This complaint coming on before us for final hearing on 08.01.2010 and upon perusing the complaint, written arguments of the complainant and opposite parties and other relevant material papers on record and on hearing of Sri V. Chandrasekhar, counsel for the complainant and Smt. Chevireddy Sreedevi, counsel for the opposite parties and having stood over till this day for consideration, the Forum made the following:-
DELIVERED BY Sri M. SUBBARAYUDU NAIDU, MEMBER
ON BEHALF OF THE BENCH
This complaint is filed under Sections 12 and 14 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 to pass an order directing the opposite parties 1 to 4 to pay Rs.25,000/- for the complainant’s loss and award compensation of Rs.50,000/- to him for mental agony and loss of his reputation, to pay the costs of the complaint to the complainant and pass such other order or orders as the Hon’ble Forum may deem fit and proper in the circumstances of the case.
2. The factual matrix leading to filing of this complaint is set out as here under:
(a) It is the case of the complainant that that he is archaka by profession and used to perform homams and all types of pujas at temples for the benefit of the people at all places in and around of the Andhra Pradesh State. For that, he usually travels throughout the state in A.P. State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC). He further narrated in para 1 of his complaint that Sri Adhiparashakthi Sidduni Peetam, Ashwa Puram, Manuguru, Khammam District booked him for performing Sri Ganapathi homam and Sri devi homam etc., pujas at Kamam for two days, i.e., 7th and 8th May, 2009. In this connection, another family booked the complainant for one day, i.e., on 10th May, 2009 for performing dosha pooja at Srisailam, Kurnool District. So, the complainant purchased APSRTC Jubilee Hitech ticket (JHT) by paying Rs.700/- on 05.05.2009 at Tirupati bus station and on the same day evening at 6.30 p.m. he traveled in super luxury bus to Vijayawada by Gudivada bus service on 06.05.2009 early morning. Thereafter, he also traveled to Managuru by express service on 6th May, 2009 itself early morning and reached their in the afternoon and attended and performed all pujas at Sri Adhiparashakthi Sidduni Peetam, Ashwa Puram, Manuguru on 7th and 8th May, 2009. On 9th May early morning, the complainant returned from Managur to Vijayawada by express service bus and he reached Vijayawada and thereafter he went Kankadurgammavari temple at Vijayawada, and took holy bath in Krishna river and had Ammavari darshan and later returned to Vijayawada bus station and went to Dwaraka Tirumala and had darshan of lord Sri Venkateswara swamy and he returned to Vijayawada bus station at about 9.00 p.m. on 9th May, 2009. The complainant went to the platform No.26 to go to Srisailam and approached bus conductor in the bus bearing No.AP28Z4153 (super luxury bus – Amalapuram to Srisailam service). The said bus conductor who was at entrance of the bus enquired by the complainant about the vacancy position of seats to Srisailam, bus conductor told him that seat No.17 was vacant and the same may be occupied and thereby he sat in seat No.17. Subsequently, bus conductor asked the complainant to show his jubilee hitec ticket and after showing the jubilee hitech ticket, the said bus conductor refused to take the ticket and did not allow him to travel and demanded to purchase a ticket by paying cash only, otherwise he has to get out from the said bus. The complainant further said that jubilee hitech ticket passenger can travel in all types of bus service except A/c, Meghadoot and Garuda buses. The said bus conductor negligently told that he won’t allow jubilee hitech ticket because he has to pay toll gate amount and will not get any incentive from jubilee hitech ticket and asked the complainant to get down. Thereafter, the complainant asked him come and say the same before the Depot Manager, Vijayawada, but the conductor without any reason abused, dragged and necked out him from the bus. He fell down at foot board of the bus and the bus driver also abused the complainant and drove the bus speedily. The complainant requested the bus driver and conductor to stop the bus at nearby platform No.36 but they insulted and threatened the complainant before all the passengers. The complainant asked the conductor’s name and the conductor told his name as V. Subba Rao, Service No.45373. Thereafter, the complainant met on duty C.I. of Vijayawada bus station and gave his complaint to him against the bus conductor and driver. Later on, on duty C.I. asked the complainant about the bus dept name and he told that the said bus service route was Amalapuram to Srisailam and bus bearing No. AP 28 Z 4155 ( super luxury bus). Having the said information, the C.I. telephoned to Amalapuram bus depot about the incident happened towards the complainant and ordered to take necessary action against both the driver and conductor. The said C.I. said that the bus conductor and driver names are K.V. Ramana, No.65350 and T.V.S. Narayana, No.65622.
