At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE J.M. MALIK
By, PRESIDING MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MR. VINAY KUMAR
For the Petitioners: Sunil Goyal, Advocate with R.K. Zutshi, Advocate. For the Respondent: Madhurendra Kumar, Advocate.
Vinay Kumar, Member
The matter in this revision petition arises from the services of the revision petitioner, Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as WWICS), taken by the respondent/Complainant in connection with his application for immigration visa to Canada. On preliminary assessment on 19.12.2000 by WWICS, the Complainant was considered to be a fit case for visa. Allegedly, Rs.92,600/- was paid to WWICS for necessary fee and services. The application for visa was forwarded on 12.08.2004 to the High Commission of Canada. But, on 7.12.2006 the respondent/Complainant was informed that the application had been rejected. Thereupon, the refund of the amount paid was sought and upon failure of WWICS, the consumer complaint was filed on 2.4.2007.
2. The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Jalandhar, allowed the complaint holding that the OP has wrongly assessed the qualification marks of the Complainant as 72 when it was only 52 in the assessment of the Canadian High Commission. This was a deficiency of service on the part of OP, which had resulted in rejection of the visa application.
3. The appeal of WWICS was rejected by the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in FA No.339 of 2008. Travelling beyond preliminary objections of the appellant as to territorial jurisdiction of District Forum Jalandhar and to alleged delay in filling the complaint, the State Commission noted that:-
'The contention of the learned counsel for the OP/appellant is that the complainant had entered into two contracts one with them and the other with Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services, Canada Inc. (hereinafter referred to as the WWICS, Canada) on 17.03.2001. It is contended that they have no objection to the direction of the learned District Forum to refund the amount of Rs.25,000/- received by them but so far as the payment of US $700/- is concerned the same was paid to the WWICS, Canada and the appellants cannot be directed to refund the said amount.'
The State Commission came to a conclusion that the OPs had failed to prove if there was any agreement between the Complainant and the WWICS Canada. Therefore, it upheld the order of the District Forum.
4. We have heard the counsels for the two parties and carefully considered the records submitted. The main ground of challenge to the impugned order is that the State Commission should have relied upon on the common order of the National Commission in WWICS Vs. Manohar Singh Randhawa (RP/3334/2010) and WWICS Vs. Suresh Kumar (RP/3335/2010), pronounced on 8.3.2011.
5. A perusal of this decision shows that the National Commission had set aside the decision of the fora below directing refund of the amount paid to WWICS Canada, on the ground that these amounts were not received by the revision petitioner. However, in a subsequent decision of 25.5.2011 in WWICS Chandigarh Vs. Devinder Chauhan (RP/4011/2010) the National Commission has held that the identity of the WWIC Canada, as an agency independent of the OP/revision petitioner, was not established before the State Commission. Therefore, the order of the State Commission was upheld. Again, in WWICS Chandigarh Vs. Ajay Pal Singh (RP/2558/2012) pronounced on 3.9.2012 a similar view was taken by this Commission.
6. Neither the revision petition nor the counsel for WWICS have been able to point to any specific evidence which was led before the State Commission on the question of hiring of services of two separate agencies namely, WWICS India and WWICS Canada and which was overlooked. The sole reliance is sought to be placed on the decision of this Commission in Manohar Singh Randhawa case, mentioned above. In the matter now before us, the State Commission has observed that there is nothing to show that the Complainant had intended to enter into a separate agreement with WWICS Canada. The entire complaint shows that his contact and agreement was with the OPs/RP. The fees were paid to them. The Commission has also observed that:-
'It is admitted fact that the complainant on 17.03.2001 was in India and signed the agreement Annexure R-1. He never went to Canada on that date nor any representative of WWICS, Canada is proved to have come to India to sign the agreement with the complainant. The OPs have therefore, failed to prove if there was any agreement between the complainant and WWICS Canada and this story now being put forward by the OPs cannot be believed.'
We find ourselves in full agreement with the view taken in the impugned order. It is also contended that the complaint was bad for non-joinder of necessary and proper party i.e. WWICS Canada.
7. Having agreed with the State Commission on non-existence of a separate contract with WWICS Canada, we also hold that the question on non-joinder of necessary party does not arise. We have also noted earlier in this order that before the State Commission, the OPs/revision petitioner had contended that they have no objection to the direction of the District Forum in relation to the refund of the amount of Rs.25,000/-. Therefore, we do not c
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onsider it necessary to go into the grounds on which the order of refund of this amount of Rs.25,000 is questioned by the revision petitioner. We also do not find any merit in the contention that the complaint was barred by limitation. As already observed, the application for visa was rejected on 7.12.2006 and the consumer complaint was filed on 2.4.2007. Therefore, the question of limitation would not arise at all. 8. For the reasons discussed above, we hold that the revision petition is devoid of any merit. It is consequently dismissed with no order as to costs.