BRITISH AIRWAYS Vs. NAND GOPAL GANDHAM
DELHI STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
NAND GOPAL GANDHAM
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(1.) ON account of delayed delivery of the baggage to the respondent, the appellant -airline vide impugned order dated 21.3.2005, has been directed to pay compensation of
Rs. 20,000 less the amount already paid. Feeling aggrieved the appellant
has directed this appeal.
(2.) FACTS giving rise to the impugned order in brief are as that the respondent boarded Flight No. BA -296 on 15.9.2002 from Chicago to
London. At Chicago the respondent had got checked in two bags vide DOC
No. BA -520057 and 520058 for direct delivery at New Delhi. The flight
arrived at New Delhi at 10.40 p.m. on 16.9.2002. However, his baggage had
not arrived on this flight. After inquires by the respondent the
officials of the appellant at the airport told him that his baggage had
not been loaded on flight No. BA -143 at London. Ultimately the baggage
was delivered to the respondent on the next day i.e., in the late hours.
The baggage contained several important business documents and tender
quotations which were required by him for a meeting scheduled at
Allahabad on 17.9.2002 and in the absence of these documents he was
forced to miss the business meeting. This caused him tremendous
harassment and mental agony as the non -participation in the said meeting
deprived him of an opportunity to get a contract for his firm. It was
also alleged that the house keys of the respondent and his cell phone
were also in his baggage. He could not go home and was forced to stay at
a hotel till his baggage arrived. Thus the respondent had to undergo
considerable inconvenience and great physical and mental suffering. The
respondent vide letter dated 17.9.2002 and 18.9.2002 claimed a
compensation of 500 UK pound from the appellant for the harassment etc.
However, while accepting their responsibility for the delayed delivery of
the baggage the appellant sent a cheque for only Rs. 2,500 as an
ex -gratia payment. The respondent received this amount under protest and
this was informed to the appellant vide letter dated 7.10.2002.
(3.) THERE is no dispute that the baggage was delivered to the respondent on 17.9.2002 i.e., on the day following the arrival of the
flight at Delhi. According to the Counsel for the appellant there was no
deficiency in service on the part of the appellant inasmuch as that all
the carriers do not guarantee the carrying of the baggage on the same
flight on which the passenger travels and on arrival at Delhi he was
informed that his baggage would be arriving by the next flight. Further
that no loss or injury suffered by the respondent was proved and the
compensation awarded by the District Forum was uncalled for, unjustified
and was awarded for inconvenience for not using the cellular phone.
To say that a passenger who carries baggage with him in a foreign land would not be inconvenienced even if it is delivered late by
one day is not correct. In the instant case the respondent had suffered
tremendous harassment and mental agony as he could not participate in the
meeting at Allahabad which deprived him an opportunity to collect
contract for his firm and moreover the house keys of the respondent were
in his baggage and, therefore, he could not go home and was forced to
stay at hotel till his baggage arrived. A person carries not only
valuable documents or valuables along with him when he goes out for a
business purpose or otherwise he suffers not only loss but the mental
injury and inconvenience, if he is deprived of his baggage.;
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