1. Shri Bhupender Singh Ghangas, the complainant, in this case, is a permanent resident of Canada. He wanted to visit Mauritius in the month of November, 2012. He approached the Office of Make My Trip Pvt. Ltd., Chandigarh, O.P. 2, and was informed that the cost of the package for Mauritius, including stay at 4-Star Hotel, namely, Jalsa, would be Rs. 71,999. The complainant deposited Rs. 30,000, on 24.9.2012. The complainant did not get any call from O.P. 2. He approached O.P. 2 on 27.9.2012. He was informed that there was no vacancy in Jalsa Hotel and booking at other Hotels would be wee bit more costly. Ultimately, Hotel Causarian was booked and the complainant had to cuff off Rs. 8,000 more for the package of 6 nights and 7 days. The complainant did not receive any information from the OPs and made payment of remaining amount of
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Rs. 50,000. The complainant was out of station for 10 days and he did not receive any call from the OPs. The complainant came back on 14.10.2012 and contacted the office of O.P. 2, but on 21.10.2012, he was informed that his tour had been postponed. The complainant was also informed that since the package was based on 'twin-share' basis, and the complainant was going alone, therefore, the OPs could not find anybody to share the room with him. The complainant informed the OPs that he was to go back to Canada in the month of January, and could not travel on another date, other than on 4.11.2012. The complainant asked the OPs tore fund his money, cancel his tour since they were not in a position to give booking for 4.11.2012. His money was not refunded. Thereafter, the complainant visited the website of the OPs to lodge this complaint but there it appeared that the price of the tour package offered to him was fixed at Rs. 68,999, whereas he had been charged a sum of Rs. 80,000 for the same package. Legal notice was served, but it did not ring the bell. Thereafter, the complaint was lodged with the prayer that the amount of the complainant, in the sum of Rs. 80,000, along with interest @ 18% p.a., Rs. 50,000 on account of deficiency in service and Rs. 70,000 as compensation for causing mental harassment to the complainant, besides the costs of the litigation, be granted.
2. The defence set up by the OPs is that the complainant never gave his Canadian address. Secondly, the complainant had booked the tour in his name and one, Ms. Sonia Hooda, citizen of Canada. Subsequent correspondence was also affected with regard to booking of both the persons. As per Passport of the complainant, he is married to one Ms. Deepti, whereas he wanted to travel with Ms. Sonia Hooda. It is explained that at our confirmation for 4.11.2012 at Causarian Hotel in 'Superior Sea View Room' was confirmed vide mail dated 29.9.2012, which was specifically eligible for honeymoon trip. The OPs had informed the complainant about all the services that they would be rendering. First of all, Hotel Jalsa was booked, but it was clearly mentioned that, that Hotel could be changed. The OPs tried to contact the complainant a number of times but his phone was always 'switched off. The postponement of the tour was on the request of the complainant. Ultimately, a mail was sent to the complainant with regard to the programme on 25.10.2012 and 26.10.2012, vide Annexures R-8 and R-9. The complainant himself requested the OPs for postponement of his tour from 4.11.2012 to 17.1.2013 as he had to attend a marriage. It is stated that the postponement of the trip entailed further expenses of Rs. 15,000 per person. The complainant had yet to pay the package fee for his co-passenger. Legal notice was replied, vide Annexure R-10.
3. The District Forum partly allowed the complaint. It granted 50% of the amount paid by the complainant, i.e., Rs. 40,000 and awarded costs of litigation in the sum of Rs. 5,000.
4. The State Commission dismissed the First Appeal.
5. We have heard the Counsel for the petitioner/complainant at the admission stage of this case. He vehemently argued that the OPs have taken the complainant, for a ride. He contended that the complainant should be given the full amount paid to the OPs.
6. It is clear that the petitioner/complainant has not come to the Court with clean hands. He tried to keep the relevant facts under a hat. The document on the record clearly goes to show that he was to travel with Ms. Sonia Hooda. Copy of her Passport, Ex. R-6 was proved on the record. Exs. R-7, R-8 and R-9 are the correspondence exchanged between the parties. The reply to legal notice, Ex. R-10, runs as follows:
2. Further, we are furnishing E-mail Communication from our side to your client's e-mail account (firstname.lastname@example.org) in which we have given tour confirmation for 4.11.2012 at the Causarian Hotel in Superior Sea View Room. This was done vide our mail dated 29th September, 2012. Even in this mail, we have written to him that he is eligible for Honeymoon Bonus as he had booked with us for two persons as a Honeymoon trip. This again, gives lie to your client's contention that he booked with us as a single person.
3. That the fact is that your client called us on 16.10.2012 to postpone his tour departure from 4.11.2012 to 13.1.2013 or 17.1.2013 as he claimed that there was a close friend, marriage that he had to attend in the first week of November. Subsequently, we tried to get in touch over the two mobile phone numbers given by your client, 082889-99034, 099106-33151. During these days, we called repeatedly on both the numbers but they were always switched off. Since the mobile phones were switched off, we sent e-mail communication to your client on 25th October and 26th October in which we asked him to confirm the postponement of his trip to 17th January as per his request. We mentioned in the mail that we are unable to reach him on his mobile phone numbers and thus are sending an e-mail to him. That this e-mail communication will be furnished in full at the appropriate time as evidence. It is our clear contention that the client switched off his mobile phones on these days. And if your client maintains that they weren't switched off, we would like you to furnish call logs for the same to substantiate the authenticity of his claim.
7. The District Forum was pleased to observe, as under:
7.... The total package details had been provided to the complainant by the electronic communication, i.e., e-mail ID email@example.com, as his telephone number was coming switched off. The complainant has averred that he has not received any communication from the opposite parties. But Annexures R-8 and R-9 are proof that he has received the mails. E-mail dated 25.10.2012 (Annexure R-8) reads as under--
We are not able to reach you as both your mobile numbers are switched off. We are at the verge of finalizing your Mauritius trip date for Jan 17, 2013, with an additional cost of INR 15000 per person. Please confirm that the same is acceptable.
Thus, according to the opposite parties the complainant was well aware of the situation of his package which he had booked for himself and his friend.
8. The OPs have placed on record Annexures R-1 to R-4, the booking details of the reservation. The OPs wrote a letter to the complainant, the relevant extract of which, runs as follows:
As per our last mail, kindly confirm the postpone status of your Mauritius trip for Jan 17th, 2013. The package, hotel and inclusions stay the same. The additional cost for possessioning the trip is INR 15000 per person. Kindly revert till 1.30 p.m., today in case, we don't receive any response from your side, we shall go ahead and confirm the trip for the new dates Jan 17th - 23rd Jan, 2013 with an additional cost of INR 15000 per person.
9. Annexure R-1, with booking date as 25.9.2012 is E-ticket, in respect of two persons, for flight dated 4.11.2012, from Delhi to Mauritius in the name of Ms. Sonia Hooda and Mr. Bhupender Singh Ghangas. These tickets were sent to the complainant through e-mail. E-mail dated 25.10.2012, Annexure R-8, already detailed above. This is clear that as per the terms and conditions of the package, the entire amount of Rs. 80,000 is liable to be forfeited. The Fora have already taken a lenient view in favour of the complainant. The revision petition is lame of strength and is, therefore, dismissed. No order as to costs