(b) The complainant went to Srisailam in APSRTC bus service at 11.30 p.m. on 09.05.2009. The complainant was booked by one party for performing dosha nivarana pooja on 10.05.2009 at Srisailam. His total programme was disturbed because of inconvenience at Amalapuram bus depot incident and he reached Srisailam after the muhurtham time. Because of that, he did not perform the said pooja and got loss of about Rs.25,000/- (including of pooja material amount and fees etc) and he returned to Tirupati with full of sorrow and lost his reputation, suffered mentally and financially. On 13.05.2009, the complainant sent registered letters to the depot managers, Tirupati and Amalapuram about the incident and inconvenience caused to him and requested to take necessary action against the bus conductor and driver respectively. The said registered letters were received by them and they did not reply to the complainant. Thereafter, he sent a legal notice to APSRTC’s Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Hyderabad and the Regional Manager, Rajahmundry and they also did not reply. The Amalapuram bus depot Manager had returned two letters to the complainant to attend an enquiry on 2nd and 15th August, 2009 at Amalapuram, but he did not attend the enquiry for the reason that he had been suffering from kidney problem and is taking treatment for it and expressed his willingness to attend an enquiry at Tirupati only on 11..8.2009. On 25.08.2009, the Depot Superintendent, Amalapuram bus depot telephone to the complainant and told that he will attend enquiry on 26.08.2009 at Tirupati and complainant accepted the same and on 26th August, one Mr.N.V. Ratnam, No.E 62752, deputy superintendent, Amalapuram bus depot conducted enquiry but it was futile. At the time of the enquiry, the said enquiry office explained to the complainant that as per “TIM” report, when the complainant entered into the bus, there were 19 seats vacant and after the above said incident, 6 seats were vacant when the bus was moving to Srisailam. In view of the said facts and circumstances, the complainant prayed this Hon’ble court to grant all the reliefs as prayed for. Hence, this complaint.
3. In reponse, the fourth opposite party resisted the complaint and filed its written version and the same was adopted by the opposite parties 1 to 3.The fourth opposite party also filed its affidavit reiterating the facts contained in the written version. The fourth opposite party denied the allegations made in the complaint except those that are specifically admitted by him. It is true that complainant purchased JH ticket by paying a sum of Rs.700/- at Tirupati on 05.05.2009 and availed the services of the fourth opposite party for 5 days (05.05.09 to 09.05.09) and on the fifth day, i.e. 09.05.09, he came to Vijayawada bus stand at about 10.00 p.m. and boarded Bus No. AP 28 Z 4155 and sat in seat No.17 which already reserved by somebody on 08.05.2009 under ticket bearing No.3911766 from Amalapuram to Guntur. The conductor of the said bus asked the complainant to purchase the ticket and also requested him stating that the complainant should sit in another seat except in the seat Nos.17 and 18 as they were already reserved. But the complainant did not heed the words of the conductor and he has shown the JH ticket and said that he has the right to sit according to his will and wish and behaved adamantly and abused the conductor with filthy language. But the conductor repeatedly requested the complainant to sit anywhere in the bus except in the seats reserved. In spite of requests made by the said conductor, the complainant has thrown a challenge that he will see that the conductor should be suspended and he himself got down form the bus and he approached the CI and reported the matter by giving wrong names of the conductor and driver. The CI interfered in the matter and advised the complainant that nobody will be allowed to sit in reserved seats except the reservation holders and suggested him to board another bus which was available in the bus stand and accordingly the complainant boarded another bus and left from Vijayawada to Srisailam. There were number of bus services to Srisailam from Vijayawads for every half an hour and the complainant engaged another bus immediately and left Vijayawada. The complainant unnecessarily quarreled with the conductor and he himself voluntarily got down from the bus and traveled in another bus. The opposite parties enclosed a list of services available on that day i.e. 09.09.2009 between 10.00 p.m. to 12.00 midnight to go to Srisailam. The complainant did not produce any document to show that by whom he was rejected and for what extent he sustained loss. The said incident happened at the instance of the complainant only and there is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties. Further, the fourth opposite party narrated in para 12 that as per the proceedings of Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director of Project Tiger Circle, Srisailam, in L.Dis.No.6429/2009 that no Government vehicles as well as private vehicles are allowed to pass through the following forests check post in project circle, Srisailam during the odd hours i.e. from 9.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m.
