District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (DCDRC), Chennai (North): While considering the instant complaint wherein the complainant alleged deficiency in service on part of Deccan Parks Pvt. Ltd., for their failure to provide adequate security in their premises which resulted in the complainant’s car being stolen from the hotel’s valet parking; the Bench of G. Vinobha (President), V. Ramamurthy* and Kavitha Kannan (Members) held the complainant to be a consumer under Section 2(7)(ii) of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and observed negligence and deficiency in service on the part of opposite party. Relying on Taj Mahal Hotel v. United India Insurance Company Ltd., 2018 SCC OnLine NCDRC 408, the Commission was of the view that acts of the opposite party show gross negligence and deficiency in service which resulted in mental agony and harassment to complainant and therefore the complainant is entitled for a reasonable compensation for the same.

Background: On 03-04-2009, complainant had visited opposite party’s hotel for a meeting at 8:00 pm and handed over his car key to the hotel’s valet parking driver and received valet parking tag and thereafter went to the banquet hall. The complainant stated that after finishing the dinner he came out at around 10:45 pm and handed over the valet tag to the security personnel of the hotel and after waiting for about 30 minutes, he was shocked to know that his car was missing from the hotel premises. On checking the ‘in and out register’ it was noticed that the car had left the hotel at 08.30 pm itself.

The complainant further stated that after the said incident none of the hotel staff came forward to his help for recovery of the vehicle and the complainant himself took all the efforts to call the police and lodged a complaint with the J-2 Adyar Police Station. The complainant further submitted that on 26-04-2009 he was informed by the Police Station that his vehicle was lying in the station from 18-04-2009 as it met with an accident and was damaged badly and moreover that his vehicle had hit and damaged another vehicle, hence a case had been registered against the complainant.

The complainant stated that the afore-stated series of events caused mental agony and distress to him and his family members and that the said act resulted in loss of his reputation and credibility. The complainant further alleged that due to hotel’s deficiency in service and hostile behaviour, he had to bear the loss of damage of his vehicle for repairing and reconditioning and that he was without vehicle for 50 days by which his activity was affected.

The complainant further submitted that this was not the first time that a vehicle has been stolen from the opposite party’s premises and the opposite party having known the facts, failed to provide fool proof security in their premises.

Per contra, the opposite parties submitted that the complainant’s car was stolen by someone by using a fake tag for the above car and therefore there is no deficiency in the case. The opposite parties stated that thief took the car using fake tag and the staff on seeing the tag and believing it to be genuine, handed over the car to him. It was further submitted that the opposite party had maintained inward and outward register for the parked vehicles and hence it is wrong to say that the opposite party had not taken any care of parked vehicles.

Assessment: Perusing the facts and contentions raised by the parties, the Commission had to consider that whether the complainant is consumer as defined in the Consumer Protection Act, 2019; whether there was any deficiency in service on part of the opposite parties and quantum of compensation if any.

The Commission stated that it is an admitted fact that the complainant had visited the opposite party hotel and after receipt of valet parking tag, went to banquet hall and had dinner. Accordingly, the complainant is a beneficiary of service other than the person who hires or avails of services under Section 2(7)(ii) of Consumer Protection Act 2019.

The Commission noted out that the hotel security staff had let the vehicle out by 08.30 pm believing the tag was genuine as admitted by the opposite party. Despite having CCTVs installed and full proof of inward and outward register, the car was stolen from the premises of opposite party itself is a proven incident of carelessness and negligence on part of the hotel staff.

The Commission further pointed out that the opposite party even after having the knowledge of such incidents happened on previous occasions in their hotel, were negligent without due care and thus caused deficiency in service.

The Commission thus partly allowed the complaint and directed the opposite party to pay a sum of Rs 50,000 towards compensation for deficiency in service and mental agony and harassment and Rs 5,000 towards cost of complaint.

[P. Dileep Kumar v. Deccan’s Park Pvt Ltd., CC No. 228/2018, decided on 28-11-2023]

*Order by V. Ramamurthy, Member

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Counsel for the complainant: K. Lavan and C. Abhishek

Counsel for opposite party: Chinaswamy

Must Watch

maintenance to second wife

bail in false pretext of marriage

right to procreate of convict

Criminology, Penology and Victimology book release

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.