Qatar Airways fined Rs 7.5 lakh over Kerala HC judge’s complainttext_fields
Kochi: Kerala’s Kochi consumer court imposed a fine of Rs.7.5 lakh on Qatar Airways in a five-year-old complaint filed by Kerala High Court Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas for offloading him and his friends from the aircraft despite having valid tickets.
The Consumer Court ruled that refusing to board passengers holding a valid boarding pass amounts to unfair trade practice and deficiency in service of the aircraft.
The consumer court directed an amount of Rs 7 lakh to the complainant as compensation for the mental agony, hardship, and physical stress afforded by the complainant due to deficiency of service and unfair trade practice by the opposite parties besides Rs 50,000 towards the cost of the proceeding.
The complainant, Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas is the son of former Supreme Court Judge KT Thomas and his case was filed before the Consumer Commission in Kochi in 2018, two years before he was sworn in as a judge.
The incident that led to the case against Qatar Airways took place in 2018.
The High Court Judge, along with his friends booked tickets many months before their actual date of travel. But when they reached Qatar, from Kochi, en route to Scotland, they were offloaded as the flight to Edinburgh was overbooked.
They were given hotel accommodation and a voucher for US$ 250 and put on a flight the next day to Edinburgh.
After returning home, Thomas sent a legal notice to Qatar Airways claiming compensation.
As he did not receive any reply, he approached the Ernakulam district commission seeking compensation of Rs 10 lakhs.
Finally, the Consumer Court allowed Justice Thomas' application on December 30, 2022, and has now imposed a total fine of Rs 7.5 lakh on the airline to be paid within 30 days.
With inputs from IANS