1. Dornal Check Post 2. Sikharam Check Post 3. Mannanur Check Post
4. Domalapenta Check Post
Every bus has to pass through the above said four check posts i.e. Dornal Check post 2) Sikharam Check post 3) Mannanur Check Post and 4) Domalapenta Check post to go to Srisailam as the said check posts are situated at the entrance of ghat road in the Nallamala forest. According to the above said proceedings, no bus will be allowed to pass through Dornal Check post. At any rate the complainant could not reach Srisailam by 6.00 a.m. on 10.05.2009 as the buses will be allowed after 6.00 a.m. onwards only from the Dornal Check post. According to the complainant that he has to reach Srisailam between 6.00 a.m. to 7.00 a.m. and accordingly he reached there by 7.00 a.m as the distance between Dornal Check post and Srisailam is 50 kms and the buses will be allowed only after 6.00 a.m. in the ghat road and the journey will take at least one hour, so he reached in time. Hence there is no deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties towards the complainant. When there is no deficiency of service on the part of the APSRTC and there is no liability to pay any compensation to the complainant. There is no deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties and the question of causing damage to the complainant does not arise and viewed from any angle, the complainant has no case and the complaint has to be dismissed in limini. The complaint is silent about what loss it is caused and what pooja materials are damaged and it is only concocted by the complainant. There is no loss of time, reputation and income. The complainant himself quarreled with the conductor of the bus and got down from the bus. Hence, the complainant is not entitled to any reliefs on the imaginary grounds. The complaint is frivolous, baseless and vexatious one and hence it is liable to be dismissed. It is therefore, prayed that the Hon’ble Court may be pleased to dismiss the complaint with costs.
4. In support of the averments made in the complaint, the complainant has filed his affidavit and also 19 documents which are marked as Exs. A1 to A19. Ex.A1 is the original Jubilee Hitech ticket bearing No.022401 issued by the fourth opposite party in favour of the complainant. Ex.A2 is the original letter dated 11.05.2009 addressed to APSRTC bus depot managers of Amalapuram and Tirupati. Ex.A3 is the original receipt of regd. Post addressed to the depot manager, APSRTC, Tirupati and also postal acknowledgement card from the fourth opposite party dated 14.05.09. Ex.A4 is postal receipt dated 13.05.09 addressed to the Depot Manager, APSDRC, Amalapuram and also acknowledgement from Depot Manager, East Godavari District dated 15.05.09. Ex.A5 is office copy of legal notice dated 16.06.09 issued by Mr. Jai Sankar, advocate on behalf of the complainant to the Vice Chairman, APSRTC, Hyderabad. Ex.A6 is the postal receipts dated 16.06.09. Ex.A7 consists of two postal acknowledgement cards dated 18.06.09. Ex.A8 is the letter from the Deputy Superintendent , Amalapuram to the complainant. Ex.A9 is also another letter from the Deputy Superintendent, Amalapuram, to the complainant. Ex.A10 is the Xerox copy of letter dated 11.07.09 issued by the complainant himself to the Depot manager, APSRTC, Amalapuram. Ex.A11 consists of postal receipt and also acknowledgement card. Ex.A12 is the enquiry report dated 26.09.09 conducted by the Superintendent, Amalapuram bus depot at Tirupati and it is in the form of question and answer elicited from the complainant. Ex.A13 is the Xerox copy of ultrasound report dated 27.11.09 relating to complainant’s health issued by SVIMS, Department of Imageology. Ex.A14 is the Xerox copy of out patient card of the complainant issued by SVIMS. Ex.A15 is the original ultrasound report dated 22.09.09 issued in favour of the complainant by SVIMS. Ex.A16 is the Xerox copy of the O.P. receipt issued by SVRRG Hospital in favour of the complainant Ex.A17 is the Xerox copy of report issued by SVRRG Hospital in favour of the complainant. Ex.A18 is the original letter written by the officials of Sri Adiprasakthi Sidduripeetam, Ashwapuram, Manuguru, Khamam to the complainant to perform pujas. Ex.A19 is the original identity card of the complainant and his profession is Archaka issued by Sri Sakthi Chamundeswari Temple, Thummulagunta, Tirupati.
