The Supreme Court today agreed to hear the plea of Punjab-based travel agents seeking scrapping of the Punjab Travel Professionals’ Regulation Act on the grounds that the law to curb human smuggling has nothing to do with them.
A vacation bench of Justice Arun Mishra, which took the matter on mentioning, posted the case for hearing tomorrow.
The plea challenges the validity of the Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act 2012, now renamed as The Punjab Travel Professionals’ Regulation Act 2012, as unconstitutional and seeks that it should be struck down.
Advocate R K Kapoor, appearing for the travel agents, said the provision of the Punjab Travel Professionals’ Regulation Act 2012 and its 2013 Regulation Rules mandate that all those in the travel agents’ business, consultancy or ticketing would have to get themselves registered upon the payment of licence fee.
The travel agents have said that human smuggling had nothing to do with travel agents and therefore could not be curbed through the Act.
The petition contends that Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling (Amendment) Act 2014 states that the Act has been enacted to curb the illegal and fraudulent activities of persons involved in organised human smuggling in Punjab, but it is not understandable as to how the same can be curbed by regulating the profession of travel agents.