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Mandeep Kaur v/s M/s. Country Club Hospitality & Holidays Ltd. (CCHHL)

    Appeal No. 145 of 2018

    Decided On, 18 September 2018

    At, Union Territory Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission UT Chandigarh

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE JASBIR SINGH (RETD.)
    By, PRESIDENT & THE HONOURABLE MRS. PADMA PANDEY
    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellant: M.S. Saini, Advocate. For the Respondent: Pradeep Sharma, Advocate.



Judgment Text

Padma Pandey, Member

1. This appeal is directed against the order dated 15.05.2018, rendered by District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I, UT, Chandigarh (in short ‘the Forum’ only), vide which, it dismissed Consumer Complaint bearing No.1062 of 2016.

2. Facts of the consumer complaint filed by the appellant/complainant, noted by the Forum, are as under:-

'The facts of the consumer complaint, in brief, are that the Complainant purchased membership of the Opposite Party by paying the membership fee of Rs.1,50,000/-, whereafter an Agreement dated 07.09.2015 was executed interse them. Per agreement, the Complainant was eligible for free 6 nights 7 days say in any of the properties of the Opposite Party. The Complainant booked her first vacation trip at Shimla from 19.07.2016 to 21.07.2016 through Opposite Parties. It has been alleged that the room booked by the Opposite Party for the Complainant in Hotel Wingait Inn was in a bad shape with ugly curtains and dirty bedsheets and blankets. To cap it all, the Complainant was asked to pay Rs.1000/- per day for the said bad shaped room, which she had to pay under the compelling circumstances; whereas, as per the agreement the Complainant was entitled for at least three star accommodation with superior rooms. After horrendous vacations, the Complainant took up the matter with the Opposite Party, highlighting the deficiencies, with a request to refund her amount, but to no success. Hence, alleging that the aforesaid act amounts to deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of Opposite Party, the complainant has filed the instant complaint.'

3. Reply filed by the respondent/Opposite Party, noted by the Forum, are as under:-

'The Opposite Party in its written statement has not disputed the factual matrix of the case. It has been averred that after negotiations the Complainant paid Rs.1,50,000/- on 07.09.2015 towards one time non-refundable vacation charges under the Vacation Agreement and the Club Membership was given free of cost along with vacation agreement. The plan opted by the Complainant was Blue Studio Season Premium under which she is entitled to vacation membership for 30 years with domestic (India) vacation benefits. It has been pleaded that the Hotel Wingait Inn Shims is a three star hotel and from internal investigation by Opposite Party, it was found that grievance of the Complainant was false and baseless as she never made any Complaint or protest to the Manager or any other employee of Hotel Wingait Inn Shimla during her stay thus the request of the Complainant for refund of agreed non-refundable vacation charges was not adhered to. Pleading that there is no deficiency in service or unfair trade practice on its part, Opposite Party has prayed for dismissal of the complaint.'

4. The complainant filed separate replication to the written statement of the Opposite Party, wherein she reiterated all the averments, contained in the complaint, and refuted those, contained in the written version of the Opposite Party.

5. The parties led evidence, in support of their case.

6. After hearing Counsel for the parties and, on going through the evidence, and record of the case, the Forum, dismissed the complaint, as stated above.

7. Feeling aggrieved, the instant appeal, has been filed by the appellant/complainant.

8. We have heard the Counsel for the parties, and have gone through the evidence and record of the case, carefully.

9. After going through the evidence and record of the case, we are of the considered opinion, that the appeal is liable to be dismissed, for the reasons to be recorded, hereinafter.

10. Counsel for the appellant/complainant has submitted that Forum wrongly dismissed the complaint as the complainant had herself signed the Agreement with clause of no refund. He further submitted that the appellant/complainant is not a legal person and if any arbitrary agreement got signed by her, this Court could have protected her from the malpractices. He further submitted that the Forum has failed to consider the impact of the impugned order on the appellant, as it would bind the appellant to continue to suffer from the hands of the Opposite Parties for the next 30 years on the name of holidays. He prayed for allowing the appeal and setting aside the impugned order.

11. On the other hand, Counsel for the respondent/Opposite Party submitted that the Forum has rightly passed the impugned order and prayed for dismissal of the appeal filed by the complainant.

12. The core question that falls for consideration before us is that whether the Forum rightly passed the impugned order. The answer to this question is in the affirmative. It is the admitted fact that the complainant purchased the membership of the Opposite Parties by paying an amount of Rs.1,50,000/- and in this regard, Only Vacations Agreement was executed between the parties on 07.09.2015 (Annexure C-1). Annexure C-2 is a copy of guest/member details. From this document, it is proved that the complainant booked her trip for Shimla from 19.07.2016 to 21.07.2016 with the respondent/Opposite Party, for which, the Opposite Party booked Wingait Inn Hotel in Shimla for staying.

13. The objection of the appellant/complainant is that when she reached at the hotel for stay, she was asked to pay Rs.1,000/- per day for a single room stay but as per the Agreement, she was not to pay any charges for stay. It is also admitted by the Opposite Party that the complainant paid Rs.2000/- for 2 nights and 3 days for the accommodation. In this regard, Clause 9 of the Agreement, reads thus :-

'9. An exchange fee can only apply if the property is in domestic/international associated locations.'

Moreover, the complainant made the said payment in advance and without any protest. So, this objection taken by the complainant is not tenable and the same stands rejected.

14. With regard to the allegations levelled by the complainant regarding bad condition of room, curtains, bed sheets etc., the Opposite Party before the Forum has annexed Annexure R-3, which was taken out from the internet and the said Agreement clearly shows that the said hotel Wingait Inn Shimla is a three star hotel. It is pertinent to note that the complainant never made any complaint or protest to the Manager of the Hotel or any other employee of the said hotel during her stay in Shimla. Even the complainant has failed to submit any evidence/document to establish that during the stay, the room, curtains, bed sheets etc. were in bad shape. Had she made any written complaint to the Manager of the Hotel, the situation would be different. In the absence of any cogent evidence, the stand taken by the complainant has no merit, at all and the same stands rejected.

15. With regard to refund sought by the complainant is concerned, the Counsel for the Opposite Parties has pointed out Clause 19 of the terms and conditions of the Agreement, which reads thus :-

'19. The Second Party understands that THE VACATION CHARGS IS NON-REFUNDABLE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES and that THE VACATION FEE IS NOT A REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT.'

In view of the afore-extracted clause, it is crystal clear that said fee was non-refundable. It is pertinent to note that the said Agreement was executed between the complainant and the Opposite Parties, signed by both the parties. Therefore, the terms and conditions of said Agreement is binding upon both the parties i.e. the complainant as well as the Opposite Parties. Even the plea taken by the appellant/complainant is that he is not a legal person and if any arbitrary agreement got sign

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ed by her, this Court could have protected her from the malpractices, has no value, at all because the complainant executed the Agreement with the Opposite Party at her own wish and it is the duty of the appellant/complainant that at the time of taking the aforesaid plan, she should go through the terms and conditions of the same. Hence, we are of the opinion that the order passed by the Forum, being based on the correct appreciation of evidence and law, on the point, does not suffer from any illegality or perversity. 16. For the reasons recorded above, the appeal, being devoid of merit, must fail, and the same stands dismissed, with no order as to costs. The order of the Forum is upheld. 17. Certified Copies of this order be sent to the parties, free of charge. 18. The file be consigned to Record Room, after completion.
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