21 Sep 2023 6:49 AM GMT
Recently, the Central Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission bench comprising Inder Jeet Singh (President), Shahina (Member) and Vyas Muni Rai (Member) held Akash Ganga Courier liable for non-delivery of a parcel containing silk Kashmiri carpets worth Rs 6.8 Lakhs. The bench held the courier service liable for deficiency of service and ordered it to pay Rs. 4.8 Lakhs to...
Recently, the Central Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission bench comprising Inder Jeet Singh (President), Shahina (Member) and Vyas Muni Rai (Member) held Akash Ganga Courier liable for non-delivery of a parcel containing silk Kashmiri carpets worth Rs 6.8 Lakhs. The bench held the courier service liable for deficiency of service and ordered it to pay Rs. 4.8 Lakhs to the complainant for non-delivery of goods.
Brief facts of the case:
Tariq Ahmad Dar (“Complainant”), operated a proprietorship firm named "Pashmkaar Kashmir," dealing in handicraft carpets. In October 2013, he contacted Akash Ganga Courier Ltd (“Courier Company”) to send two parcels containing valuable silk Kashmiri carpets from Mumbai to Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi. The Courier Company received the parcels for delivery against an airway bill, with a total weight of 58.7 kg. However, only one parcel was delivered to the consignee, and the second parcel, weighing 30 kg and containing three carpets worth Rs. 6,80,000, remained undelivered.
The complainant repeatedly contacted the Courier Company, seeking the delivery of the missing parcel, but assurances were given without any resolution. It was alleged that the second parcel was either misplaced or stolen by the Courier Company. A police report was eventually filed, leading to the registration of an FIR. The Complainant also filed a consumer complaint in the Central Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (“District Commission”) against the courier company.
The Complainant argued that he was a consumer operating a livelihood-earning proprietorship firm, and the missing parcel represented a significant loss. He asserted that service was deficient on the part of the courier company, as they failed to deliver the second parcel. The complainant sought either the delivery of the missing parcel or compensation for the value of the carpets, amounting to Rs. 6,80,000, along with interest at 18% per annum. He also claimed Rs. 50,000 for the financial loss.
The courier company vehemently opposed the complaint, arguing that there was no deficiency of service or unfair trade practice on their part. They claimed that one parcel was not delivered due to the non-availability of the consignee at the delivery address. Further, the missing parcel was kept in the office of M/s R. D. Communications (a franchise of the courier company), and it was allegedly stolen during an absence by Ravinder Kumar Mukhi, proprietor of M/s R. D. Communications. M/s R. D. Communications and its proprietor, Ravinder Kumar Mukhi, did not file a reply to the complaint.
Observations by the Commission:
Upon examination of the case, the District Commission found clear evidence of a deficiency in service provided by the Courier Company. The District Commission noted that the consignment memo provided by the Courier Company was unilateral, lacking the signature of both parties. Therefore, the District Commission noted that it could not be construed as a bilateral contract containing terms and conditions. Consequently, the plea by the Courier Company to limit their liability to four times the courier charges was not accepted.
Furthermore, the District Commission found that the courier company failed to provide a satisfactory explanation as to why only one parcel was initially delivered, despite both parcels being booked under a single consignment memo. The claim that the second parcel was stolen or misplaced in their office was unsupported by credible evidence.
The District Commission acknowledged that the complainant had compounded the offence with Ravinder Kumar Mukhi, proprietor of M/s R. D. Communications, and received Rs. 2,00,000 as part of the settlement. However, the bench clarified that this did not absolve the courier company from its liabilities, as R. D. Communications was a franchise of the courier company.
Consequently, the District Commission held that the complainant was entitled to receive a sum of Rs. 4,80,000 from the courier company. This amount represented the balance after deducting Rs. 2,00,000 received from Ravinder Kumar Mukhi (proprietor of M/s R. D. Communications) as part of the compounding of the offence. The Courier Company was also directed to pay simple interest at the rate of 6% per annum on the sum of Rs. 4,80,000 from the date of the complaint until the realization of the amount. In addition to the compensation for the undelivered parcel, the complainant was held to be entitled to receive Rs. 15,000 as damages for harassment and mental agony suffered during this ordeal. The complainant was also awarded costs of litigation amounting to Rs. 5,000.
Case: Tariq Ahmad Dar vs. Akash Ganga Courier Ltd
Case No.: Complaint Case No. CC/367/2014
Advocate for the Complainant: None
Advocate for the Respondent: None
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