INDIAN AIRLINES Vs. B.D.SHARMA
DELHI STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
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(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
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