5. In support of the allegations made in the written version, the fourth opposite party filed its affidavit and also three documents which are marked as Exs.B1 to B3. Ex.B1 is the original auxilary way bill of Amalapuram APSRTC bus depot dated 09.05.09 Ex.B2 is the original statement showing the departure timings at Vijayawada bus station towards Srisailam between 10.00 p.m. to 12.00 p.m. Ex.B3 is the proceedings dated 13.11.09 of the Chief Conservator of Forests & Field Director, Project Tiger Circle, Srisailam to APSRTC Depot Manager, Amalapuram.
6. The learned counsel for the parties filed their written arguments in support of their case. Parties adduced their evidence by way of affidavits.
7. On the basis of the pleadings and documentary evidence, the points that arise for our determination are:
1 Whether there is any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties
towards the complainant?
2. Whether the complainant is entitled for the reliefs as prayed, if so to what
3. To what relief?
8. Point No.1:- (a) The basic facts of this consumer case is not disputed. Both the learned counsels for their respective parties have reiterated the contents contained in the pleadings once again by submitting their written arguments as well as affidavits. To avoid repetition of the same once again, here, we would like to take into consideration the points at issue carefully.
The learned counsel for the complainant Sri Vajrala Chandrasekhar has vehemently argued that the complainant is in possession of valid Jubilee Hitech ticket (Ex.A1) to travel in around of Andhra Pradesh State from 05.05.2009 to 09.05.2009. He further argued that the complainant came to Vijayawada bus station at about 10.00p.m. on 09.05.09 and while boarding the bus bearing No.AP28 Z 4155, the conductor told him that he could occupy the seat No.17 of the bus and later on refused to issue a ticket as it was reserved for somebody and behaved with him inhumanly and used filthy language and scolded him mercilessly. He also further argued that the whole incident with all trouble started between the complainant and bus crew (conductor and driver of the bus) and reported the same to the concerned C.I of Vijayawada bus station and he fell down at foot board of the bus and they dragged him and necked out of the bus, without any valid reason. At last, the complainant has got into the bus to Srisailam at 11.30 p.m. on 09.05.09. He could not reach the destination in time to perform pujas and by the time muhurtham period was over and thereby he lost not only his income but also he was subject to frustration and mental agony.
The said learned counsel for the complainant further argued that the complainant addressed letters (Ex.A2) about the incident happened in detail to the concerned officials at Amalapuram and Tirupati Bus depots and for that there was no reply and thereafter a legal notice (Ex.A5) was issued on behalf of the complainant to Vice-Chairman, APSRTC, Hyderabad. Ex.A8 and Ex.A9 are the letters from Deputy Superintendent, Amalapuram bus depot to the complainant to attend an enquiry and the complainant issued in reply, a letter dt.11.07.09 (Ex.A10) to Depot manager, Amalapuram intimating his consent to attend an enquiry, if it is held at Tirupati, because of his ill-health and at last he attended the enquiry and the report (Ex.A12) is clear about the incident happened. Finally, he argued that the bus crew of 2nd and 3rd opposite parties misbehaved with the complainant and their attitude towards him caused mental agony to him and he sustained loss and thereby unable to keep up his promise with the party at Srisailam without performing doshanivarana pooja and its material got wasted by delay in reaching Srisailam. So, the complainant is entitled to get the reliefs as prayed and the complaint may be allowed with costs also.
(b) In response, the learned counsel for the opposite parties Mrs. Chevireddy Sreedevi has also vehemently argued that the seat Nos.17 and 18 of the alleged bus bearing No. AP 28Z 4155 were already reserved for somebody and the same was proved as per Ex.B1, i.e., Auxilary way bill. She also further argued that the said bus conductor requested the complainant to sit in another seat except the seats of 17 and 18 which were already reserved but he did not heed the words of the conductor and moreover he has shown Jubilee Hitech ticket and has right to sit according to his will and pleasure anywhere in the bus and behaved adamantly and abused conductor in filthy language. She also further argued that inspite of bus conductor’s repeated requests, the complainant himself had thrown challenge that he will see that the conductor should be suspended and he himself got down from the bus and approached the concerned C.I. of Vijayawada bus station and reported the matter. Thereafter, C.I. interfered into the whole matter and advised the complainant that nobody will be allowed to sit in reserved seats except the reservation holders and suggested him to board another bus which was available in the bus stand and accordingly the complainant boarded another bus and left for Srisailam.
