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The Managing Director, Ram Ratan Choudhury Panchawati Holiday Resorts Ltd. & Another v/s Goutam Biswas

    First Appeal No. A/979 of 2016
    Decided On, 04 January 2018
    At, West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Kolkata
    For the Appellant: S.P. Sahay, Advocate. For the Respondent: Sanjib Raj, Advocate.

Judgment Text
The present appeal Under Section 15 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 ( for brevity, 'the Act') is at the instance of the Opposite Party Nos. 1 and 2 to impeach the final order dated 13.07.2016 made by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Howrah ( in short, Ld. District Forum ) in Consumer Complaint No. 271/2015. By the impugned order, the Ld. District Forum allowed the complained lodged by the respondent U/s. 12 of the Act with the direction upon the Appellants No.1 to refund Rs.25,000/-, to pay compensation of Rs.3,000/- and litigation cost of Rs. 2,000/-to the Respondent within 30 days from the date of order otherwise the amount shall carry an interest @ 8% p.a. till actual payment.

The respondent herein being complainant lodged the complaint asserting that on 30.03.2014 he along with his wife visited the office of OP No.1 where the OP No.1 told the complainant that Panchwati Holiday Resort was/is a
Club which is/was collaborated with ITC Pvt. Ltd. and they offered the complainant for some holiday package plan and if the complainant and his wife wanted to get free coupon of OP No.1, the complainant and his wife could have to choose any of the place as per their offer and if the complainant choose any one of the places at that moment as per their offer, they would give the complainant and his wife lots of facilities for holiday tour package. Being allured, complainant choose a plan for the amount for Rs. 25,000/- and paid Rs. 10,000/-. On 06.04.2014, complainant paid the amount of another sum of Rs. 15,000/-. However, after passing of three months from the date of payment for membership, the OPs neither sent any written documents of facilities as given as a member of OP and membership card of the complainant, nor intimated the complainant for proper reason of delayed sending of such papers and card and even after several requests. Ultimately, on 22.07.2014 the OPs sent two membership cards in the name of complainant and his wife and also sent a welcome letter to the complainant and after getting the same, complainant was shocked and surprised that in the said welcome letter the OPs was written their offer for facilities was given to the complainant and his wife as a member of them which was totally mismatched with the offer for facilities given as a member at the time of offer or payment of membership. In the 1st week of August, 2014, the complainant was trying to booking for travelling at Puri but he was denied with that facility. The complainant and his wife decided to cancel the membership of OPs and on several occasions they requested the OPs for cancellation of membership and with a request to refund the amount but it turned a deaf ear. Hence, the respondent approached the Ld. District Forum with prayer for several reliefs like – compensation of Rs.50,000/-, refund of Rs.25,000/- with interest etc.

The appellants being OPs by filing a written version have stated that the amount paid by the complainants being non-refundable, the complainants are not entitled to any relief.

After assessing the materials on record, the Ld. District Forum by the impugned order allowed the complaint with certain directions upon the OPs. To assail the order, the OPs have come up in this Commission with the present appeal.

I have scrutinised the materials on record and considered the submissions advanced by Mr. S. P. .Sahay, Ld. Advocate for the appellants as well as Mr. Sanjib Raj, Ld. Advocate for the Respondent.

Having heard the Ld. Advocate appearing for the parties and on going through the materials on record it would reveal that the respondent and his wife visited the stall of appellant no.2 where the appellant no.2 had given a coupon for lucky draw and assured the respondent that if the respondent won the lucky draw then he will get a free tour package for Musoorie, Goa, Gangtok, Puri, Kalimpong, any one of those places. Subsequently, respondent received a call from one authorised person of ITC Fortune Club, who congratulate the respondent about winning of lucky draw and informed that he would get a free tour package. Accordingly, on 30.03.2014 the respondent along with his wife visited the office of appellant no.1 where appellant no.1 told the respondent that the appellant no.1 has club collaborated with ITC Pvt. Ltd.

Undisputedly, being allured the respondent paid Rs. 10,000/- on that day as membership of appellant no.2 club for 10 years. Subsequently, on 06.04.2014 the respondent has paid another sum of Rs. 15,000/-. It is also not in dispute that ultimately on 22.07.2014 the appellants sent two membership card in the name respondent and his wife and also sent a welcome letter to the respondent. After receiving the said welcome letter, the respondent was shocked and surprised to see that the promise made by the appellants does not reflect in the welcome letter.

In any case, the record shows that in the 1st week of August, 2014 the respondent was trying for booking a tour for Puri but the appellants turned round 180 degree and denied to any discount to the respondent for which the respondent dropped the idea to visit Puri. In that perspective, the respondent has made persistent demand for cancellation of his membership and for refund of amount paid by him.

The appellants have taken a plea that as per terms of the agreement, the amount paid by the respondent is not refundable. The fact remains that on the date of payment of amount i.e. on 30.03.2014, the appellants did not enter into any written agreement with the respondent and a welcome letter was sent by them on 22.07.2014 after three months from the time of receiving the amount from the respondent. The appellants had no occasion to invite the respondent on the plea of wining lucky draw contest and had it not been done by the appellants, the respondent or his wife would have no reason to visit the appellant no.1. The respondent has informed the appellants about mis-matching of their promise and reality but the appellants without having any reasonable cause, kept the money with them without providing any service whatsoever.

The plea of the appellants that as per terms and conditions, the amount is not refundable cannot be accepted because the appellants have failed to show any documents whatsoever that after knowing the contents of that clause or agreement, the respondent put his signature. The Ld. District Forum has rightly observed – ' OPs have miserably failed to keep their promise which was made on the face of the welcome letter dated 22.07.2014 issued by them in favour of the complainant. OPs have simply muddied the spirit and mood of enjoyment of the complainant and his wife. For their gross negligence in discharging duties, complainant and his wife became disappointed, dissatisfied and depressed for no fault on their part which can be very well understood by a man of common prudence'. I do not find any reason to observe anything contrary to the same.
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r /> Therefore, after giving due consideration to the submission advanced by the Ld. Advocates appearing for the parties and on perusal of materials on record I do not find any loophole or shortcoming in passing the order impugned. The appellants had no reason to prefer this appeal without complying with the order of Ld. District Forum and as such the appeal deserves dismissal with cost of Rs. 5,000/-. Consequently, the appeal is dismissed on contest with costs of Rs. 5,000/- to be paid by the appellants in favour of the respondent/complainant. The impugned order is hereby affirmed. The Registrar of the Commission is directed to send a copy of this order to the Ld. District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Howrah for information.