Decided on July 07,1993



A.N. Varma, Chairman - (1.) THIS enquiry furnishes a typical instance of how people are led away by alluring advertisements tempting them to join tours abroad. Sometimes the itinerary and the arrangements offered by the travel agents appear on the surface so attractive and so alluring that many an unsuspecting individual is tempted to join it on payment of substantial amounts, with the tour ultimately turning out to be a total fiasco, causing misery, disappointment and loss of money to those unfortunate tourists who fall into the trap.
(2.) The respondent, Shree Raj Travels and Tours Pvt. Limited, in this enquiry also held out similar temptation and organised a "Grand Europe" tour in 1988. The name itself was high-sounding and, according to the itinerary mentioned in the tour literature, it was to cover places like Holland, West Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and England and places of tourist interest in these countries. The organisers claimed in their advertisement that they possessed the combination of experience, imagination and the resources to make the tour truly the trip of a lifetime. As it turned out, the hopes of the tourists who joined the trip were completely belied, according to the complaints received by the Commission. A number of spots of tourist interest were missed. The hotel arrangements made for them turned out to be unsatisfactory. Instead of one coach three coaches were requisitioned by the respondent with hardly any co-ordination between one and another, thereby resulting in arrival at the destination late in the evening/night making it impossible for the tourists to go sight-seeing. Further, contrary to the representations made by the respondent it also defaulted in obtaining visas for the tourists in Bombay. In short, according to the complaints received by the Commission, the tour was a total fiasco resulting in sore disappointment to those joining the tour. The Commission ordered a preliminary investigation in this case into the complaints. In the course of investigation the respondent was invited to put forth its version. It offered many excuses which were plainly untenable. Eventually, upon a thorough investigation a preliminary investigation report was submitted according to which these complaints were fully justified. The explanation offered by the respondent for its inability to arrange all the facilities it had offered in the advertisements was found to be entirely unconvincing.
(3.) ON the basis of the preliminary investigation report, the Commission issued a notice of enquiry to the respondent to submit a reply. The respondent denied the allegations made against it. It, however, failed to appear at subsequent stages of the enquiry to substantiate the allegations made in the reply. The result was that the Commission decided to proceed ex parte against the respondent.;

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