Bengaluru Court rejects KIOCL’s plea for relief over cancelled flight
Though the booking was confirmed on February 10, 2022, ACS Air Charter Service India expressed its regret and cancelled the booking, and promised to refund the advance amount.
BENGALURU: In a setback to KIOCL Limited, formerly known as Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited, a Government of India enterprise, the Bangalore Urban Second Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission dismissed its complaint, seeking direction to ACS Air Charter Service India to pay compensation for cancelling a chartered flight. KIOCL had booked the flight for a minister and his team to fly from New Delhi to Mangaluru and back, due to an exigency.
KIOCL booked 10 passenger aircraft with ACS Air Charter Service India for Rs 29.20 lakh for the minister and others to travel on February 19, 2022, from New Delhi to Mangaluru, and back on February 21, 2022. Though the booking was confirmed on February 10, 2022, ACS Air Charter Service India expressed its regret and cancelled the booking, and promised to refund the advance amount.
Due to this, KIOCL booked another chartered flight, paying Rs 64.31 lakh. Later, KIOCL moved the consumer commission, seeking direction to ACS Air Charter Service India to pay the difference amount of Rs 35.10 lakh with 12 per cent interest, on the ground of deficiency of service.
In a counter, ACS Air Charter Service India contended before the commission that it had expressed its inability to provide a chartered flight on the booked date due to continuous elections, and the advance paid by KIOCL was refunded, after communicating the same to the complainant a day in advance of the travel date. It also provided an alternative option for confirmation. KIOCL, however, without giving confirmation, booked another flight by paying a higher price.
After hearing the parties, the Commission comprising president KS Bilagi and members B Devaraju and V Anuradha, said when ACS Air Charter Service India expressed its inability to provide a charter flight due to operational contingency, and immediately provided an alternative option, KIOCL, for reasons best known to it, neither confirmed nor declined to take the option. Under such circumstances, the act of KIOCL -- without giving confirmation and booking another charter flight at a higher price -- does not amount to deficiency of service on the part of ACS Air Charter Service India. Therefore, KIOCL is not entitled to any relief, the Commission said.