The said learned counsel for opposite parties also further argued that there were number of bus services to Srisailam from Vijayawada for every half an hour and the complainant unnecessarily quarreled with the bus conductor. She also further argued that no vehicles (govt. and private) are allowed to pass through the Srisailam forest check posts in project circle, during odd hours, i.e, from 9.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. and it is clear and proved as per the proceedings of Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director of Project Tiger Circle, Srisailam. She also further argued that the distance between Dornal check post and Srisailam is 50 kms and the buses will be allowed only after 6.00 a.m. in the ghat road and the journey will take at least one and half an hour and the complainant had reached in time. Finally, she also argued that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties. So, it is prayed that the Hon’ble Forum may be pleased to dismiss the complaint with costs.
Forum Findings and Observations
(c ) Heard, the learned counsel for the parties at length and perused the record very carefully. At first instance, the facts alleged should be proved by the parties concerned in this consumer case. The complainant has no where stated in his complaint that when he reached Srisailam at what about time at that juncture in the morning. At what time agreed he was supposed to perform poojas for the party at Srisailam is not at all mentioned in his complaint. Normally, the buses will be reached to Srisailam from Dornal Checkpost, within 1 ½ hours and approximately 7.30 a.m or so. It is completely ghat road and distance is 50 kms. Ex.B1 auxilary way bill, the attendance chart of the bus discloses clearly that seat numbers 17 and 18 were reserved and not vacant for occupation. So, the complainant, Hitech ticket holder, cannot claim as of right to occupy reserved seat of 17 in the said bus on that alleged date. The complainant has not placed before us the pooja material particulars and its cost, for our scrutiny and did not establish it through documents and also accounts. The burden is on him to prove that he alleged against opposite parties in a clear manner with documentary evidence. Every case is depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case. What loss, the complainant had suffered categorically, not mentioned for our consideration. The concerned C.I of Vijayawada bus station arranged the complainant to board the bus to reach the destination point at Srisailam and the timings of buses at Vijayawads to Srisailam as per Ex.B2 and all of them should proceed to Srisailam from Dornal check post only at about 6.00 am only and not before that as per Ex.B3. Ex.B1 to B3 are clear and established the contentions of the said learned counsel for the opposite parties, are correct. Such being the state of evidence on record, we have no hesitation to hold that the complainant has not been able to establish any deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties. This point is answered accordingly.
8. Point No.2: In view of the facts and circumstances as discussed above in Point No.1 and basing on the documentary evidence on behalf of the parties concerned, it can be said that no case is established against the opposite parties for grant of any relief on the ground of deficiency in service. There are no merits in the complaint. This point is answered accordingly.
9. Point No.3:- In the result, the complaint of the complainant is dismissed without costs.
Consumer Guidance Society representing: Sri S. Sistla Muralikrishna Prasad, S/o Ramachandra Rao, Resident of F.F.1, Kanakadurga Apartments, Donbosco School Road, Vijayanagar Colony, Vijayawada – 520 007.
1. The Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation, Rep: by its Chairman &
Managing Director, A.P.S.R.T.C., Bus Bhavan, RTC X Roads, Musheerabad,
2. The Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation, Rep: by its Regional Manager,
Hyderabad Region, MGBS, Hyderabad.
3. The Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation, Rep: by its Depot Manager,
Dilshuknagar Bus Depot, Dilshuknagar, Hyderabad.
4. The Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation, Rep: by its Depot Manager,
Pandit Nehru Bus Station, Bhaskararaopet, Vijayawada.
….. Opposite Parties.
