A Passenger who was soaked in the rain due to the step ladder being used to board the flight being devoid of a cover ruled recently by a Kerala Consumer Court that Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) pay compensation for 16,000 Indian Rupees to the passenger.
The case is between TGN Kumar v. The Managing Director of Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL). The District Consumer Redressal Commission in Ernakulam. Which is chaired by President DB Binu and includes members V Ramachandran and Sreevidhia TN.
They noted that CIAL could have provided CCTV footage to refute the claim that they failed to provide a rain cover, but they chose not to do so.
The consumer court concluded that CIAL could be held accountable for the passenger’s physical, emotional, and mental suffering due to having him wet while driving.
Cochin Airport Passenger Gets Compensation
“Therefore, the first opposite party is obligated to compensate the complainant. About the issue of not providing a step ladder without a canopy while boarding the aircraft constitutes a deficiency in service,” the court’s decision reads.
The final judgment said that “the opposite party shall pay the complainant Rs. 8000 as compensation for the physical discomfort, mental anguish, etc. caused to the complainant due to the acts/omission on the part of the 1st Opposing Party.” Additionally, the Court mandated that CIAL contribute an extra 8,000 to the litigation expenses.
A few general criticisms concerning the disregard for the well-being of its clients displayed by profit-making institutions like CIAL were also included in the Commission’s order.
It is frequently observed that even enormous for-profit businesses have little regard for their client’s legal rights. When customers go to commissions like these for resolution of their complaints that cannot be raised elsewhere, we cannot watch helplessly, the directive said.
The decision was made in response to a passenger’s complaint, in which the passenger requested reimbursement from CIAL for poor service. The traveler, who claimed to be a frequent traveler who frequently used CIAL, was a native of Kochi.
In his complaint, he listed numerous instances where CIAL failed to provide him with the care he needed because of a lack of staff and subpar offerings.
He described a situation in which he was left completely drenched in the rain on a rainy day when leaving CIAL because there was no rain shelter.
According to him, till he arrived in New Delhi, he had to travel in wet clothes. He also argued that because he was wet on board, he spent three days in bed and experienced physical aches.
Case proceedings and final order
The Consumer Protection Act’s conditions were not met, according to CIAL, and the complaint should be dropped.
After citing several precedents, the consumer court concluded that the complaint may still be upheld because the provision of passenger facilitation services and the performance of non-sovereign activities are not free.
The consumer court also took note of the fact that, while having the potential to present CCTV footage to refute claims that a rain canopy was absent, CIAL chose not to do so.
The CCTV film revealed whether or not it had been raining. Further, whether or not the passengers had access to a rain canopy on the step ladder. Subsequently, the first opposite parts do not refute this information.
The order stated that the first opposing party, who had all pertinent weather data and CCTV images of the airport, had failed to present such evidence to refute the complainant’s claims regarding the rain. Also, the lack of a step ladder without a rain canopy for boarding the aircraft. Therefore, the consumer court awarded the passenger $16,000 in damages from CIAL.
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