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Vegetarian passenger wins case against airliner

For serving him chicken on board Bangalore-Kuala Lumpur flight

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian court has ordered the country's national carrier to pay an Indian Rs. 2 lakh in damages for serving him chicken on a flight four years ago.

Arvind Sharma, a cargo agent for a computer company in India, claimed that he was served "chicken pakoda" on a Malaysian Airlines flight from Bangalore to Kuala Lumpur in March 2003 when he had asked for vegetarian meals and filed for general and special damages.

Magistrate M. Rajalingam said the compensation, including interest, was for ``aggravated damages'' to Arvind for injury to his feelings as well as depression, shock, mental anguish and stress coupled with humiliation, loss of pride and self-esteem.

The court found "on the balance of probabilities that Arvind has proven his case against the defendant, Malaysia Airlines," the magistrate in George Town, Penang, was quoted as saying by the local media.

Mr. Rajalingam said there was confirmation that the "pakoda" served was chicken and further evidence was corroborated with a complaint written and acknowledged by both parties.

"Being born in a Brahmin family, having been brought up in the Brahmin way of life and being a vegetarian accords him a social status and is addressed with the honorific `Pundit' in India," the magistrate said, adding that Mr. Sharma was entitled to self-respect and dignity.

"The defendant's negligence has caused him a blemish on his code of conduct," the court was quoted as saying by New Strait Times. — PTI

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