This complaint is coming before us for final hearing on 08.01.2010, in the presence of Sri G. Prabhakar Rao, advocate for complainant and opposite parties 1 to 3 remained exparte and Sri B. Ramesh Babu advocate for opposite party No.4 and having stood over for consideration till this day, the Forum doth order the following:
O R D E R
Sri B. Srinivasu, Member :
This Complaint is under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
1. The averments of the complaint in brief are as follows:
That the complainant purchased two bus tickets for return journey from Hyderabad to Vijayawada on 20.08.2008 night by Super Luxury Service No.3901 with reservation seat Nos.5 and 6 from opposite party/RTC Reservation counter Vijayawada who are the agents of opposite party No.4 for himself and his sister-in-law who is the cancer patient. In view of the tickets purchased by him the bus would reach Dilshuknagar bus station at 11.55 PM on 20.08.2008. Accordingly, the complainant along with his sister-in-law reached Dilshuknagar bus depot at 11.15 PM and waited till 1.30 AM but the bus did not arrive and there upon the complainant requested the controller of the 2nd opposite party to ascertain the reason for the non-arriving delay, for not returning of the bus but he would not get any information. Therefore, the complainant requested the 2nd opposite party to accommodate him and his sister-in-law in some other bus on compensate grounds as his sister-in-law was a caner patient. But his request was turned down on the ground that there was high congestion of passengers on the said date and therefore the complainant was advised to make his own arrangements for reaching over to Vijayawada, the complainant waited till 2.30 AM for arrival of the bus but the complainant lost his hope and faith for the arrival of the bus and owing to the indifferent, non-attractive and non-cooperative attitude of the 2nd opposite party and 3rd opposite party. The complainant hired a private taxi for coming over to Vijayawada by spending a sum of Rs.3,000/-. The complainant prior to hiring the private taxi he recorded his grievance in the complaint register being kept and same was maintained by 3rd opposite party. The complainant after getting back to Vijayawada he addressed a letter dated 22.08.2008 and e-mail to the opposite parties 1 and 2, after receipt of the letters the opposite parties promised to look the matter by initiating necessary action against the erring employee responsible for the serious lapse and asked the complainant to wait for the redressal for his grievance. Accordingly the complainant waited more than five months no action was initiated for his grievance hence, the complaint.
2. The opposite parties 1 to 3 are remained exparte.
3. The 4th opposite party filed version, which runs briefly are as follows:
This opposite party stated that on perusing the petition it reveals that the complainant represented by Consumer Guidance Society and the petition maintained silent with what authorization the society being representing the complainant. In the petition the complainant not stated as if he gave authorization to the society to represent him, so, the society has no locus-standi to represent him even though there is no such authorization the complainant using the name of the society behind him and a kind of threat on the opposite parties and to get the impression of the Forum. This petition is not maintainable in the eye of law and liable to be dismissed. This opposite party stated that the driver of Vijayawada depot has taken the service bus No. AP 28 Z 2441 as link at K.P.H.B.C. on 20.08.2008 to operate the service from K.P.H.B.C., to Vijayawada. It has to departure at 21.55 Hrs, 25 seats have been reserved for the service out of which six passengers are turned up. The driver waited for the passengers up to 23 Hrs. After pickup the passengers the driver proceeded to MGBS/Hyderabad, afterwards he reached Dilshuknagar at about 2.50 Hrs on 21.08.2008 and reported the controller and pickup the passengers at L.B. Nagar and reached Vijayawada at 08.00 Hrs on 21.08.2008. The bus reached the Dilshuknagar two hours late, the reasons are beyond the control of the driver i.e., heavy traffic jam being a rainy season. Traffic was hold up and the total movement of the public as well as vehicle movement was disturbed. Apart from late reporting of two passengers at K.P.H.B.C. and enroute points as the route is heavy traffic. It is further stated that the controller of the Dilshuknagar stated to the complainant that the service No.3901 scheduled to arrive at 23.55 hrs but not turned up as the vehicle is not turned up, the controller asked the passengers to take the return fare as they are not listened to him, at his request he informed to the Station Manager, Hyderabad and requested him to adjust the complainants two tickets and send the vehicle keeping two seats vacant in bus No.AP 11 Z 5854 and the same was informed to the complainant and the said bus came with two seats keeping vacant as per the request with vacant seat Nos.11 and 12. The said bus came to Dilshuknagar at 2.55 Hrs on 21.08.2008. The passengers/complainants could not have waited voluntarily not availed the service. There is no negligence on the part of this opposite party and prayed to dismiss the complaint.
4. On behalf of the complainant the complainant himself filed an affidavit and got marked Exs.A1 to A8. The 4th opposite party filed his affidavit and no documents are marked.
5. Heard and perused.
6. Now the point that arises for consideration in this complaint are:
I) Whether there was deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties?
II) Whether the complainant is entitled for the reliefs as claimed?
III) To what relief the complainant is entitled?
