Sotc

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edited August 2012 in Tour and Travels
Lt.Col. (Retd.) Dr. D.R. Vaze, )
Formerly Of Army Medical Corps., )
R/at : B Building, Flat No.4, )
Rahul Nagar, Kothrud, )
Pune – 411 038.COMPLAINANTS

: Versus :

Branch Incharge, )
DIYH SOTC Holidays, )
City Point, Dhole Patil Road, )
Pune – 411 001.OPPOSITE PARTY

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Per :- Mr. Gaikwad, President Place : PUNE
// ORDER ON EXH.,1 //

We have heard the Complainant in person. We have also perused the written version filed by the Opposite Party – Travel Company. From the submissions made before us, we find that there are few facts in respect of which there is no dispute.

[2] The Complainant, his wife, his son, daughter-in-law and his two daughters had booked their tickets to Malaysia with the Opposite Party Travel Company. They have registered their names in the office of the Opposite Party on 15/7/2007 as per the advertisement published in the Daily paper, on 14/7/2007 & 15/7/2007. The Complainant had opted to visit Pangkor island. The intimation thereof was given to the Opposite Party Company. After few days, the Complainant was informed that for the trip to Pangkor island, the Complainant and his family members shall have to pay Rs.4,000/- extra. The Complainant had raised the objection. The objection was considered favourably by the Opposite Party Company. In the third week of August-2007, the demand of Rs.4,000/- was dropped by the Opposite Party Company.

[3] The Complainant had entrusted the travel documents, such as, visa, passports etc. with the office of the Opposite Party Company. The Complainant wanted to borrow the loan from ICICI Bank. It appears that the name of the Banker was also suggested by the Opposite Party. The Complainant was apprised that the loan could not be sanctioned. The Complainant therefore had no other option but to prematurely encash the Fixed Deposit Receipts. The payment in Indian currency and in American Dollars was made on 1/9/2007. The said amount was received by the Opposite Party on 5/9/2007/

[4] All of a sudden, at about 5.30 p.m. on 11/9/2007, the Opposite Party had raised the demand for an amount of Rs.13,008/-. The Complainant made enquiries. It was disclosed that there was an error made by the staff of the Opposite Party Company in calculating the US Dollars, which were to be converted into Indian Currency. The payment of the said amount was made by the Complainant on 12/9/2007. The Opposite Party Company, however, did not encash the said cheque. There appears to be certain defect in the name of the payees.

[5] The Complainant was also made to suffer a lot during the tour of Malaysia. For all these inconveniences and the deficiencies in service, the Complainant had issued a notice to the Opposite Party on 1/11/2007 and had called upon the Opposite Party to make the said loss good by paying an amount of compensation at Rs. 25,000/- per person. The Opposite Party Company gave a reply dtd.21/11/2007. Instead of giving an amount of compensation, an amount of Rs.5,000/- per person was offered to the Complainant in the form of credit voucher. The Complainant and his family members were to avail these credit vouchers by end of December-2008. The said period could be extended by June-2009. The Complainant had declined to accept the credit vouchers. He, on the other hand issued a second notice and had reiterated his claim of Rs.25,000/- per person from the Opposite Party. The Complainant was served with the reply notice on 30/1/2008. It appears that a second reply was filed by the Opposite Party Company. It therefore follows that the Complainant has claimed an amount of Rs.25,000/- per person from the Opposite Party Company towards the compensation for his mental stress, agony etc.. The Complainant has also claimed certain other reliefs.

[6] The Opposite Party Company has appeared and has resisted the complaint by filing the written statement. It is pointed out that the Opposite Party is a branch- office, which is not a legal entity in the eyes of law. It cannot be sued in its name. The main office of the Opposite Party Branch Office is a Company registered under the Companies Act, 1956. The same is registered under the name Kuoni Travel (India) Private Limited. The main office thereof is situated in Colaba, Mumbai and the divisional office is situated at Bandra (East), Mumbai. It is therefore pleaded that unless and until the main office of the Opposite Party Branch Office is not included in the array of the Opposite Party, the complaint is not maintainable. The said main office be impleaded as the Opposite Party.

[7] There are certain other points raised by the Opposite Party with reference to not only on merits, but also on the point of jurisdiction. It is pointed out that the Complainant had signed ‘Booking Conditions’, ‘How to Book’ rules, ‘Tour Itinerary’ and ‘Tour Price List’. These documents have been signed by the Complainant for and on behalf of the members of his family. The terms and conditions mentioned on these documents govern the right, title and interest of the parties. One of the condition mentioned in the said agreement is about the jurisdiction of the Court/Forum. The Mumbai Courts are vested with the jurisdiction in case of any dispute in between the parties. There are, then, number of other contentions raised by the Complainant with reference to the merits.

[8] As stated earlier, we have heard the Complainant in person. It is obvious that after the receipt of the reply from the Opposite Party, the Complainant did not take any step either to implead the main Company as a necessary party to the complaint, nor in the rejoinder, he made any averment therein. He appears to have argued the case without any assistance from his Advocate. It appears that the Complainant has not engaged any Advocate. He is probably taking the advise from his brother, who is retired from Judicial Services. The fact however remains that the Complainant has filed the rejoinder to the written statement, but he has not impleaded the said Company as the necessary party.

[9] Two facts therefore emerged from the discussion made hereinabove. The Opposite Party Company appears to be the branch office. The main Company of which the Opposite Party is the branch office, is the Company registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1956. The name of the Company is already stated hereinabove. It has another office at Bandra (East), Mumbai. The same is however not relevant for us. The question that would arise for our determination is when the main Company is duly established and is duly registered under the Companies Act, 1956, how can its branch office be sued, which is not a legal entity. It does not have a perpetual seal. It cannot be sued in its name. The registered company is obviously a legal entity. It has a perpetual seal and it can be sued in its registered name. Having regard to these facts, we are inclined to hold that it would be expedient in the interest of justice to direct the Complainant to implead Kuoni Travel (India) Private Limited in the array of the Opposite Party. It would be futile to deal with the merits of the case in absence of the Company, which is not only proper but is a necessary party to the complaint. We therefore direct the Complainant to make the necessary amendment and to implead the Company in the array of the Opposite Party, within a period of two months from the date of this order.

Comments

  • AustinlangerAustinlanger Banned
    edited August 2012
    I don't know when that kind of people will stop habits like that which is hurt someone for much time.
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