CONSUMER COMPLAINT NO:02/2007.
Door No.12, Parisutha Aavi Theru,
1. The General Manager,
Tamil Nadu State Express Transport Corporation,
2. The Branch Manager,
Tamil Nadu State Express Transport Corporation,
Marthandam. … Opposite parties.
This complaint came before us for final hearing on 18-11-2009 in the presence of Thiru A.Mohamed Hussian, Avocate for the complainant and Thiru T.Selvaraj, Advocate for the opposite parties and having stood over till this day for consideration this Forum made the following:
This complaint is filed under section 12 of Consumer Protection Act 1986.
1) The averments of the complainant in the complaint are briefly as follows: The complainant is a practicing advocate at Tirunelveli. On 16-5-2006 he wanted to go to Chennai in connection with a case at Madras High Court at 8.00 P.M on that date he reached the Tirunelveli new bus stand. Bus No. TN 01 – N 6736 which belongs to the opposite parties bound for from Marthandam to Chennai came there and the conductor of the bus told the complainant that it is a super deluxe bus which would reach Chennai on the next morning between 9.00 to 10.00 A.M. Believing the words of the bus conductor that the bus would reach Chennai in the morning on the next day, the complainant along with one person boarded in the above bus and they got tickets for Rs.476/-, each for Rs.238/-. Bus started from the Tirunelveli bus stand at 8.30 P.M. and reached the Trichy State Express Bus Depot at 3-15 A.M. on the next day the conductor of the bus told the passengers that it would take 15 minutes for the bus to start since diesel has to be filled up and told the passengers that if they want to take tea or coffee they could very well get down from the bus and wait for 15 minutes. After 12 minutes the complainant enquired the bus conductor when the bus would start from there but the conductor of the bus told him that his duty time is over and other driver and conductor have already taken the bus to Trichy bus stand, where the complainant would get the bus if he immediately went there by auto rickshaw. The complainant along with other persons went to the Trichy bus stand and searched the bus in which they have travelled. Since the bus was not available there they enquired with the time keeper of the State Express Transport Corporation regarding the bus, who told them that the bus had already proceeded to Chennai. He complained the matter to the officials of the State Express Transport Corporation at Trichy bus stand and they arranged to send them in another bus which is not a Super Deluxe Bus, this caused much inconvenience to the complainant and mental agony. The complainant along with other reached Chennai only at 1.00 PM on the next day. Hence he could not attend the work for which he had undertaken the journey hence the complainant has filed this complaint to direct the opposite party to pay Rs.20,000/- as compensation for the mental agony and Rs.60,000/- for the deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties and Rs.20,000/- towards loss and the cost of the complaint.
2) The averment in the counter filed by the 1st opposite party adopted by the 2nd opposite party are as follows: The complainant is not a consumer and he cannot file this complaint under Consumer Protection Act. The fact that on 16-5-2006 the complainant along with another boarded the bus at Tirunelveli bus stand for Chennai has to be proved only by the complainant. The complainant has to prove that on the next day at 3-15 P.M. the bus reached the State Express Transport Corporation workshop at Trichy and the conductor told the passengers that since diesel has to be filled up for the bus it would take another 15 minutes and those who wants to take coffee or tea can get down from the bus and do so. It is also for the complainant to prove that after 12 minutes he enquired the bus conductor regarding the departure of the bus and that the conductor told him that the bus was already left for Trichy bus stand and the complainant along with others immediately went into an auto rickshaw to the Trichy bus stand and searched for the bus. The complainant is not entitled to get any compensation for the amount for his mental agony and for the deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties. This opposite parties enquired the conductor of the bus one Thiru K.S.Sheylie regarding this incident. He told them that after filling up diesel at Trichy workshop the bus was taken to the Trichy bus stand and he waited in the workshop for sometime for three passengers who have traveled in the bus but not occupied seats when the bus started, and after giving information with the time keeper they have taken the bus to Trichy bus stand. There also they have waited for 30 minutes and since the three passengers who came in the bus were not turned up, they left the bus stand after giving information regarding this to the time keeper. When the bus was stopped at Tindivanam bus stand for taking refreshments three persons who came there by Tuticorin Chennai Express bus boarded the bus and they got down at Chennai. This particulars have been mentioned in the passengers travel particulars. This complainant along with two passengers were permitted to travel by Tuticorin Chennai Express bus from Trichy bus stand without getting any new tickets and on the streng1th of the tickets already taken by them for Marthandam Chennai Express. In stead of appreciating the gesture shown by the opposite parties, the complainant has filed this complaint requesting for payment of compensation. At the Trichy State Express Transport workshop and also at Trichy bus stand the conductor and the driver of the bus waited nearing 15 minutes for the three passengers who were not boarded the bus and they have left the Trichy bus stand after giving information to the time keeper. Hence the complainant is not entitled for the compensation from the opposite parties and the complainant along with the others have boarded the same bus at Tindivanam Bus stand and reached Chennai at the schedule time. Hence there is no deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties and the complainant is not entitled to get any relief asked for. Hence the complaint is liable to be dismissed.
