The forum, however, refused to direct the airlines to compensate the complainant for the value of his lost goods, including gold jewellery and USD 1,000 (nearly Rs 60,000), noting that as per rules, those articles were not allowed to be carried in the luggage.
The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi, asked the airlines to pay the amount to south Delhi resident S K Saini, whose articles were found missing from his bag during travel. "...apart from loss based on weights the opposite party (airlines) is supposed to take care of the baggage, so that it is not delivered in a condition from which things are falling.
"The bag is in custody of opposite party (OP) for safe keeping and if by mishandling, it is damaged, OP should not hesitate to compensate the complainant," the forum, also comprising its members S R Chaudhary and Ritu Garodia, said. Holding the airlines guilty of causing mental agony and loss to the complainant by "imperfect service", the forum said, "We order OP to pay compensation of Rs 10,000 for the damages to the bag by mishandling etc. He cannot be compensated for value of jewellery and money, which is not allowed in bags as per rules." Saini had told the forum that while on his journey from Sydney to Delhi by the airlines in December 2007, he booked his luggage weighing 72 Kg, which was flown directly to Delhi as goods were not be to be delivered to the passenger at his transit stay place at Kuala Lumpur.
When he reached Delhi, he found that the bag weighed two kg less and things were falling out of it as the zip had been opened, he said. He approached the airlines and reported that he had kept some gold articles, including a ring, and USD 1,000 (nearly Rs 60,000) in the bag and they were missing. The airlines, however, offered him Rs 5,000 based on the weight of baggage, saying that he had not declared the value of contents at the time of booking the luggage as per rules and jewellery and money were not allowed to be kept in baggage. Aggrieved by the airlines' response, Saini approached the forum.