This revision petition has been filed by the petitioner Arshleen Grewal, challenging the order dated 04.05.2017 of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, UT Chandigarh (in short ‘the State Commission’) passed in First Appeal No.119/2017.
2. Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner/ complainant applied for Permanent Resident Visa for Canada and took the services of the respondents/ opposite parties as professional consultant. The opposite parties and the complainant entered into two engagement agreements, one with the respondent Nos.1 and 2 and other with M/s. GSBC Dubai. The complainant paid total amount of Rs.84,270/- to the opposite parties and $ 800 to M/s. GSBC Dubai through the opposite parties. It is the allegation of the complainant that the fees was paid on 19.08.2014 and the documents were also submitted to the opposite parties for further processing and sending them to Canadian Embassy, however, the opposite parties did not take any interest and when complainant asked about the progress of the case on 26.11.2014, she got to know that the case was not even processed. The complainant again submitted all the documents to the opposite parties on 07.12.2014. She was called to the opposite parties’ office on 22.12.2014 for signing the papers. Then the papers were submitted on 23.12.2014 to the Canadian Embassy. She received rejection of her application vide letter dated 16.03.2015 from the Canadian Embassy. She has alleged in the complaint that her application has been rejected as there was a capping of such visas to a number of 25,000 and her application was received late after the capping was complete. The complainant then asked for the refund of the fees paid to the opposite parties, however, the opposite parties denied any refund on the ground that both parties are bound by the agreement and agreement provides that no fees will be refunded. Aggrieved by the response of the opposite parties, the complainant filed a consumer complaint being CC No.723 of 2015 before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I, UT Chandigarh, (in short ‘the District Forum’). The complaint was resisted by the opposite parties by filing the written statement and stating that the rejection of her application was due to capping on number of applicants and rejection is the sole discretion of the Canadian Embassy. There was no deficiency on the part of the opposite parties. As per the agreement, there is no provision for refund of the fee. It was requested to dismiss the complaint.
3. The District Forum after considering the arguments and evidence of both the parties dismissed the complaint of the complainant vide its order dated 06.02.2017.
4. Aggrieved with the order dated 06.02.2017 of the District Forum, the complainant preferred appeal before the State Commission and the State Commission also dismissed the appeal vide its order dated 04.05.2017
5. Hence the present revision petition.
6. Heard Authorised Representative of the petitioner and the learned counsel for the respondents and perused the record. Authorised Representative of the petitioner stated that both the fora below have not considered the delay in submission of the application and other documents by the opposite parties to the Canadian Embassy. Had the papers been submitted in time, her application may have been included within 25,000 applications. It may be true that her application may have been rejected on certain grounds, documents, but one of the main grounds of rejection is that the application was received after capping of 25,000 applications was complete. Authorised Representative of the petitioner stated that the fees was paid on 19.08.2014 and all documents were submitted at that time, however, no action was taken on these papers till November 2014. The complainant inquired the status of the application on 26.11.2014 and she was asked to submit documents again which she submitted on 07.12.2014. Still papers were not forwarded to the Canadian Embassy till 22.12.2014 when the complainant was asked to come to the office of the opposite parties and to sign certain papers. The papers were ultimately sent to Canadian Embassy on 23.12.2014, whereas it was quite possible for opposite parties to send these papers even in September or October, 2014. In fact, no professional services were provided to the complainant and the case of the complainant has been rejected due to unprofessional services having been provided to the complainant.
