Monday, February 5, 2007

Consumer Commission upholds order against transport corporation

Consumer Commission upholds order against transport corporation

K.T. Sangameswaran

Directs it to pay Rs.1, 500 to a passenger

CHENNAI: Upholding a lower forum's order that a transport corporation was deficient in service, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has modified the order and directed the corporation to pay Rs.1, 500 to a passenger instead of Rs.5, 250.

The Commission Bench comprising President Justice K. Sampath and Member Pon. Gunasekaran, partly allowed an appeal by the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (Madurai Division-I).

Y. Jesu of Vittankulam in Madurai district lodged a complaint with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Madurai, that he boarded a bus to go from Illuppaiyur to Aruppukottai in December 1995 to attend the wedding of his advocate in Madurai. At Aladipatty, a tyre of the bus burst. The passengers had to alight. The crew never bothered about the sufferings of the passengers and did not render them any help. There was no spare tyre in the bus. After walking five km, he took another bus from Kallurani to Arupukottai. He experienced mental agony. When he reached Madurai, the wedding was over.

The corporation's managing director submitted that the bus underwent daily maintenance and attributed the puncture to the bad road condition. The crew requested the passengers to wait for some time for another bus. A spare bus arrived, and all passengers, including the complainant, boarded it.

The district forum held there was deficiency in service of the corporation and directed it to pay Rs.2, 000 as a compensation for loss of expectation and amenities, Rs.2, 000 for mental agony, Rs.250 as charge for legal notice and Rs.1,000 in costs.

Challenging this, the transport corporation filed an appeal.

The Bench said except the statements of the driver, conductor and depot manager, there was no evidence to show that an alternative bus was sent to the spot. There was no reply to the legal notice sent by the complainant.

However, the Commission said the compensation ordered by the forum was high. It directed the corporation to pay a compensation of Rs.500 for mental agony, Rs.500 for loss of amenities and Rs.500 in costs.

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

Date:04/02/2007 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2007/02/04/stories/2007020403220500.htm

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