Before the District Consumer Redressal Commission II, New Delhi
Complaint Case No. CC/2/2019
Devvrat Vs. Makemytrip India Pvt. Ltd.
Brief facts of the case:
The Complainant made a booking through Mobile of 6 persons (4 adults + 2 children) 2 room at the Pacific Inn 360 degree Resort, Ratta Panni, Neelkantt Road, Rishikesh via Make My Trip. The Complainant paid a total of Rs. 14,005/- through his credit card for the said booking. It was stated that the Complainant made a call to the aforesaid Resort to inform them about their arrival/check-in time. It was told by the Resort person that the accommodation in the Resort was sold out and there was no vacancy. The Complainant made a call immediately “Call Centre of the OP” informing about the unavailability of accommodation. The Call Centre kept the Complainant on waiting for 12 minutes. The agent of OP informed that there was no problem and room booked to the Resort in question stood confirmed. The said call got recorded. The said Resort was located at secluded place and in the midst of thick forest. It was further alleged that on reaching near the said Resort, he made call to the attendants of Resort to send errand boy to show the way to Resort. After
long waiting, two boys came and lifted two baggage and they were made to carry remaining baggages. Thereafter it was told that there was no room available with said Resort. The Complainants were made to walk on the edge of the open drain around 500 mtrs.
The Complainant had to shell out the huge amount for taking another Resort. Due to cold experienced in the night, the toddlers went down with heavy fever. The Complainant contacted 24 hours custom care Call Centre of the OP but they did not provide any assistance whatsoever.
The Complainant filed the subject consumer case to redress his grievances.
The OP, Make My Trip, filed filed its written statement interalia raising some objections/submissions. MMT said that it just acted as facilitator for booking of Hotel Pacific Inn 360 Degree Resort. The Complainant himself booked the hotel/Resort via Mobile App of the OP. If at all, there was a fault as alleged made on the part of Resort. In this regard the provisions of Section 230 of Indian Contract Act 1872 are invoked. The agent cannot be held responsible on behalf of principal. Reliance is also placed on “Prem Nath Motor Vs. Anurag Mitra (2008) CPJ 37 SC” wherein it has been held that Section 230 of Contract Act 1872 categorically makes it clear that an agent is not liable for the acts of a disclosed principal.
Reliance was also placed on the case of Bharathi Knitting Co. Vs. DHL World Wide Express Courier- wherein it has been held that the Commission/Forum are not entitled to modify the terms of agreement. Complicated case like this, should be referred to Civil Court. Case law of Citicorp Maruti Finance Ltd Vs. S. Vijaya Lakshmi and HDFC Bank Ltd Vs. Kanwal Ohri & Ors (RP No. 2001 of 2022) also refer the same ratios. The OP also invoked the provision of “Force Majeure” circumstances.
After giving due consideration to the arguments and records, the Hon’ble Commission observed as follows:
While going through the material, it was found that the booking was made through Mobile App of the OP. It brings to the conclusion that the Complainant was in direct contact of OP and further details were made available by the OP through its App. Hence, there is no reason not to believe the contention of the Complainant to this extent that the booking was made through OP only. Hence, OP should be responsible for the deficiency in service which ought to have been available as per terms & conditions of the booking. The contention of the OP for relationship with Complainant that of Principal-Agent is not found convincing therefore the invocation of provision of Section 230 of Contract Act 1872 is unwarranted and undesirable so much so the ratios of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the cases referred above. The facts of these cases are not pari materia of the present case. The OP has also invoked of the “Force Majeure” as applicable to the circumstances of the present case. The Complainant vide replication rebutted the aforesaid clauses of Force Majeure. He further stated that there was no such mis-happening such as acts of God, fire, strikes, embargo etc. and misplaces reliance on such unusual clause, amply makes clear that the OP has no ground to defend its case.
The OP is wholly responsible for the deficiency in services. Therefore, OP is directed to make the payment of Rs. 24,000/- as requested by the Complainant in its complaint after deducting the amount of Rs. 5000/- as claimed by OP for meals & one night stay. The Complainant is also entitled Rs. 30,000/- towards compensation, malpractices, legal expenses etc. The above amount is to be paid within 2 months from the receipt of this order failing which the rate of interest @ 7 % p.a. shall be levied on above amounts of Rs. 24,000/- till its realization.
MONIKA A. SRIVASTAVA PRESIDENT
KIRAN KAUSHAL MEMBER
UMESH KUMAR TYAGI MEMBER