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National Commission revises judgment against postal department

By Adv. Jatin Ramaiya 

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission partly allowed a revision petition for deficiency in service by the Postal Department in not providing the customer information about parcel delivery status despite repeated requests.

The revision petition was filed by the Foreign Postal Department and two others against a judgement in favour of consumer Ashok Aggarwal by the Rajasthan State Commission In his complaint Aggawal stated that he had booked two parcels with the Postal Department on October 4 2002 valuing US $ 10,400 to be sent to his customer at Oregon, USA.  One of the parcels i.e. 830096741 (IN) weighing 18,928 grams reached its destination while the second parcel i.e. EE830096755 IN did not reach its destination. 

In his complaint Aggawal said that after repeated requests he was informed vide letter dated January 3 2003 that the said parcel reached at Kennedy AMC on October 7 2002 but no information was provided with respect to further delay.  However, the Postal Department said, that an affidavit was filed by the Senior Superintendent Post Office, Jaipur on March 9 2017 before the Commission stating that after the receipt of letter dated November 25 2002, the matter was taken with Speed Post Centre, New Delhi.  The manager of the said centre informed Jaipur Post Office that the said article in question was despatched from SPC, New Delhi on October 4 2002 vide dispatch No. 220 and it reached USA on October 7 2002 and on the same day was sent to customs. “There was no delay and the article was finally delivered on January 27 2003 and the same was informed in the reply notice,” said the Postal Department.

The department further placed on record the track reports which showed that the item arrived in the US at Kennedy AMC and thereafter no further information is available. Upon considering the tracking report and evaluating the record the National Commission observed that “It can be seen from the said tracking report of United States Postal Department Service that the parcel bearing No. EE830096755 IN was delivered at 11.19 a.m. at the said address and was signed by one D Johnson.  Hence we are of the considered view that there is no evidence brought on record by the complainant that the item was not delivered.  If the item has been detained by customs the Postal Department cannot be made to pay any compensation.  However, it is seen from the record that the item was dispatched on October 4 2002 and reached USA on October 7 2002 and there was absolutely no information given to the complainant though he had repeatedly asked for details with respect to delivery as he had sent two parcels on the same day and only one  parcel was delivered. There was no information about the second.”

The Commission further held that “However, since the track report evidences that the article had finally reached its destination on January 27 2003, we are of the considered view that both the Fora below have erred in awarding the entire amount.  We are of the view that only compensation can be awarded for the delay in intimating the complainant for which an amount of Rs one lakh  would meet the ends of justice.”

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