For failing to fulfil the commitment of sending a man to the desired destination, the district consumer disputes redressal forum has ordered a city-based immigration firm to compensate Rs 25,000 for causing him mental agony.
The firm has also been asked to refund Rs 53,000 paid by the complainant to an Australia-based skill assessment body, Vetassess, after the immigration firm asked him to do so.
The order was pronounced after a complaint by Patiala based Amit Kumar Verma and his wife Suruchi Verma against Worldwide Immigration Consultancy, Phase 6, SAS Nagar, through its managing director and branch office in Sector 22.
As per the complaint, Amit Kumar, through his wife, had approached the firm’s Sector-22 branch for permanent residency in Canada. But, the officials insisted Kumar had a strong case for Australia as compared to Canada. Kumar averred he paid the requisite fee for proceedings of his case, but the firm, for a long time, failed to reply him regarding the status of his application.
Amit further claimed that he received an e-mail that he was qualified for Australia; another mail sent to him stated information regarding full job description, skill-level requirement and programme eligibility details.
An agreement was executed between the complainant and the opposite parties on August 12, 2013, after Kumar paid Rs 56,180.
He was later told that to get immigration in Australia, he should have an experience of three years as customer service manager, while to get PR in Canada, he must have worked as financial analyst during 2007-2010. He contended that such conditions were never disclosed earlier, and moreover, he was many times forced to make a few illegal changes in his resume, against which he protested. He later deposited 866 Australian dollars (Rs 53,000) as fees of a skill assessment body, Vetassess; the result of the assessment was intimated in negative. Meanwhile, the respondents averred Vetassess assessed him positive on educational qualification but negative on skill assessment. They added that Amit had an option for the reassessment, which could be lodged within 90 days of the assessment outcome, but he chose not to opt.
The forum observed, “No one can estimate the pain and agony of a person who could not get the desired destination i.e. settlement in abroad, as in the present case, which was the ultimate dream of the complainants.”
Prosecution counsel Daljit Singh told that since during the pendency of the complaint proceedings, the respondents had refunded Rs 55,000 (retainership fee), thus they have been asked to refund only Rs 53,000, the fees paid to Vetaassess.