|CONSUMER COMPLAINT NO. 17 OF 2007
|Date of Judgement
|23 July 2008
|Supreme Court of India
|Consumer Protection Act, 1986
|Ajay Kaila & Ors.
|Air India Ltd. & Ors.
|Mr. Justice M. B. Shah, PresidentMrs. Rajyalakshmi Rao, Member
|Nipun Nagar v. Symbiosis Institute of International Business [I (2009) CPJ 3 (NC)]Chandigarh v. Miss Gunita Virk [I (1996) CPJ 36 (NC)]
FACTS OF THE CASE
- Mr. Ajay Kaila and others filed a complaint against M/s Air India Limited for an or deal experienced during their return flight from Dubai to New Delhi.
- The complainants, along with their family, boarded Air India Flight no. AI-0746 on January 2, 2007, from Dubai to New Delhi, initially scheduled for departure at 1700 Hours.
- The departure time was later changed to 2030 Hours, causing inconvenience to the passengers who had already reached the airport.
- The flight, further delayed by 3 hours, took 5 hours to land at Mumbai Airport instead of Delhi, a deviation from the usual 3-hour duration.
- At Mumbai Airport, the complainants and other passengers were kept waiting for more than 24 hours without sleep, rest, and proper meals.
- The complainants sought compensation of Rs.4,80,000/- for each passenger.
- The National Commission directed Air India to produce relevant guidelines on Flight Irregularities.
- Air India’s guidelines emphasized informing passengers of delays, providing refreshments, and ensuring comfort during delays.
- Affidavits of four other passengers were submitted as evidence, and the case was adjourned to 22.8.08 for further directions.
How should a consumer be compensated for a flaw in the service?
What should be the amount of the compensation?
- No information was provided regarding the reason for the delay or the extended waiting period.
- The appellants argued for the implementation and publication of the regulations set by the National Commission at airports for public awareness.
- The Guidelines of Air India were referred to, which dealt with flight irregularities.
- It is necessary to enforce and communicate the regulations, designed for the welfare of passengers, to the public.
- Considering this perspective, M/s Air India Ltd., designated as the opposing party No. 1, is instructed to prominently display the mentioned regulations at every airport in the country where it conducts operations. Additionally, within three weeks from today, it is mandated to publish a summary of these regulations in one or two paragraphs in The Times of India.
- The counsel representing the complainant submits sworn statements from four other passengers who were on the same flight. These statements are officially recorded, and copies will be provided to the counsel representing the opposing parties.
The grievance pertained to a flight delay, with reference made to Air India’s Guidelines addressing flight irregularities. The National Commission ruled that Air India was obligated to prominently display these Guidelines at every airport in the country and publish a summary in a newspaper. The opposing party argued that, as per the decision in Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh v. Miss Gunita Virk [I (1996) CPJ 36 (NC)], Consumer Forums lacked jurisdiction to declare any rule in the prospectus of an institution as unconscionable or illegal. The party also cited its recent decision in Nipun Nagar v. Symbiosis Institute of International Business [I (2009) CPJ 3 (NC)].
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This Article is written by Ayushi Sinha of Lloyd School of Law, Intern at Legal Vidhiya.
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