AIR INDIA Vs. YESHWIN KURIAN THOMAS
TAMIL NADU STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
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K.SAMPATH, J. -
(1.) The 1st opposite party in COP No.753/1998 on the file of the District
Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chennai (South) is the appellant
herein. The complainants case was as follows: - He had purchased three
tickets one from Madras to Bombay, the second from Bombay to Paris and
the third from Paris to Geneva, from the 1st opposite party through the
2nd opposite party. Being a student, he had a valid entry visa to
Switzerland. Both the opposite parties informed the complainant that he
did not require a transit visa for France. After reaching Paris he found
that there was no direct Air India flight but there was a different
flight with different number which was informed by both the opposite
parties. The French authorities informed him that he required a transit
visa without which he would not be able to take the connecting flight. He
had to walk for nearly three to four kms to obtain the visa and after
verification by the local Police where he was physically and mentally
taxed and he had also to spend 500 French Francs to make a telephone call
to inform his people. His luggage which was booked from Bombay to Geneva
had not arrived in time. He was subjected to a lot of difficulty and he
could reach Geneva only after considerable delay. In these circumstances,
he filed the complaint seeking compensation in a sum of Rs.2 lakhs for
mental agony and Rs.50,000/- as exemplary costs.
(2.) The 1st opposite party filed a version stating as follows: - The 1st
opposite party had not informed that the complainant need not have a
transit visa. If the 2nd opposite party the complainant's travel agent
had not briefed the complainant the 1st opposite party could not be held
responsible. The connecting flight and the number were known to the 2nd
opposite party. The expenses alleged to have been incurred by the
complainant could not be true or that the complainant had to walk three
to four kilometres. The complainant changed his carrier at Paris from Air
France to Swiss Air without alerting Air India or Air France at Paris.
His baggage was not transferred on the Swiss Air. There was no deficiency
in service on the part of the 1st opposite party.
(3.) The 2nd opposite party filed a version stating as follows: - The 1st
opposite party's office at Chennai informed the 2nd opposite party that
transit visa was not required from Paris to Geneva. In international
flights, due to heavy traffic and due to several other reasons, the cabin
luggage might not be travelling in the same aircraft. Without any
expenses the luggage was handed over to the complainant at his doors. The
petition was liable to be dismissed for want of territorial jurisdiction.
The 2nd opposite party was not responsible for the alleged discomfort. It
was the duty of the 1st opposite party both at Chennai and at Mumbai to
check and verify the documents including visa before issuing the boarding
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