BENGALURU: A leading travel agency will now have to cough up a compensation of Rs 4.70 lakh for causing inconvenience to a Bengaluru-based elderly couple and also spoiling their reputation by issuing them fake air tickets and visas, for which they had to endure miseries at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru as well as at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
The Bengaluru Rural and Urban I Additional District Consumer Redressal Forum ordered Make My Trip India Ltd to pay the city-based couple — Ramachandra Kempaiah (63) and his wife Nagarathna Kempaiah (61) residents of HRBR Layout.
The couple faced difficulties at the Bengaluru airport as the air tickets issued by a franchise of MMTIL were fake despite having paid Rs 1.44 lakh for the package tour.
Their names were not present in the list of passengers when they reached the airport on December 13, 2015. The next day, MMTIL issued two air tickets and assured that all arrangements were made upon their arrival at the destination — Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
However, to the couple’s utter shock, no arrangements for rescheduling of their hotel bookings and sightseeing were made when they arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. What was worse is that they came to know that even their visas were fake. Soon, the couple and their son moved the consumer forum.
The forum directed MMTIL to pay a sum of Rs 4.70 lakh. It includes Rs 2 lakh as compensation towards damages to complainants Ramachandra Kempaiah and Nagarathna Kempaiah, and a sum of `30,000 each, towards the mental agony they suffered, to each of them. It also asked MMTIL to pay `10,000 as cost of litigation.
The forum said the couple was detained, made to wait and had to face enquiry by the immigration authorities at Singapore, due to the act of MMTIL in issuing fake visas. According to the couple, their photographs and fingerprints were also taken, which put their reputation at stake.
R Mohan Kumar booked a package tour to Singapore and Malaysia for his parents. The immigration authorities did not allow his parents to travel from Malaysia to Singapore on the ground that the visas given to them were fake. They were detained by the immigration authorities for six hours. They also took photographs and thumb impressions of the couple as if they were criminals.
FRANCHISE not RESPONSIBLE
“MMT has outsourced some of the works including obtaining visas to its franchisee. It also amounts to franchisee acting as an agent of MMT in getting the work done on behalf of MMT for which they charge. Nowhere has the couple come in contact and have any contract with the franchise. The allegations made against franchisee cannot be attributed as a deficiency in service,” consumer forum said.