The action has been taken after years of the outcry by the general public about the fleecing that the airlines and ticketing agents make extra income by selling tickets at high prices during the peak season and highway closure
In a crackdown on the airlines operating in Jammu and Kashmir and ticketing agents, allegedly selling air tickets on unreasonable high rates, the Crime Branch of Kashmir Police has registered cases against them.
According to a report by The Brighter Kashmir – a local journal in the valley – the cases have been registered under Section 420, 468, 471, 409 r/w and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The action was taken after the Crime Branch had received complaints from various travel associations and trade bodies through Directors, Tourism Kashmir, said an official spokesperson, the Crime Branch, Kashmir, in a statement.
Based on these complaints, the Crime Branch conducted an inquiry, which revealed that the officials of various airlines sold group tickets in bulk in the name of passengers who were not members of any group and neither had sought tickets as group members, read the statement.
It further stated that the tickets obtained in advance by the travel agents as group tickets had then been sold in black at exorbitant prices as individual tickets and airlines' staff accept individuals as group tickets passengers, in violation of the terms and conditions of airlines for group booking.
The statement added that it transpired that the airlines, by selling bulk tickets in advance to travel agents, had created an artificial and imaginary shortage of online tickets for the general public. This directly impacted the price index and resulted in high inflation in air travel fares. Thus, it paved way for fleecing of the general public by travel agents who, by purchasing tickets at a very low cost, sold them at high rates.
In this way, the travel agents, by acting in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy hatched with airlines' staff, were cheating the bonafide passengers and causing loss to the public exchequer by tax evasion with corresponding wrongful gains, said the statement.The action has been taken after years of outcry by the general public about the fleecing that the airlines and ticketing agents make extra income by selling tickets at high prices during the peak season and highway closure, the report added.
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