Wednesday, May 17, 2017

ISKCON Bangalore ordered to return marriage hall booking money

BANGALORE MIRROR: The State Consumer Commission has directed ISKCON Bangalore to refund the amount it collected for the booking of its wedding hall. The consumer had cancelled the booking but was refused repayment. The district Consumer Forum had ruled in favour of the consumer after ISKCON failed to provide any proof that the hall had not been used by others on the same date. ISKCON approached the Commission with an appeal and produced documentary proof. The Commission not only upheld the Forum’s order but slapped a fine of Rs 2,000 on ISKCON for trying to introduce new proof after the Forum’s order.

BB Muthu Raju, a resident of Bharat Nagar had booked the Dwarakavaasa Kalyana Mantapa belonging to ISKCON for his daughter’s wedding. The wedding was to take place on March 11 and 12, 2015. He had paid Rs 1,65,150 for the use of the wedding hall. His daughter’s marriage was cancelled on that date and therefore he sought for cancellation of the booking and return of the money paid by him from ISKCON.

He claimed that he was orally told that the amount would be returned after deduction of 10 per cent of the deposit amount. But he was never paid.

He approached the Consumer Forum stating that he was a middle-class person without a regular income and if he is not refunded the amount he would be in financial crisis. ISKCON admitted that the wedding hall was booked by Muthu Raju and he had paid the deposit.

The Forum directed ISKCON to pay back the amount to Muthu Raju with interest. The Commission, however, pointed out that though the complaint was filed in 2015 and disposed of in 2016 by the Forum, ISKCON had failed to produce the “statement of account, the luxury tax details and occupancy details” before it. It was only in the Appeal before the Commission that these were submitted.

Along with the dismissal, a fine of Rs 2,000 was also imposed. The amount payable to Muthu Raju was ordered to be released to him.

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