Decided on March 09,2006

B.D.SHARMA Respondents


J.D.KAPOOR,J - (1.) AN air ticket of appellant -airlines was purchased by the respondent who is an IPS officer for Delhi -Mumbai -Thiruvananthapuram -Delhi. In spite of having been provided the Confirmed status, the respondent was not allowed to board the flight. The reason given by the appellant was overbooking.
(2.) HOLDING the airlines guilty of deficiency in service the District Forum has vide impugned order dated 5.9.2005 directed it to pay compensation of Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 2,000 as cost of litigation. Feeling aggrieved the appellant has preferred this appeal.
(3.) STAND of the appellant is that the passengers at airport are entertained on first -cum -first -served basis and, therefore, the respondent was bona fidely denied the boarding card for the flight. However, the respondent and other such passengers were accommodated in another flight to Kochi from where they were provided surface transport upto their destination. A legal objection was also raised by the appellant that the ticket was purchased by the Border Security Force (BSF) as the respondent was posted as Inspector General (Provisioning) and, therefore, main consumer was BSF and without permission of the BSF, complaint was not maintainable. We will deal with the legal objection first. Merely because the respondent was posted with the BSF and the ticket was purchased by the BSF does not mean that the respondent was not a consumer qua the appellant, Consumer as defined by Section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act includes any beneficiary of such services other than the person who hires or avails the service for consideration. In the instant case the ticket was purchased by the BSF for the travel and benefit of the respondent. The objection is wholly groundless and devoid of merit but at the same time the learned Counsel for the appellant has also brought to our notice the judgment of the Supreme Court in Oil and Natural Gas Commission and Another v. Collector of Central Excise, 1995 Supp (4) SCC 541, wherein the observations were made that Union of India Government shall constitute a Committee headed by Cabinet Secretary for resolving the disputes between Government organization through mutual consultation.;

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