Date of Filing:24.12.2008
Date of Order : 11.03.2009
BEFORE THE I ADDITIONAL DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM SESHADRIPURAM BANGALORE - 20
Dated: 11th DAY OF MARCH 2009
Sri. Bajentri H.M, B.A, LL.B., President
COMPLAINT NO. 2798 OF 2008
#E 101, Coronet Greens Apartment,
Bellandur Gate, Sarjapura Road,
Bangalore 560 102.
Chairman and Managing Director,
Country Club(India) Limited,
Amrutha Castle, 5-9-16,
Country Club(India) Limited,
No.273, 1st Main Road, Defense
Colony, HAL 2nd Stage, B,lore-38
. Opposite Party
2. The case of the complainant is as under:-
The complainant paid Rs.35,000/- to the Opposite Party Country Club towards the Gold Membership BLGCS-165. In December 2006, Mr.K.Sugumar the representative of the Opposite Party approached him for upgradation of the Gold Membership to Mr.Coll Membership on payment of difference amount of Rs.80,000/-. He promised to allot three sites each bearing 1633 Square Feet free of cost at Coconut Groove near Tumkur and also gave the site numbers as 40, 41 & 42 in Phase No-14 to be developed by the end of 2008 and that the complainant would be entitled for three days and two nights complementary stay at Country Club-de Goa with two way air ticket for a couple. With regard to the offers, Mr.Sugumar gave the letter dated:29.12.2006 and accordingly he paid Rs.70,000/- on 29.12.2006 and Rs.10,000/- on 24.03.2007 and he received the membership card on 30th March 2007. Mr.Sugumar confirmed that the procedure of the land allotment had started and he will be getting allotment letter soon, but the same has not come to reality till now. He requested the Opposite Party to book free holiday trip to Goa on 10.11.2007 and till the last moment he was given assurance that the booking in the flight and Country Club de-Goa has been confirmed. On the evening of 09.11.2007 he received flight ticket, but the booking was not done as the club was already full. Somehow the complainant went to Goa and booked his own accommodation, Food and Transportation. When informed Mr.Sugumar again falsely assured that he will rectify the mistake by providing a return air fare along with the booking at the club. Thereafter Mr.Sugumar never informed about the change of his contact details. On 31.05.2008 he sent a mail to Customer Care and got the contact number of Mr.Sugumar. But the calls to that number were never picked-up. On 04.09.2008 he met Mr.Nikhil, Manager Operations, Country Club, Sarjapura Road and he asked him to send him the mail with all the details so that he can try to help him. Accordingly he sent all the details on 06.09.2008. Thereafter he was asked to contact Mr.Austin, General Manager, Country Club, who assured to inform the concerned Authority. But so far nothing is done. Hence, the complaint.
3. In the version, the contention of the Opposite Party is as under:-
The complaint is not maintainable as the relief sought for is not amenable. At no point of time, the Opposite Party have rendered deficiency in service and as such the question of claiming refund of the Membership Fee does not arise. The complainant himself upgraded his membership from Gold Crown Premium Super to Mr.Cool Card membership and paid Rs.70,000/- on 29.12.2006 and Rs.10,000/- on 24.03.2007. Thus, he got the membership upgraded, received the permanent membership card and utilized the club facilities. Instructions were given to the complainant that if he wanted to utilize the complementary trip he has to inform in writing 30 days in advance to book available rooms. One side air ticket was taken care by the Opposite Parties as desired by the complainant. After utilizing the same the complainant has filed the complaint in order to make money and harass the Opposite Parties. No promises were made for allotment of three sites. Only one site can be allotted for the membership of the complainant. The complainant has to pay Rs.15,000/- towards registration and annual administration charges. In spite of information, the complainant refused to make payment of the said amount. They are ready to allot the site subject to the complainant making payment of Rs.15,000/- towards registration and annual administration charges. The complaint filed is without sufficient cause or reason and the entire complaint has been foisted to gain wrongful. On these grounds, the Opposite Party has prayed for dismissal of the complaint.
4. In support of his case, the complainant has filed his affidavit and has produced copies of documents. In spite of sufficient time granted, the Opposite Party failed to adduce its evidence. When the matter came up for arguments, the Opposite Party filed an application on 26.02.2009 seeking permission to lead evidence. The said application was allowed imposing cost of Rs.200/- and the case was adjourned to 27.02.2009 for payment of cost and to lead evidence. But on 27.02.2009, the Opposite Party and its counsel remained absent and did not pay cost imposed nor adduce evidence. We have heard the arguments of the complainant.
5. The points for consideration:-
1.[FONT="] [/FONT]Whether the complainant has proved deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Parties?
2.[FONT="] [/FONT]Whether the complainant entitled to the relief prayed for in the complaint?
