Immigration consultancy firm to pay Rs 55,000 to Ludhiana couple for deficiency in services
The firm is in the dock for not returning the visa processing fee of 300 USD (approximately Rs 20,000) to the complainant which was returned by the Canadian high commission after his plea of a permanent residency (PR) visa to Canada was rejected.Updated: Sep 12, 2018 11:41 IST
The district consumer disputes redressal forum in Ludhiana has directed the Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services Limited (WWICS) to pay Rs 55,000 to a Ludhiana-based couple for causing harassment and mental agony. The fine also includes litigation costs and return of visa fee with interest.
The firm is in the dock for not returning the visa processing fee of 300 USD (approximately Rs 20,000) to the complainant which was returned by the Canadian high commission after his plea of a permanent residency (PR) visa to Canada was rejected. While Rs 40,000 was awarded to the complainant on account of loss of 300 USD since 2005, Rs10,000 was awarded for mental agony and harassment. Besides, Rs 5,000 was awarded as litigation expenses.
Complainant Arvind Kumar Sharma had approached the WWICS in 2005 for going to Canada with his wife Anu Sharma and son Bhavesh Shounik on the basis of PR visa.
In his complaint, Arvind said the firm asked them to pay Rs 25,000 immediately so as to avail the benefit of a special scheme of saving Rs 10,000. He said after the amount was paid and formalities had been completed, he joined IELTS classes as per the recommendations of the firm. He was asked to pay Rs 25,000 for the classes and made to sign a contract form of WWICS and Global Strategic Business Consultancy (GSBC) in back date. Arvind also paid 300 USD as visa processing fee to WWICS on April 27, 2005.
He was then asked to choose from packages with different fee structure —1,200 USD, 1,400 USD and 1,700 USD. The complainant said he opted for gold package as per which service of the company included overseas professional assessments/endorsement, settlement and placement services. He was also told that 300 USD fee to Global Company, Dubai, was liable to be returned.
However, complainant’s application was rejected and the Canadian high commission returned the processing fee, but 300 USD taken by the immigration firm, was not returned. This is when the immigration firm was liable to return the charges received from the complainant along with fee for IELTS and coaching classes.
The complainant said his application was rejected and the high commission had returned the visa processing fee, but the fee taken by the immigration firm was not returned to him.
It was stated by him that the immigration firm was liable to return the charges received from the complainant with fee for IELTS and coaching classes.
The immigration firm stated that the Canadian high commission (CHC) terminated the case of the complainant in 2013 due to enactment of the Jobs, Growth and Long Term Prosperity Act.
The firm said they provided all due services as per entitlement of complainant for getting the case processed by the CHC. Denying deficiency in services on their part, the WWICS official said in view of the new act, termination of case took place because of operation of law.
What the forum stated
The forum ruled that while there was no deficiency on part of WWICS as far as submitting the application was concerned.
“If for doing IELTS, complainant paid fees, then, the same was for fulfilling the requisite qualification for PR visa. The fee cannot be ordered to be refunded by way of compensation even because fault in not getting IELTS cleared remains of complainant and not of WWICS,” stated the forum.
“The complainant was not aware of procedure of obtaining visa or of process thereof and as such, virtually amount of 300 USD after being accepted from complainant was forwarded by them,” observed the forum.
First Published: Sep 12, 2018 09:47 IST