rs.2,200/- as taxi charges. As the result of this delay, their relatives were made to wait at Nashik for performing Funeral ceremony of the father of the second complainant. Then they made representation to the first opposite party questioning about delay, but was of no use.
Therefore, calling the service of the opposite parties as deficient have prayed for a direction to the opposite parties to pay them taxi hire charges of Rs.1,375/- from Mysore to Bangalore, Rs.2,200/- towards taxi charges from Mumbai to Nashik, for refund of Rs.9,104/- the flight charges, award compensation for mental agony in a sum of Rs.25,000/- with interest and cost of the complaint.
2. Opposite parties have entered appearance through their advocate. The first opposite party in his version contended that the complaint is barred by limitation that this Forum has no jurisdiction to entertain the complainant, that the principal business of the first opposite party is at Mumbai, that the complainants have taken E-ticket, therefore the complaint could not have been filed in Mysore and this Forum has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint.
It is further contended that the first opposite party conducting air service as per the terms and conditions on the jacket of the ticket and it reserves the right of canceling, advancing, re-scheduling of flight, which cannot be questioned and stated that because of bad weather and technical snag, there was delay in taking off the flight at Delhi, Mumbai and Srinagar. The first opposite party has stated that on 15.12.2006 due to bad weather, heavy air traffic congestion and technical snag, the flight could not take off from Mumbai to got to Srinagar and that airport authorities did not allow them to fly the flight and stated that due to bad weather at different airports like Delhi, Srinagar, Mumbai and due to technical snag, the flight could not reach Bangalore to take off within the schedule time and contended that the delay was beyond their control and therefore there is no cause of action for the complainants and denying all other allegations by further denying their liability to pay the compensation as claimed by the complainants has prayed for dismissal of the complaint.
3. The second opposite party in his version contended that he as an agent of first opposite party issued Air ticket on commission basis and except that role he has nothing to do with the delay in departure and arrival of the flight and denying his liability has prayed for dismissal of the complaint.
4. During the course of enquiry into the complaint, the first complainant, one Gaurav Kumar for the first opposite party and the second opposite party have filed their affidavit evidence reproducing what they have stated in their respective complaint and versions. The complainants have produced the jacket of the air ticket. First opposite party has produced passenger ticket and baggage check and then copy of the history for New Delhi, weather which contain history of weather underground. The counsel for the complainants has filed written arguments. Heard the counsel for the opposite parties, perused the written arguments filed by the counsel for the complainants and the records.
5. On the above contentions, following points for determination arise.
1. whether the first opposite party proves that the delay in taking off the flight from Bangalore airport and reaching Mumbai was because of the technical snag and weather change and therefore they are not deficient in their service?
2. To what relief the complainants are entitled to? 6. Our findings are as under:-
Point no.1 : In the Negative.
Point no.2 : See the final order.
7. Point no. 1:- The learned counsel appearing for the first opposite party while arguing the case, stated that the first opposite party has not issued air ticket to the complainants and that air tickets are purchased at Bangalore, as the first opposite party has no office or branch office at Mysore, this Forum has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint. But, the counsel representing the complainants invited our attention to air ticket issued by the second opposite party and stated that he on the strength of air ticket issued by the second opposite party at Mysroe traveled in the flight belonging to first opposite party on the schedule date and therefore argued that this Forum has territorial jurisdiction to entertain the complaint.
The second opposite party in the version and also in the affidavit evi9dence admitted to had issued the air ticket to the complainants on commission basis for traveling in the flight belonging to first opposite party. The counsel representing the first opposite party during the course of arguments conceded that first opposite party has honoured the air ticket issued by the second opposite party and allowed the complainants to travel in their flight from Bangalore to Mumbai on the schedule date. When first opposite party admits this fact of allowing the complainants traveling in their flight and received flight charges from the second opposite party they cannot contendthat they did not issue ticket to the complainants, that they do not have any branch office at Mysore and this Forum has no territorial jurisdiction to entertain the complaint.
The first opposite party having an agent the second opposite party, at Mysore for issue of air ticket on their behalf cannot contend to the contrary and argue for osting the jurisdictional of this Forum. Therefore, the complaint in our view is maintainable.
8. Coming to the merits of the case as already stated above, the first opposite party has not denied receipt of the ticket charges from the complainants through their agent at Mysore for traveling in their flight on 15.12.2006 in their flight No.S2-216. The ticket jacket produced by the complainants discloses that the flight had to take off on that day at 20.45 hours and reach Mumbay at 22.15 hours, but the flight instead of leaving and arriving at those schedule times left Bangalore at 22.48 hours and reached Mumbai at 12 in the mid night. This fact plead by the complainants is not disputed by the first opposite party. On the contrary, the first opposite party in para 21 of his version and also in para 22 of his affidavit evidence admitted that there was 2 hours delay in flying these complainants from Bangalore to Nashik on 15.12.2006, but contended that because of bad weather at the concerned airports and due to technical snag, the flight could not take off within the stipulated timings and reach Mumbai.
The first opposite party except producing weather history underground at Delhi airport on the relevant day, has not produced any documents or adduced any oral evidence to prove that there was any such bad weather at Delhi and different airports in which the flight could not take off and airport authorities did not permit him to fly the flight.
The first opposite party has not produced any documents to prove any technical snag in the schedule flight which prevented the first opposite party from flying flight in time. Weather history underground given by the first opposite party only speaks of the weather condition at Delhi airport on the relevant date, but there is no indication that the flight could not take off in the condition of the weather prevailing as on that date. Weather at Delhi airport on the relevant day reported to be smoke, but the first opposite party has not produced any opinion or certificate of the concerned authorities to prove that flight could not take of in that smoke weather. The first opposite party absolutely has not placed any materials to prove that the flight had suffered technical snag and that also contributed to the delay.
The flight on the given day has traveled to different places and finally came landing at Bangalore airport to proceed to Mumbai. But, the first opposite party has not produced any other materials to prove that the prevalence of bad weather, and the airport authorities not giving green single to take off. The grounds urged by the first opposite party regarding technical snag and bad weather have remained as an assumption and we find no material before us to conclude that the delay of two hours in taking these complainants to Nashik was beyond their control and they were not deficient in their service.
As such, we find that the first opposite party is deficient in the service in not reaching the complainants to Nashik within the schedule time.
9. The complainants have sought for relief of various kinds including refund of ticket charges, and taxi charges. The complainants claimed to have traveled in taxi from Mysore to Bangalore, for which they cannot blame the opposite parties. The complainants having travelled in the flight of the first opposite party though belatedly cannot ask for refund of the flight charges. They have not produced any documents for having incurred taxi charges from Mumbai and Nashik. However, the fact that they were stranded at Mumbai during and hour and inconvenience caused cannot be rejected. Even if the flight had gone in time to Mumbai Funeral ceremony of the father of the second complainant could not have been done during night hours.
However, they have reached and attend the funeral ceremony on the next day for which also the opposite parties cannot be punished. However, the uncertainty and delay of two hours caused by the first opposite party results in deficiency in their service besides causing to the complainants and mental agony, which shall have to compensated. With this we answer point no.1 accordingly and pass the following order:-
1. The Complaint is allowed.
2. The first opposite party is ordered to pay Rs.2,000/- to each of the complainants as damages for delay in taking them to Nashik within 60 days from the date of this order, failing which he shall pay interest at 9% p.a. from the date of this order till the date of payment. 3. The first opposite party shall also pay cost of Rs.1,000/- jointly to the complainants. 4. The complaint against the second opposite party is dismissed.