National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): The Coram of R.K. Agarwal (President) and Dr S.M. Kantikar (Member) addressed a matter wherein a father had to face embarrassment and mental agony due to the sudden cancellation of rooms booked for his daughter’s marriage which resulted in claiming of compensation.

As per the facts of the case, the marriage of Complainant 1’s daughter was fixed and about 6 months in advance 25 rooms were booked for stay in ‘The Fern-An Ecotel Hotel’ – OP. After a span of 4 ½ months of booking, the hotel sent an email to the complainant about cancelling the said booking on the ground of the non-availability of rooms because of maintenance work.

Further, it was alleged that the reason for maintenance by the OP was completely false and malafide, though the hotel booking was open on the website during the said period.

Aggrieved by the deficiency in service, the conduct and negligent act of the OP, the consumer complaint was filed before the State Commission for Rs 23,45,500 for damages and mental agony.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Coram noted that there was no existence of any agreement between the parties and the appellant cancelled the booking and offered to refund the booking amount, but the complainants did not prefer to collect the amount but filed the Consumer complaint before the State Commission with the highly inflated claim.

For the above, Commission stated that bare quotation is not a confirmation of booking and there should be an agreement between the parties.

“The memories of marriage ceremonies are lifetime events in the life of bride and bridegroom and their family members to make their moments memorable. In our country, certainly, it is not an easy task for the parents to arrange their daughter’s marriage in a five-star hotel in place like Jaipur or any big cities. All of sudden cancellation of booking about 3 months prior to the date of marriage on account of maintenance is not acceptable reason.”

Elaborating further, Commission added that, in most of the star hotels, the maintenance schedule /calendar is fixed well in advance. As in the instant case, the Opposite Party was under the knowledge that the maintenance work would be completed up to 31.3.2012. Therefore, at the first instance only, the Opposite party would have rejected the booking.

In Coram’s opinion, the hotel management was at serious fault, which was well aware of their schedule of maintenance and the room reservations well in advance and the unilateral cancellation of rooms certainly caused huge loss and mental agony to the complainant and his family.

Hence, the act of the OP amounted to a deficiency of service which needed just and reasonable compensation to the complainants.

First appeal was allowed in view of the above discussion and OP was directed to pay Rs 2,53,950 to the complainants along with interest @9% per annum from the date of cancellation of the booking. [Fern-An-Ecotel Hotel v. Navratan Nahata, FA No. 750 of 2013, decided on 21-1-2022]

Advocates before the Commission:

For the Appellant : Mr. Sanjiv Arora, Advocate Mr. Shubham Arora, Advocate

For the Respondent : Mr. Ashok Mehta, Senior Advocate

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