At, Kerala State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Thiruvananthapuram
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.S. SATHEESACHANDRAN
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. T.S.P. MOOSATH
By, JUDICIAL MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MR. V.V. JOSE
For the Appellant: In person. For the Respondents: N.M. Abdulla, Advocate.
S.S. Satheesachandran: President
Complainant in C.C.No. 286/2015 of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Kasaragod for short the 'District Forum', has filed this appeal. His complaint for compensation alleging deficiency of service by opposite parties was allowed in part by the Forum awarding him a sum of Rs.13000/-. His claim was for a sum of Rs.21000/-, and , to the extent the claim was not allowed he has preferred this appeal.
2. Case of the complainant in brief was that the opposite parties agreed to arrange a visa for him to Kuwait on payment of Rs.23,000/- (Rupees Twenty three thousand) and he paid Rs.21,000/- (Rupees Twenty one thousand) to them agreeing to pay the balance amount of Rs.2000/-(Rupees Two thousand) at the time of receiving the visa. Though opposite parties agreed to arrange the visa within 15 days. When he approached them again after that period they expressed their inability to provide him visa. His claim for refund was turned down was his case to claim compensation imputing deficiency of service by opposite parties.
3. Opposite parties 1 to 3 appeared and filed joint versions, 4th opposite party remained exparte. Opposite parties 1 to 3 contended that the complainant had approached them to arrange for visa suppressing material fact that he had been banned from entering Kuwait. Without knowing the ban imposed against the complainant opposite parties bonfide accepted his request for arranging visiting visa to Kuwait. But when the papers thereto with his passport were sent to their main agency at Calicut, about 10 days later, they were returned stating that ban had been imposed under a prevention order in 1990 against the entry of complainant for lifetime in Kuwait by the authorities concerned. A sum of Rs.8000/- (Rupees eight thousand) out of the sum of Rs.21,000/- (Rupees Twenty one thousand) collected had been spent by opposite parties as processing charges on his papers and therefore deducting that sum the balance amount of Rs.13,000/- (Rupees Thirteen thousand) was offered to him. Complainant refused to accept that amount and thereafter filed the complaint raising false and frivolous allegations according to these opposite parties.
4. Evidence of the case consisted of proof affidavit of complainant and Ext.A1 marked on his side. No evidence was adduced by opposite parties. The forum below appreciating the facts and circumstances finding merit in the contentions raised by contesting opposite parties accepted their version and ordered for refund of Rs.13,000/- (Rupees Thirteen thousand) to the complainant within 30 days from the date of receipt of the Order, with default term of 10% interest till realization. Aggrieved that the claim in full as canvassed was not allowed complainant has preferred this appeal for refund of the balance sum of Rs.8000/- (Rupees eight thousand) from the opposite parties.
5. Complainant/appellant appeared in person, and, respondents/opposite parties, all of them, through counsel. We heard both parties and perused the records.
6. There is no dispute that a sum of Rs.21000/- (Rupees Twenty one thousand) was collected from the complainant by the opposite parties for arranging him a visa to Kuwait. Ext.A1 is the receipt for the sum of Rs.21000/- (Rupees Twenty one thousand). Visa could not be arranged to the complainant since he had been banned from entry to Kuwait for lifetime under a prevention order passed by the authorities concerned, according to the opposite parties. Though they have not produced any material to sustain that contention complainant has not disputed it. In his chief affidavit filed in support of his case as evidence he has not adverted to the challenge raised by opposite parties that he had been banned from entering Kuwait under a prevention Order. The forum below in such circumstances accepted the contention of opposite parties over the ban order prevailing against the complainant from entering Kuwait and ordered for refund of Rs.13,000/- (Rupees Thirteen thousand) from the sum collected after deduction of process charges claimed by them. We find that the forum below was fully justified in the true facts of the case that there existed a ban over entry of complainant to Kuwait. However, opposite parties have not produced any record to support their case that an amount of Rs.8000/- (Rupees eight thousand) from the sum collected from complainant was incurred for processing charges. No material was produced by them to show on what basis the sum of Rs.8000/- was claimed as processing charges. Processing charges claimed at Rs.8000/- (Rupees Eight thousand) is apparently excessive and unreasonable. We are of the view that the given facts of the case respondents/opposite parties could not have claimed more than a sum of Rs.5000/- (Rupees Five thousand) as processing charges. Giving them credit of that amount as expenses incurred towards processing of the visa application of the complainant we find that they have to refund a further sum of Rs.3000
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/- (Rupees Three thousand) to the complainant. We are informed that the opposite parties have already paid sum of Rs.13000/- (Rupees thirteen thousand) as ordered by the lower forum. We order the respondents/opposite parties to refund a further sum of Rs.3000/- (Rupees three thousand) to the complainant within a period of one month from the date of receipt of this judgment failing which it shall carry interest at 10% per annum till realization. Appeal is partly allowed as indicated above directing both sides to suffer their costs.