A private club which sought to increase its number of members with alluring schemes has been ordered by a consumer court to refund the total membership fee of over R2 lakh to a member after it failed to provide the facilities assured to him.
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (CDRF) in its five-page order directed Country Club (India) Limited to refund the membership fee to Noida-resident BR Bhaskar.
"The respondent (club) absented in these proceedings after filing of written statement and failed to furnish their evidence…we hold the respondent to be guilty of deficiency of service and dispose of the complaint with a direction to the respondent to refund the amount of R2.25 lakh with interest at 9% per annum," the consumer redressal forum said.
The court also directed the club to bear the litigation cost to the tune of Rs. 4,000.
Country Club floated a scheme called Mr Cool Global Parivar Membership under which Bhaskar paid a total membership fee of Rs. 2.25 lakh and was assured a 2,000sq feet plot as a gift at Kolad near Mumbai, for which he would have to bear only the registration charges and yearly subscription.
The club had also told Bhaskar that three more plots would be allotted at Vedic Spa, Bangalore, and a free holiday to Goa, inclusive of airfare and accommodation.
Bhaskar realised that the terms and conditions to the free plot of land were stiff and he would have to bear additional developmental costs which were not mentioned in the scheme. The club was also silent on the free holiday and the three other plots in Bangalore.
The club, in its defence, had asserted that the allotment of the plot is subject to terms and conditions which had been explained to Bhaskar.
Holding the club guilty of deficiency in service, a bench of MP Mehndiratta and Honey Shriyan said, "In our considered view, the evidence of the complainant is sufficient to prove that despite the fact that he had deposited the total membership fee of
Rs. 2.25 lakh, the agreed facilities had not been provided to him and the condition of payment of development charges with respect to the plot."