Decided on June 18,2008



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 card.;

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