7. On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondents/opposite parties stated that complainant had not supplied the complete documents and she supplied them only on 07.12.2014. Therefore, it was not possible to send the application along with all the documents to the Canadian Embassy before December, 2014. As there was rush for getting Permanent Resident Visa for Canada, a capping of 25,000 was introduced by the Canadian Government. It was not in the hands of the opposite parties to have known when this capping was going to be complete. As soon as all the documents were given by the complainant, the papers were sent to the Canadian Embassy for processing. In fact, the complainant was not eligible as per the Ministerial instructions for Federal Skilled Worker Category, therefore, even if the application was included in the first 25,000 applications the complainant may not have got the Permanent Resident Visa. It was further argued by the learned counsel for the respondents that only Rs.75,000/- was charged by the opposite parties and Rs.9,270/- was paid as service tax which has already gone to Government Exchequer. $800 was paid to M/s. GSBC Dubai, which is a separate legal company and the opposite parties cannot be held responsible for refunding $800 which has not been paid to them. It was also stated that M/s. GSBC Dubai has not been made party by the complainant in the present complaint case, hence, no order can be passed against that company.
8. I have carefully considered the arguments advanced by both the sides and have examined the material on record. It is important to note the following from the rejection letter dated 16.03.2015:-
“The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration issued instructions which became effective on May 1, 2014. Only applicants who meet the criteria specified in these Ministerial Instructions are eligible to be processed in the Federal Skilled Worker class.
A maximum of 25,000 complete Federal Skilled Worker applications, without an offer of arranged employment, or a maximum of 1,000 complete Federal Skilled Worker applications per eligible National Occupation Classification (NOC) code will be considered for processing each year. Your application was received after the maximum of 25,000 complete Federal Skilled Worker applications was reached.
Since you did not provide evidence that you have an Arranged Employment Offer, or evidence that you are a candidate under the Ph. D stream, you do not meet the requirements of the Ministerial Instructions and your application is not eligible for processing.”
9. From the above, it is clear that the application of the complainant had reached after 25,000 applications were already received and therefore, this is one of the reasons for rejection of the application. Another reason for rejection has been mentioned that the complainant did not meet the requirements of the Ministerial Instructions and therefore, the application was not eligible for processing. It is to be considered that when the candidate has obtained the services of the professional consultant, it is expected that the consultant would examine the application and other criteria professionally so that the candidate’s application, atleast, is not rejected on eligibility. As professional consultants, the opposite parties should have known Ministerial Instructions for Federal Skilled Worker Class and the complainant should have been examined by them on these instructions and the correct advice should have been given to the complainant. It is seen that the opposite parties have failed in this regard as well. Thus, the professional services provided by opposite parties were not really professional and they were only in the name sake. Both the fora below have agreed that the agreement provides that no fees can be refunded. The opposite parties have breached the agreement by not providing timely efficient professional services to the complainant. In fact, one month or maximum two months is a reasonable time when application should have been processed by the opposite parties for sending it to the Canadian Embassy, but the opposite parties have taken about four months to process the same. Consequently, the application was sent to the Canadian Embassy at the fag end of the year. Even if the application of the complainant has been rejected on certain other grounds, but receiving complainant’s application after 25,000 applications is also one of the ground of rejection for which the opposite parties are clearly responsible. The opposite parties are also responsible for not providing correct information and for not providing correct professional services in accordance with the Ministerial instructions for Federal Skilled Worker Class. In fact, both the fora below have not considered the aspect of delay in sending the application to the Canadian Embassy.
10. Based on the above discussion, I find that there was deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties in
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providing efficient professional services timely to the complainant. As M/s. GSBC Dubai has not been made a party in the present complaint case, I am desisting from passing any order against that company for refund of $ 800. However, for deficiency in service of the opposite parties, the complainant is entitled to get compensation from the opposite parties. In the circumstances of the case, I deem it appropriate to fix the compensation as Rs.65,000/-(rupees sixty five thousand only) to be paid to the complainant by the opposite parties. 11. Consequently, the revision petition no.2567 of 2017 is partly allowed and the order dated 04.05.2017 of the State Commission and the order dated 06.02.2017 of the District Forum are set aside. The respondents/opposite parties are directed to pay Rs.65,000/-(rupees sixty five thousand only) as compensation to the petitioner/complainant within a period of 45 days from the date of receipt of this order, failing which, this amount will carry 9% p.a. interest from the date of this order till actual payment.