Saturday, Jun 14, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
The airlines, Air India, went to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in appeal. The National Commission dismissed the petition stating that it did not find any grounds to interfere with the order of the district forum as also the State Commission. Earlier, a Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Chandigarh had awarded Harpreet Singh Rs. 15,000 as compensation and Rs. 4,000 as travel expenditure from Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) Delhi to their offices at Connaught Place along with Rs. 1,000 as costs.
Aggrieved with the order, the travel agent as well as Air India went in appeal to the Chandigarh State Commission which upheld the same verdict.
Air India in its appeal to the National Commission stated that the travel agent was not the agent of Air India though he was an agent of International Air Transport Association (IATA). The airlines also stated that the ticket was not re-confirmed by the passenger.
A bench presided by Justice D.P Wadhwa of the National Commission stated that a travel agent was the accredited agent of IATA of which Air India is a member. The argument that Air India could not be made liable for fault of the agent is against the basic principles of law particularly against the provision of the Contract Act. Air India is certainly liable for the negligence of its agent, the bench held.
The ticket was purchased on February 23, 1999 and Harpreet Singh was to take the flight on February 25 within 72 hours of purchase of the okay ticket. There was no question of any re- confirmation when the travel agent had issued a ticket with confirmed status, the bench observed.
The bench thus dismissed the petition stating that it did not find any grounds to interfere with the earlier decision of the District Forum as well as the State Commission.
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