Cox & Kings (I) Pvt. Ltd. v. Joseph A. Fernanes

(2006) 1 CPJ 129 (NC)

Introduction

 Basic overview of the case

The complainant had booked tour packages from Bangalore to Singapore-Malaysia and back. According to the him, M/s. Cox & Kings (I) Pvt. Ltd. advertised the tour packages for “Two nights /three days cruise” Star Cruise Services for which he has been charged. But the tour operator finished their services for the tourist to cruise trip is only for “two nights, one and a half days”. There was, therefore a shortage of one and a half days cruise service according to the Complainants. The Respondents is that the Revision Petitioner fully well knew that the cruise actually last only for one and a half days but they had falsely represented that the cruise is for 3 days. They have thus been cheated out of one and a half days of the cruise.

The District Forum which ordered the tour operator to pay compensation of Rs.50,000/-. The appeal by the tour operator was dismissed by the Karnataka State Commission which however reduced the compensation to Rs.25,000/- with 25% interest p.a. from the date of the order of the District Forum till the realization. It is against the said order this Revision Petition has been filed.

 Acts applied- Name of the Act in Upper Case, year of its enactment

CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986

 Bench

HONBLE MR. JUSTICE K.S. GUPTA; PRESIDING MEMBER MRS. RAJYALAKSHMI RAO, MEMBER

Issues

  • What the Petitioner did amounts to equating one minute of service with service of 23.59 hrs. Can one-minute service ever be construed as a full day service?

Judgement

Petitioner was directed to discontinue advertisement misleading people to believe it is as 3 days but in reality, it is only two days and one minute.

The court observed that this practice by the Petitioner is not only a case of misrepresentation through misleading advertisement but also an unfair trade practice in the eyes of Consumer Protection Act.

the Revision Petition was dismissed and the order of the State Commission was confirmed with cost of Rs.5,000/- to be paid to the Respondents by the Petitioner and direct the Petitioner to withdraw the misleading advertisement under Section 14(1)(f) and to give corrected advertisement under Section 14(1)(hc) of Consumer Protection Act The order is to be complied with within four weeks from the date of the receipt of the same or else it would attract 9% interest p.a.

Case Commentary

 What is your interpretation of the case?

The vital issue came before the commission on misleading advertisement and unfair trade practice was that the tourism stakeholders (Government or Private) attracts tourist/consumer by misleading advertisement provided in the e-tourism websites. Unfortunately, a number of tourists are unaware to knock the door of consumer forum for their rights. If the tourist knows any wrong has been happened to them, they have right to file the complaint against the person tourism operational.

Conclusion

It is only a rare tourist consumer who is vigilant and conscious of his rights under the Consumer Protection Act and who prepared to take the route of legal proceedings, that knocks at the consumer fora. The consumer commission in this case took all facts under scrutiny and awarded Rs.50,000/- as compensation paid by the tour operator to the tourist and the order was required to be complied with within four weeks from the date of the receipt of the same or else it would attract 9% interest p.a. in case of M/s. Cox & Kings (I) Pvt. Ltd. V. Mr. Joseph A. Fernanes.

Reference

Indiankanoon.org. 2020. M/S. Cox & Kings (I) Pvt. Ltd., Mr. … Vs Mr. Joseph A. Fernanes, … On 20 December, 2005. [online] Available at: <https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1342744/> [Accessed 8 August 2020].