VINAY KUMAR, MEMBER
This revision petition is filed by Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services Ltd, Chandigarh, against the order of the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, in appeal No.1556/2007.
2. Facts, as seen from the record, are that the Complainant Ajay Pal Singh, had sought professional assistance of the OP/World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services Ltd. (WWICS) Chandigarh, through its Branch Manager, Amritsar for obtaining permanent residence visa for Canada. An agreement was signed between the parties for this purpose and Rs.30,000/- paid to the OP as retainer fee. Separately, a sum of Rs.15,000/- was paid by the Complainant through a demand draft of 21.9.2000 drawn in the name of Canadian High Commission, New Delhi. After receipt of acknowledgment from the Canadian High Commission, another amount of $ 700 US was paid through a demand draft of 15.2.2001 to the OP, as processing fee.
3. The Complainant was allegedly told to wait for 2 to 3 years for response from the Canadian High Commission. Five years later, the Complainant was informed by the OP through a letter of 27.3.2006 that his application had been rejected for non-appearance at the interview in the High Commission. Sri Ajay Pal Singh, filed a consumer complaint before the District Forum, Amritsar alleging serious deficiency of service on the part of the OP and sought refund of the entire amount paid by him together with interest and compensation.
4. The District Forum observed that most of the facts, alleged in the complaint petition, have been admitted by the OP. In particular, it referred to the provisions in Clauses 4 (e), (g) and (j) in the agreement between the two parties, which cast specific obligations on the OP to remain in touch with Canadian visa office, handle all correspondence with it on behalf of the client, monitor the client’s case through the entire processing period and get the judicial review filed in the Federal Court Canada, in case of erroneous rejection of the application. The District forum therefore, allowed the complaint partly and directed the OP to refund the amounts of Rs.30,000/- as well as $ 700 US, with 9% interest.
5. The State Commission in the impugned order has separately examined the obligations of the appellant/OP with reference to the agreement between the parties and recorded detailed findings, given below, while dismissing the appeal of the OP/revision petitioner-
16. In view of the above duties undertaken by the appellant in respect of their professional fee, they did not remain in contact with the Canadian Visa office and did not monitor his case throughout the time assured for permanent resident visa. They are proved to be most negligent in performing their duties. After obtaining the application fee, they did not bother to see as to when interview was being scheduled by the Canadian High Commission. We cannot believe the appellant that they did not receive the interview letter from the Canadian High Commission. It appears that the letters so received had been misplaced or lost in their office because they did not inform the complainant about the date of the interview. Subsequently they fabricated two letters, Annexure R-5 and Annexure R-6 asking the Canadian High Commission to schedule his interview as early as possible. The Learned District Forum did not believe this story and we are also not inclined to accept it. Annexure R-2 is the letter written by them to the Canadian High Commission in which no such mention was made if they had earlier written any such letters to them. Moreover, they could not ask for scheduling the interview as claimed by them. Furthermore, mere placing on file Annexure R-5 and R-6 could not be sufficient because it was to be proved by them as to how these letters were sent to the Canadian High Commission. They have not produced any evidence to prove if these letters were put in transmission or otherwise sent to the High Commission or were received by them. It is, therefore, all a fabrication, which has been manipulated by the OPs, in order to deny the genuine claim of the Complainant.'
6. We have heard the counsel for the revision petitioner, WWICS, Chandigarh. We have also carefully perused the records submitted before this Commission. Learned counsel for the revision petitioner drew our attention to the decision of this Commission in RP No.3334-3335 of 2010 between the present petitioner and two other individuals. It was pointed out that the National Commission had not upheld the view of the fora belows to recover the amount paid to WWICS Canada from WWICS, Chandigarh.
7. A perusal of the above decision would show that the decision was based on the fact that the said amount was not received by the revision petitioner but by a third party. The facts of the case before us are different. In the present case the demand draft of $ 700 US and the other fee of Rs.30,000/- were both paid to the OP/present revision petitioner. The State Commission has also given a clear finding that there was no separate agreement between the WWICS Canada and the Complainant. The agreement was executed in Chandigarh and the payments were made to the OP/revision petitioner. No payment was made by the Complainant to WWICS Canada. In view of this clear finding, the present case stands distinguish from the decision cited by the revision petitioner.
8. We also find ourselves in complete agreement with the finding of the fora below on the role of the revision petitioner. The rejection of the visa application was on the sole ground of non-appearance for interview before the Canadian visa authority on 7.2.2006. This has been communicated by the High Commission of Canada in its letter of 13.2.2006 to the Complainant, Ajay Pal Singh. A copy of this letter (Annexure P-5) produced before us, shows that even this letter was sent to the Complainant on the Chandigarh address of the OP WWICS Ltd. This shows clearly that the High Commission was corresponding with the applicant on the address of the OP/revision petitioner. Therefore, the responsibility for non-appearance of the Complainant at the interview would also rest on the OP.
9. The revision petition also raises the ground of limitation, which has been raised and answered in the decision of the District Forum. The case of the OP was that the amount having been paid in 2000, its refund had to be sought within 2002, while the complaint before the District Forum was filed in 2007. The District Forum has referred to the admission of the OP that the rejection of the case was informed to them in a letter of High Commission received by them in March, 2006. OP’s lette
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
r communicating this rejection to the Complainant is itself dated 27.3.2006. Therefore, the question of limitation does not arise. 10. We find that all issues involved in this case have been examined by the fora below and clear findings given by them. The issues raised in the revision petition were already considered by them at length. In our view, the revision petition is totally devoid of any merit. It is apparently filed without any justification and has resulted in purposeless waste of the time of this Commission. The revision petition is therefore dismissed with cost of Rs.25,000/- which shall be paid into the Consumer Legal Aid Account of this Commission, within three months. Delay, if any, will carry interest at 10% per annum.