Dev Raj, Member -
(1.) THIS appeal is directed against the order dated 12.11.2013 rendered by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum -I, UT, Chandigarh (hereinafter to be called as the District Forum only) vide which, it dismissed the complaint, filed by the complainant (now appellant). The facts, in brief, are that in pursuance of the persistent advertisement published, on behalf of the opposite party, the complainant approached it for arrangement of student visa for Australia. It was stated that in the first meeting, the opposite party demanded original certificates of educational qualifications/test to confirm the eligibility conditions, which were supplied to it. It was further stated that after scrutinizing all the documents, the opposite party entered into an agreement of arrangement of student visa for Australia with the complainant on 15.3.2010. It was further stated that the complainant paid Rs. 25,000 as retainer fee and the University registration fee of Rs. 23,000 was to be paid after getting the visa or visa approval. It was further stated that the complainant also paid Rs. 10,000 i.e. Rs. 5,000 each, as visa charges and medical charges, along with the passport to the opposite party. It was further stated that the complainant was assured that the visa shall be stamped within a month or two either in the present semester or next semester. It was further stated that the complainant visited the office of the opposite parties a number of times to know the status of her case but every time, she was assured that she will get admission in the next semester. It was further stated that the opposite party wasted two academic years of the complainant and precious time of her life, career and education on account of non -providing of visa, for which she paid numerous visits to the opposite party. It was further stated that the complainant also requested the opposite party to return the amount received by it but to no avail. It was further stated that the cause of action arose to the complainant in December 2012 when neither the visa was procured by the opposite party, nor it returned the money. It was further stated that the complainant also served a legal notice upon the opposite party, on 13.12.2012 but to no avail. It was further stated that the aforesaid acts of the opposite party, amounted to deficiency, in rendering service, as also indulgence into unfair trade practice. When the grievance of the complainant, was not redressed, left with no alternative, a complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (hereinafter to be called as the Act only), was filed, directing the opposite party to refund the amount of Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 10,000, paid by her, along with interest @ 12% per annum, till realization; and pay Rs. 2,00,000 as compensation towards loss of career, education and expenses incurred on travelling, to its (opposite party) office.
(2.) THE opposite party, in its written version, took up certain preliminary objections, to the effect, that the complaint was barred by limitation, as the complainant herself stated in the complaint that she approached the Company in the year 2010; and the District Forum was not having the territorial jurisdiction to entertain and try the complaint. On merits, it was denied that the complainant approached the opposite party for arranging the visa for Australia. It was stated that the complainant approached the opposite party, for arranging the Student Visa for Canada in the year 2010 as per Annexures C -1 and C -2. It was further stated that the complainant herself did not know as to for the Student Visa of which Country, she had applied. It was further stated that after the completion of services by the opposite party in the year 2010, no objection certificate (Annexure OP -1) was issued by the complainant. It was denied that Rs. 5,000 each for visa charges and medical charges were ever received by the Opposite Party. It was further stated that as per Annexure C -2, Rs. 10,000 were received as balance amount for arranging Student Visa for Canada. It was further stated that it was for the Embassy to give the name of a Doctor. It was further stated that the Embassy fee is directly received from the client, in case he/she receives the visa. It was further stated that it was the choice of the complainant to opt for the said Country and she approached the opposite party for arranging her visa after going through all the terms, conditions and formalities, of the contract of engagement. It was further stated that once the complainant opted and chose the opposite party to process her visa application, she could not take advantage that her two academic years were wasted. It was further stated that the visa was to be given by the Canadian Embassy. The opposite party was only to provide assistance for securing visa from any Embassy. It was further stated that there was no provision for refunding the amount. It was further stated that neither there was any deficiency, in rendering service, on the part of the opposite party, nor did it indulge into unfair trade practice. The remaining averments, were denied, being wrong. The complainant filed replication, wherein she reiterated all the averments, contained in the complaint, and repudiated the same, contained in the written version of the opposite party.
(3.) THE parties led evidence, in support of their case.;