Consumer Issues
Consumer Court asks British Airways to pay Rs36,000 to lady passenger

British Airways denied the lady permission to take the flight to London, saying her onwards journey did not show as confirmed in their system, due to which the woman had to purchase fresh tickets at a higher price


New Delhi: For not allowing a woman to board its flight despite having a confirmed ticket, the British Airways has been asked by a consumer forum to pay over Rs36,000 as compensation to her for its 'deficient service', reports PTI.

The airline had denied her permission to take the flight to London, saying her onwards journey to Kansas, in the US from London did not show as confirmed in their system, due to which the woman had to purchase fresh tickets at a higher price.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum observed that the airline should have allowed her to fly up to London by which time her onward journey status could have been confirmed, as according to the UK law a person not holding UK visa can remain in its airport for up to 24 hours.

"If the system of opposite party (British Airways) failed to show onward confirmed journey, they could have allowed her to travel up to London. The status could have been confirmed by the time she had reached London.

"Instead it did not allow her boarding under the pretext that the rules did not permit them to carry a passenger holding no visa for UK, but admit that they can do so as per law for 24 hours of such a passenger's arrival at London," the South West district forum said.

The forum's order came on the plea of New Delhi resident Puja Ahluwalia, who had alleged that the airline did not allow her to board its flight, on the night of 13 August 2008, from Delhi to London despite having a confirmed ticket.

The bench presided by Narendra Kumar held that by denying boarding pass to the woman the airline had been negligent and deficient in service and directed it to pay her Rs21,046 as difference of the price of the initial ticket purchased by her and the amount paid later for fresh tickets, along with Rs10,000 for harassment and Rs5,000 as litigation cost.

The British Airways in its defence had contended that the woman was denied a boarding pass as her onward travel was not confirmed and UK law forbade airlines from carrying passengers without valid Visa for UK or not having confirmed booking for onward journey within 24 hours on arrival at London.


BRICS pledges $75 billion contribution to Euro zone bailout fund

China will contribute $43 billion, while India, Brazil and Russia would contribute $10 billion each with South Africa giving $2 billion to the Euro zone bailout fund created by the IMF


Los Cabos: India and four other countries of the five-nation BRICS bloc on Tuesday gave a big boost to International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s $430 billion bailout fund for the debt-wracked 17 nation Euro zone. BRICS countries, including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa pledged to contribute $75 billion with New Delhi's contribution being $10 billion, reports PTI.

The pledge was made at an informal meeting of BRICS Leaders presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ahead of the opening of the seventh G-20 Summit in this Mexican resort town.

According to Indian officials, China has agreed to contribute $43 billion while the contribution from Russia and Brazil will be $10 billion each. The South African contribution is $2 billion.

All the BRICS Leaders agreed that the Euro zone crisis threatened global financial and economic stability and that it was necessary to find cooperative solutions to resolve this crisis. The BRICS countries have been the new growth poles of the global economy.

The pledges for fresh contributions were made after the Leaders agreed to increase resources available with the Fund. In this context, they agreed to enhance their own contributions to the IMF.

This is with the understanding that these resources will be called upon only after existing resources, including the New Arrangements to Borrow, are substantially utilised, an official statement said.

"This would promote adequate burden sharing amongst IMF creditors. These new contributions are being made in anticipation that all the reforms agreed upon in 2010 will be fully implemented in a timely manner, including a comprehensive reform of voting power and reform of quota shares," the statement said.

The Leaders discussed swap arrangements among national currencies as well as reserve pooling. They agreed to ask their Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to work on this important issue, in a manner compatible with internal legal frameworks, and report back to the Leaders at the 2013 BRICS Summit.

The Leaders also emphasised the need for increasing the resource base of Multilateral Development Banks, so that increased resources could be provided for development, particularly for investments in infrastructure and in the social sectors in developing countries. They felt that the G-20 should pay importance to the development aspect in its agenda of work.

Prime Minister Singh in his address at the G-20 summit underlined the need to take steps to substantially expand the resource base of Multilateral Development Banks so that they have the firepower to help developing countries pursue their development goals.

The Leaders emphasised that given the current global situation and the need to bolster market confidence, it was important that the G-20 Summit issue a strong statement of intent in combating the international slowdown and the effects of the Euro zone crisis.

The Leaders agreed that this process of informal consultations on the sidelines of multilateral events was valuable and contributed to closer coordination on issues of mutual interest to BRICS economies.


HC admits plea seeking SFIO, CBI probe into RNRL-RPower merger


The petitioner alleged that the share swap ratio fixed by the company caused heavy loss of about Rs2,105.9 crore to investors

Madurai: The Madras High Court bench has admitted a petition seeking a probe by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the merger of Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) with Reliance Power (R-Power) alleging it caused a loss of Rs2,105.87 crore to shareholders, reports PTI.
Justice RS Ramanathan ordered issuing notices to SFIO and CBI and posted the case for hearing on 25th June.
The petitioner submitted that 1.97 crore investors bought RNRL company shares after the company signed gas supply master agreement with Reliance Industries. The closing price of a RNRL share on July 2, 2010, was Rs62.95.
The same day the announcement came that RNRL would be merged with R-Power. The value of RNRL and R-Power shares stood at 2.7:1 on 2 July 2010. The share swap ratio was fixed at 4:1 for the merger.
The merger plan brought down the share value of RNRL from Rs63.95 to Rs45.20, the petition said. It alleged that investors were defrauded to the tune of Rs2,105.87 crore. The petitioner said he himself had lost Rs18,000.
Markets regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) failed to protect the interest of investors, it alleged. The petitioner alleged that the share swap ratio fixed by the company caused heavy loss to investors. This should be investigated by the SFIO and CBI, he said.
Both the agencies had said since the matter was being looked into by SEBI and they had no role.
SEBI in turn said that complaint did not come under its purview and it was the duty of the SFIO to investigate as SFIO was specially constituted to curb economic frauds. 
The petitioner sought a direction to SFIO and CBI to probe his complaint.


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