Jun 9, 2013
CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM-VII
GOVT. OF N.C.T. OF DELHI
LOCAL SHOPPING COMPLEX, SHEIKH SARIA, NEW DELHI-110017
Complaint No. DF. VII/777/2009/ Dated :
In the matter of :
Sh. B.C. Mathapati,
S/o Sh. C.I. Mathapati,
R/o C-121, Sec.9, New Vijay Nagar,
Ghaziabad, U.P. ….Complainant
Spice Jet Airlines
Terminal 1-A, IGI Airport, Domestic Terminal,
New Delhi-37. ….Opposite Party
O R D E R
(MONA SAHNI, MEMBER)
The Complainant travelled from Bangalore to Delhi on 8.6.2009 on Flight No. SG-216 of the O.P. He was served a Non-vegetarian sandwich instead of vegetarian sandwich asked for by the Complainant on board in the Air-craft.
It is alleged by the Complainant that immediately after consuming a piece of the sandwich, he was shocked to realize that it was a non vegetarian sandwich and thus his religious feeling was hurt because he is a conservative by nature and never touched garlic or onion during whole of his life and therefore he complained to the consumer care centre/ customer relations department of the O.P., who in reply vide Ex-CW-1/B dated 14.6.2009 assured him that they would be investigating the complaint and revert back to him. It is further stated that on 16.6.2009, he received another mail from the O.P., admitting that the non-vegetarian sandwich was mistakenly served to the Complainant because it was got mixed-up with the vegetarian sandwich at the time of uplifting the sandwiches in the flight.
Relying upon this admission of the O.P. and taking no further action by them, the Complainant sent them a Legal Notice dated 29.8.2009 by Registered Post as well as under Certificate of Posting (U.P.C.) calling upon the O.P. to pay him Rupees Five Lacs for their negligence and deficiency-in-service for hurting his religious feeling.
Having received no reply to the Legal Notice, Complainant then, filed the complaint before this Forum on 23.10.2009, which was admitted as a Consumer Dispute on 13.11.2009 giving notice to the O.P..
After service, the O.P. filed their written reply to which rejoinder and evidence by way of affidavit of the Complainant was filed. The O.P. also filed in their evidence, the affidavit of Sh. Vijay Rai Manager (Legal). Thereafter both the parties filed their Written Arguments. We have heard the Ld. Counsel for the Complainant alone because now appeared on behalf of the O.P. at the time of final hearing.
We have thoughtfully considered the rival submissions of both the parties and have carefully examined the material on record.
The Complainant in his affidavit has deposed to the entire facts as alleged by him in his complaint while Sh. Vijay Rai on behalf of O.P. has deposed that there was no deficiency whatsoever on the part of the O.P. in rendering any services to the Complainant. He further submitted that whenever a passenger asks for any food item, he is servered his requisite choice but in the instant case on enquiry it was found that instead of vegetable sandwich, the crew served non vegetarian sandwich inadvertently and when the Complainant paid for vegetarian sandwich, the crew immediately stopped the Complainant from opening the packet and served him vegetarian sandwich replacing the same with the non-vegetarian sandwich. The Complainant had not even opened the packet which had distinguishable stickers of green and red colours to indicate which is veg. and which is non-veg. further, it is stated that the Complainant did not make any complaint during the travel in the feedback Form available in the Air-craft nor he made any complaint to the Airport Manager or the Airport Authority or to the police at Airport but only telephonically lodged a complaint with them after five days, whereupon the O.P. seriously initiated the enquiry and took necessary action in the matter after learning about the mistake.
From bare perusal of the admission as made by the O.P. in their email dated 16.6.2009 (Ex. CW-1/C) it stands proved that the crew /attendant in the Aircraft mistakenly served the Complainant with a non-veg sandwich instead of the vegetarian sandwich asked for by the Complainant. This lone fact is sufficient to constitute deficiency-in-service on the part of O.P..
However, we find compensation of Rs. 5,00,000/- as demanded in the Legal Notice (Ex. CW-1/D) or Rs. 4.5 Lacs as claimed in the complaint before us is capricious and is motivated by avarice (greed) for undue enrichment especially when we find the testimony of the Complainant uninspiring of confidence in the mind of the Forum that only on eating the sandwich Complainant realized that the sandwich was non veg because it is common knowledge that the food articles in packages always bear red and green stickers displayed conspicuously to distinguish the food items as veg or non-veg.
Considering the facts as borne on the record, we feel satisfied that though O.P. are guilty of negligence and hence liable for deficiency-in-service, yet the claim for exaggerated amount as compensation by the Complainant does not commensurate with their negligence. In our considered view a token penalty of Rs. 10,000/- imposed on the O.P. to be awarded as compensation to the Complainant shall meet the ends of justice.
Accordingly, allowing the complaint we direct the O.P. to pay to the Complainant a sum of Rs. 10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand Only) as compensation and Rs. 5000/- (Rupees Five Thousand Only) as cost of litigation.
If the awarded amount is not paid within 30 days of the receipt of the copy of the order, O.P. shall be liable to pay interest @ 12% p.a. till realization on the amount of compensation only.
Order Pronounced on 14th May, 2013.
(MONA SAHNI) (ZAHID HUSAIN) (NARENDRA KUMAR)
MEMBER MEMBER PRESIDENT