Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Supreme Court Affirms NCDRC Order Directing Air India To Pay Rs 2.03 Lakh Compensation To Passenger For Baggage Loss

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with the order of the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) which upheld the order of the State Commission and District Forum directing Air India to pay a compensation of Rs2.03 lakh to a passenger who lost his luggage during travel. 
A division bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Rajesh Bindal, dismissing the appeal filed by Air India against the order of the NCDRC, observed: “In the peculiar facts and circumstances of the present case, we are not inclined to interfere with the order impugned herein under Article 136 of the Constitution of India.” On 07-02-2023, the NCDRC had dismissed an appeal filed by Air India, and directed the airline to pay the balance 50% compensation out of the Rs2.03 lakh to the Complainant who lost his luggage. 
On an earlier occasion, the NCDRC had granted a stay and directed Air India to deposit 50% of the compensation awarded by the district forum, which was later upheld by the state forum. Since the carrier had already deposited 50% of the compensation amount, the NCDRC later directed payment of the balance amount to the complainant.
The Complainant Tushar Kothari had filed the complaint after he had lost one of his bags while travelling from Nagpur to Goa in an Air India flight. The district and state commissions ruled in favour of the complainant and directed Air India to compensate the passenger. The Complainant and his family members had purchased Air India tickets to attend a wedding ceremony in Goa, with a stopover in Mumbai, departing from Nagpur. 
The airline examined 16 bags belonging to Mr. Kothari and his family and issued boarding passes accordingly. However, upon reaching their destination, only 15 bags were received, as one bag had been misplaced during the journey. The airline could not locate the bag despite assuring the Complainant that they would search for it. Air India instead offered the Complainant a compensation of Rs3,600, which was calculated at the rate of Rs. 450 per kg for the missing bag. 
 26/07/2023 Sheryl Sebastian/Live Law
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