7. Point Nos.1 and 2: As could be seen from the material on record it is clear that the complainant purchased two APSRTC bus tickets under Ex.A1 for return journey from Hyderabad to Vijayawada on 20.08.2008 night by Super Luxury Service No.3901 with reservation seat Nos.5 and 6 from APSRTC Reservation counter, Vijayawada, who are the agents of the 4th opposite party for himself and his sister-in-law. In view of the tickets purchased by him the bus would reach Dilshuknager bus station at 11.55 PM on 20.08.2008. The complainant and his sister-in-law reached the above bus station at 11.15 PM and waited up to 1.35 AM but the bus did not arrive and the complainant could not get any information form the 2nd opposite party. The complainant requested the 2nd opposite party to adjust them in some other bus but his request was returned down on the ground that there was high congestion of passengers on the said date the complainant was advised to make his own arrangements. The plea of the 4th opposite party is that the controller of the Dilshuknager bus station stated to the complainant that service No.3901 schedule to arrived at 23.55 but not turned up as the vehicle is not turned up and the controller asked to passengers to take return fare as they are not listened to him at his request he informed the station manager, Hyderabad and requested him to adjust that the complainant two seats and agreed to sent the vehicle keeping two seats vacant in the bus No. AP 11 Z 5854 and the same was informed to the complainant and the said bus came with two seats keeping vacant as per the request with vacant seat Nos.11 and 12 and the said bus came to Dilshuknager bus station at 2.55 AM on 21.08.2008. The complainant could not have waited and not availed the service. Ex.A2 is Xerox copy of the complaint recorded in the complaints register maintained by the 3rd opposite party, it clearly shows that the bus service No.3901 has not come to bus station to pick up the complainant and his sister-in-law. According to the version of the 4th opposite party there is no proof that the 3rd opposite party provided alternative arrangements in the alleged bus bearing No. AP 11 Z 5854 for the complainant and his sister-in-law. According to the version of the 4th opposite party, the 3rd opposite party admitted their liability, the complainant after getting back to Vijayawada as addressed his grievance vide his letter dated 22.08.2008 under Ex.A3. E-mail addressed to opposite parties 1 and 2. Ex.A4 is a copy of letter addressed by the complainant to the 3rd opposite party after receipt of the letters. The opposite parties promised to look the matter by initiating necessary action against the erring employee responsible for the serious lapse and asked the complainant to wait for the redressal of his grievance vide Ex.A6 under letter issued by the 1st opposite party to the complainant. Ex.A7 letter issued by the Chief Marketing Manager to the complainant. Ex.A8 is letter issued by the 3rd opposite party to the complainant. Accordingly, the complainant waited for more than 05 months yet no action was initiated for his grievance. The opposite parties are failed to comply the reasonable demand of the complainant it amounts to deficiency in service on the part of all opposite parties. Ex.A5 is car hire charge bill it is not admissible document and there is no legal validity in respect of Ex.A5. Due to the cancellation of the said bus and since there was no proper information and assistance from the opposite parties is nothing but deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties. Due to the acts of the opposite parties 2 and 3 the complainant suffered lot which the opposite parties 1 and 4 are vicariously liable for the acts of the opposite parties 2 and 3. Under the above circumstances we the Forum hold that the acts of the opposite parties come under the purview of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and the complaint is maintainable in this Forum and the Forum, further holds that there is deficiency in service on the part of all the opposite parties as the opposite parties are failed to provide alternative arrangements for the complainant and his sister-in-law in some other bus. The complainant is entitled to refund full fare of two tickets of super luxury bus service No.3901 from Hyderabad to Vijayawada and the complainant is also entitled to compensation and costs and accordingly these points are answered.
8. Point No.3: In the result, the complaint is allowed and the opposite parties 1 to 4 (Jointly and severally) are directed to refund the full fare of two tickets i.e., Rs.154/- each total sum of Rs.308/- (Rupees three hundred and eight) only of Super Luxury Bus Service No.3901 from Hyderabad to Vijayawada and to pay Rs.3,000/- (Rupees three thousand) only towards compensation and do pay Rs.1,000/- (Rupees one thousand) only towards costs to the complainant. Rest of the claims if any claimed by the complainant are hereby rejected. Time for compliance one month.
Dictated to Steno N. Hazarathaiah, transcribed and typed by him, corrected and pronounced by us in the open Forum on this the 22nd day of January, 2010