1. Today is fixed for hearing of the application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act filed by the appellant for condonation of 6 days delay in filing the appeal. After hearing Mr. Pradeep Ram, the learned Advocate for the appellant and considering the grounds of delay as disclosed in paragraphs 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the application we find that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from preferring the appeal in time. Accordingly, six days delay in filing the appeal is condoned and the application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act is disposed of.
2. The appeal is now taken up for hearing on admissibility. Mr. Pradeep Ram, the learned Advocate appearing on behalf of appellant submitted that the appellant was the complainant before the District Forum and her complaint was dismissed by the District Forum without applying proper judicial mind. The appellant on 15.7.2008 purchased ticket for herself and her child from Jetlite Airways for proceeding to Chennai on 4.8.2008. On 4.8.2008 the Jetlite flight was cancelled due to administrative reason and the respondent No. 1 i.e. Jetlite Airways diverted all the passengers including complainant to Indian Airlines and also intimated the appellant verbally that the Indian Airlines flight would depart at 10.30 a.m. The appellant accordingly went back to her home and again reported at the Airport at 8.15 a.m. but, she was not allowed by the Indian Airlines staff to board the flight disclosing that check-in-time had already been closed as the departure time was 8.30 a.m. The appellant could not make the flight and she had to purchase fresh ticket of Kingfisher Airlines for proceeding to Chennai and neither the Jetlite nor the Indian Airlines refunded the fare to her. The respondents were negligent and failed to discharge the service which was expected from them to do. Moreover, the respondent No. 1 did not contest the matter before the District Forum and the District Forum would have passed the order ex parte against respondent No. 1 namely, the Jetlite Airways. There is merit in the appeal and it should be taken up for hearing.
3. After considering the submissions of Mr. Pradeep Ram, the learned Advocate for the appellant and perusing the materials on record including the records of C. D. Case No. 34 of 2008 of the District Forum, Port Blair and the judgment delivered by the Forum we find that the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Port Blair made no mistake by dismissing the complaint. We find that on 4.8.2008 the appellant reached Port Blair Airport for travelling to Chennai by Jetlite flight No. S2-614. Due to administrative and technical reasons the said flight was cancelled and the respondent No. 1 transferred its passengers to Indian Airlines flight No. IC-550 and necessary arrangements were made for accommodation of Jetlite passengers into the Indian Airlines flight No. IC-550 for Chennai. The appellant without making any inquiry at the counter and office of Indian Airlines at Port Blair Airport left the Airport for her home and came back to Airport at 8.15 a.m. when the flight No. IC-550 was almost ready for departure to Chennai. The appellant was not allowed boarding very rightly as check-in time was closed much before the arrival of appellant at the counter of Indian Airlines. Over the ticket of appellant endorsement was made on behalf of Jetlite that transfer to IC-550 and respondent No. 1 did not make any endorsement regarding time of departure of flight No. IC-550. The respondent No. 1 had no authority to mention the time of departure of flight No. IC-550 as that flight belonged to Indian Airlines and its departure time was within the control of the Indian Airlines authorities.
4. We do not find any deficiency in service or negligence on the part of respondent No. 1 namely, the Jetlite Airways as after cancellation of their flight No. S2-614 they made arrangement for journey of their passengers to Chennai through the flight No. IC-550 of Indian Airlines. It is not such a case that the respondent did not make any arrangement for journey of appellant by different flight or next flight. It was appellant who was negligent as after obtaining necessary endorsement regarding transfer to Indian Airlines flight No. IC-550 she left for home without making any inquiry regarding time of departure of IC flight No. 550. Non-appearance of respondent No. 1 before the District Forum is not a ground for ex parte order against respondent No. 1 when we do not find any negligence of respondent and rather find negligence of appellant.
5. We also do not find any deficiency in service or negligence on the part of respondent No. 2 namely, the Indian Airlines as the appellant did not report to the counter on time. The appellant reported to the counter of respondent No. 2 at 8.15 a.m. when check-in time and boarding both were closed and flight No. IC-550 was almost ready for departure at 8.30 a.m. After a passenger arrives late at airport and arrives so late that his arrival time was almost at the time of departure of the flight, such passenger cannot allege deficiency in service against the Airways. According to rules boarding closes 30 minutes before the actual departure time and the appellant did not report to the Indian Airlines counter within such time. The appellant was very late in reporting to the counter of Airlines and as such the Indian Airlines rightly refused her to board in such flight.
6. It is true that the appellant did not receive back the money which she paid as fare for her journey to Chennai by Jetlite Airways flight. The complaint filed by her before the District Forum was without any merit and she filed a frivolous complaint and the District Forum rightly dismissed her complaint. Dismissal of her complaint before the District Forum under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act of course cannot stop her right to claim for refund of air fare before other Forum, if such claim is not otherwise barred by law.
7. In view of the discussions made above we do not find any merit in this appeal for admission. The appeal accordingly having no merit is not admitted and stands dismissed.
8. Send down the records of C.D. Case No. 34 of 2008 to the District Forum along with a copy of this order. A copy of this order also be supplied to the learned Advocate for the appellant.