6.[FONT="] [/FONT]Our findings are:-
Point No.1 : In the Affirmative
Point No.2 : As per final order
For the following:-
- This is a life membership which is transferable and saleable,
- You will become a direct member of all our clubs in India including our resorts Bushbetta in Bandipur and Club de Goa in Goa.
- You will also be entitled to access our affiliations across India and Abroad,
- You will also be entitled for three days and two nights complementary stay at Country Club-de Goa with Two way air ticket for couple,
- You will also be entitled for one week complementary stay at RGBC, Goa,
- You will be allotted three sites each 1633 sq ft free of cost at Coconut Groove, near Tumkur, and
- You will be allotted three sites no-40, 41 & 42 in Phase No.14.
Therefore, it is clear from this letter that while getting the membership of the complainant upgraded, the Opposite Parties assured allotment of three sites each measuring 1633 Sq.Feet. free of cost on Coconut Groove, Near Tumkur and also disclosed the sites as site Nos.40 , 41 & 42 in Phase No.14 and also assured complementary stay for three days and two nights at Country Club de-Goa with two way air ticket for a couple besides other assurances. After the complainant made payment of Rs.70,000/- on 29.12.2006, the Opposite Party sent the letter dated:06.02.2007 informing that the allotment of complementary plot at Coconut Groove will be allotted only on payment of full membership fees towards Mr.Cool Card and he has to remit Rs.15,000/- within 30 days of plot allotment towards registration and other charges. By the letter dated:28.03.2007, the Opposite Party sent the membership Card to the complainant probably after he made payment of the balance amount of Rs.10,000/-. Though in the version it is stated that since the complainant failed to make payment of Rs.15,000/- towards registration and other expenses the allotment of site is not made, it is not the case of the Opposite Party that in spite of the allotment of the plot, the complainant failed to make payment of Rs.15,000/-. As per the information in the letter dated:06.02.2007, the complainant was required to make payment of Rs.15,000/- within 30 days after the allotment of the plot. Therefore when nothing is placed on record to show that in fact the plot has been allotted in favour of the complainant, there is no substance in the contention of the Opposite Party that because of nonpayment of Rs.15,000/- the plot is not allotted. Even the contention of the Opposite Party in the version is contrary to the assurance given by its representative in the letter dated:29.12.2006, because in this letter the representative of the Opposite Party assured allotment of three sites each measuring 1633 Sq.Ft., whereas in the version the Opposite Party has contended that the complainant is entitled to allotment of only one site. This discloses the way in which the Opposite Party makes false promises to get the general public enrolled as the members of the club. In spite of payment of Rs.80,000/- for upgrading the membership, the Opposite Party has not allotted any sites so far and this act clearly amounts to deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Parties.
8. Admittedly the complainant had become Gold member by making Rs.35,000/- before he got the membership upgraded. He got the membership upgraded only on the assurance of allotment of three sites free of cost. When the Opposite Party failed to allot the sites as promised, the complainant is entitled to seek refund of the sum of Rs.80,000/- paid for upgradation of the membership. However, the complainant is not entitled to claim refund of Rs.35,000/- towards Gold membership. The other grievances of the complainant with regard to the complementary stay at Goa provided by the Opposite Parties. The complainant admits that the Opposite Party provided air ticket to Goa. But he has contended that the Opposite Party had not made booking of the accommodation. According to Opposite Party the complainant was required to make request 30 days in advance. In the complaint, the complainant has not disclosed as to when he requested the Opposite Party for complementary stay at Goa. If the request was not made 30 days in advance for booking the accommodation, the complainant cannot blame the Opposite Party. Thus, from the material on record we are unable to make out any deficiency in service on the part the Opposite Party so far as the complementary stay is concerned. Therefore we hold that the complainant is entitled to seek only refund of Rs.80,000/- from the Opposite Party. In the complainant, the complainant has also made certain statements with regard to the membership of his aunt. If at all the Aunt of the complainant is interested to get back the amount paid for the membership, she is at liberty to file a separate complaint. That matter has nothing to do with the claim of the complainant and therefore the same is not dealt with in this matter. For the reasons stated above, we hold that the complainant is entitled to claim refund of Rs.80,000/- from the Opposite Party and accordingly we pass the following:-
- The complaint is ALLOWED IN PART.
- The Opposite Party is directed to refund Rs.80,000/- paid by the complainant towards upgradation of the membership with interest thereon at 10% Per Annum from March-2007 till the date of payment. The Opposite Party shall also pay cost of Rs.2,000/- to the complainant. Compliance of this order shall be made within eight weeks from the date of order.
- Send a copy of this order to both parties free of costs immediately.
- Pronounced in the Open Forum on this the 11th DAY OF MARCH 2009.