3) The points for consideration in this case are;
1. Whether there is any deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties and if so;
2. To what relief the complainant is entitled to?
4) Points: The case of the complainant is that he along with others boarded a super deluxe bus at 8.00 PM on 16-5-2006 at Tirunelveli Bus Stand for Chennai and the bus reached Trichy State Express Transport Corporation workshop at 3.15 AM on the next day. When the bus went into the depot for filling up diesel, passengers who opted for taking tea and coffee got down from the bus and complainant was also one among them. After 12 minutes when he enquired with the conductor of the bus as to when the bus would proceed, the conductor told him that the bus in which he was a conductor had already left for Trichy bus stand and if the complainant reaches the bus stand immediately he can get the bus. Immediately the complainant along with others went to the Trichy Bus stand where they found that the bus had already left for Chennai. Hence the complainant was forced to travel in an ordinary bus from Trichy to Chennai which caused mental agony and since he could not reach Chennai at the schedule time of 9.00 to 10.00 AM, he could not attend his duties, causing loss. So he has filed this complaint for compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- under various heads.
5) On the other hand the opposite parties would contend that they enquired the matter with the conductor of the bus in which the complainant had traveled from Tirunelveli and found that the complainant along with two others were missing at Trichy express workshop and subsequently at Trichy bus stand. The conductor and the driver of the bus waited nearly for 30 minuets for the arrival of the missing passengers and since they could not reach the bus within the extended time they were left with no other alternative except to proceed to Chennai. At Tindivanam bus stand whether the bus was stopped for refreshments the complainant along with two others who came there in another express bus boarded the same bus and reached Chennai at the schedule time.
6) Counsel for the opposite parties would contend that the complainant along with other two persons had left to a far off place for taking tea or coffee and they have missed the bus at Trichy Express Depot as well as Trichy bus stand. The complainant and two others were permitted to travel from Trichy by another bus of the State Express transport corporation by the officials of the opposite parties on the strength of the tickets they have already purchased and they got the bus in which they were traveled before, at Tindivanam bus stand and they boarded in the above bus and reached Chennai at the schedule time. Since the inconvenience caused to the complainant and others was because of the mistake committed by the complainant it cannot be said that mental agony and loss was caused to the complainant for the deficiency of service of opposite parties.
7) To prove the case of the complainant proof affidavit was filed and Ex.A1 was marked. Ex.A1 is the tickets purchased by the complainant and others. On the side of the opposite parties, 1st opposite party was examined as R.W.1 and the conductor of the bus in which the complainant traveled from Trichy to Tindivanam was examined as R.W.2 and Ex.B1 was marked. R.W2 has stated in his proof affidavit that he was conductor of Bus No. TN209 route no.170 bound for Chennai from Tuticorin and the above bus reached Trichy bus stand on 17-5-2006 at 4-00 AM. He has further added that the time keeper at Trichy bus stand told him to permit three passengers who have missed the bus No.5188 under route No.1794 to travel in his bus on the strength of the tickets they have already purchased for route No.1794and when the bus reached Tindivanam bus stand the bus in which the complainant and others traveled earlier was there and the complainant and others got down from his bus boarded the bus in which they have missed at Trichy. In Ex.B1 is the passenger travel particulars of the bus in which the complainant and others traveled from Tirunelveli to Chennai in which it has been stated that the three passengers who missed the bus at Trichy boarded at Tindivanam. Hence the allegation of the complainant that they reached Chennai on the next day at 1.00 PM by another bus does not seem to hold good. When the bus stopped at Trichy State Express Transport Corporation Workshop for filling up diesel, the complainant along with two others missed the bus, subsequently they were permitted to travel in another bus of the opposite parties on the same tickets they have purchased earlier and they got the bus in which they traveled earlier at Tindivanam bus stand and boarded in the same bus. This has been proved by Ex.B1. The counsel for the opposite parties would contend that in stead of appreciating the gesture made by the opposite party’s official the complainant had come with false allegations against the opposite parties and he is not entitled for any relief as asked for. When the bus stops in a bus stand or any other place the passengers who travelled in the bus have to be vigilant regarding the departure of the bus. The argument of the complainant side counsel that the conductor of the bus should have verified whether all the passengers have boarded the bus before it is proceeded, does not hold good for this case, because the case of the opposite parties is that at the Trichy Express Bus workshop and also at Trichy bus stand the officials of the opposite parties waited for some time for the arrival of the missing passengers, since they could not reach the bus within the extended time it cannot be said that the officials of the opposite parties took the bus without verifying whether all the passengers have boarded or not. The officials of the opposite parties cannot wait for the arrival of the missing passengers indefinitely.
8) In the circumstances stated above we come to the conclusion that there is no deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties and the complainant is not entitled to get any relief as asked for.
9) In the result the complaint is dismissed. There is no order as to costs.
Dictated to the Steno-typist taken and typed by him and corrected by me and pronounced by us in the Open Forum on this the 1st day of December 2009