BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM, KAITHAL.
Complaint Case No.160 of 2019.
Date of institution: 03.06.2019.
Date of decision:25.02.2020.
Balinder Rapria S/o Rajpal age about 30 years, R/o Rapria Patti, Village Balu, Tehsil and District Kaithal.
Dream 11, through its CEO, 1901-A, Naman Midtown, SB Marg, Elphinstone (W), near Indiabulls Finance Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400013.
Before: Sh. D.N.Arora, President.
Sh. Rajbir Singh, Member.
Smt. Suman Rana, Member.
Present: Sh. Vikram Singh Nain, Advocate, for the complainant.
Sh. Hardeep Singh Ranu, Advocate for the OP.
The complainant has filed the present complaint under Section 12 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986, with the averments that the complainant has taken part in the Op’s online contest namely Dream 11 Fantacy League 2018 Caribbean Premier League T20 held in August and September, 2018 and paid the amount to play this contest and won it. It is alleged that the complainant received an e-mail from the Op confirming the winning of prize by the complainant. The winning prize of the competition was “all expenses paid trip to the Island Paradise where you promised to show final of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda on 24.11.2018 for the winner alongwith one person of choice of the winner.” The Op failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the above-mentioned prize won by the complainant. So, it is a clear cut case of deficiency in service on the part of Op and prayed for acceptance of complaint. Hence, this complaint.
2. Upon notice, the OP appeared before this Forum and contested the complaint by filing their reply raising preliminary objections with regard to locus-standi; maintainability; cause of action; jurisdiction; that the complainant is not consumer of Op as enshrined in Section 2(1)(d) of C.P.Act, 1986; it is submitted that the complainant was declared as the winner of the contest. The Dream 11 team contacted him on 24th September, 2018 congratulating him on his win and informed him that the team would contact him for the further process. There were calls and discussions between the Dream 11 team and the complainant wherein he was informed that the visa has to be procured by him only. But the complainant kept on insisting that Dream 11 procures a visa for him. The complainant was requested several times to procure the Visa but he failed to procure the same for Antigua and Barbuda, due to which he could not visit the ICC Women’s World Cup Final. It is further stated that the answering Op was not required to offer any alternate location to the complainant as per the terms of the contest but still the answering OP gave an option to the complainant vide e-mail dt. 05.01.2019 to pick any location in Australia where he could visit. The answering Op provided all assistance to the complainant and was ready to provide visa charges also but the condition for procuring the visa remained the same and it was the sole responsibility of the complainant to procure the visa. There is no deficiency in service on the part of Op. On merits, the objections raised in the preliminary objections are reiterated and so, prayed for dismissal of complaint.
3. The complainant tendered into evidence affidavit Ex.CW1/A and documents Annexure-C1 to Annexure-C8 and thereafter, closed the evidence.
4. On the other hand, the Op tendered into evidence affidavit Ex.RW1/A and documents Annexure-R1 to Annexure-R3 and thereafter, closed the evidence.
5. We have heard the learned Counsel for both the parties and perused the record carefully.
6. It is proved on the file that the complainant has paid the amount which was being debited from the bank account of complainant as charged on account of participating the contest which is evident from the bank statement account as per Annexure-C7. Hence, the complainant falls within the ambit of consumer as per Section 2(1)(d) of Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
There is no dispute that the complainant was declared as a winner of the contest as per e-mail sent to the complainant on 24.09.2018 as per Annexure-C3 and it is clearly mentioned that the complainant was congratulated on a win and informed that you and one lucky person of your choice have won an all expenses paid trip to the Island paradise to see the ICC Women T20 World Cup to be held on 24.11.2018 at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda. Thereafter, the Op communicated the complainant vide e-mails dt. 26.11.2018 and 09.12.2018 as per Annexure-C6 and C5 respectively after date of world cup match i.e. 24.11.2018. In the said e-mails the Op apologized for their guilt and offered the complainant towards upcoming match in near future in other country. But the Op has taken the contrary stand in the written statement that the complainant was informed that visa has to be procured by the complainant and the complainant failed to procure the visa and due to above-said reason, he could not visit the ICICI World Cup Final, so, there is no deficiency in service on the part of Op.
7. We have perused the e-mails dt. 24.09.2018, 26.11.2018 and 09.12.2018 and there is no other correspondence between the complainant and Op. If we presume that the complainant was bound to take the visa but they have not made any correspondence with the complainant in this regard. Meaning thereby, the Op did not bother to make the arrangement for the complainant to watch the match dt. 24.11.2018 alongwith his friend and had contacted the complainant after schedule of world cup which clearly proves the deficiency in service on the part of Op. As per Section 2(3) of Consumer Protection Act, 1986, it is mentioned as under:-
- The offering of gifts, prizes or other items with the intention of not providing them as offered or creating impression that something is being given or offered free of charge when it is fully or partly covered by the amount charged in the transaction as a whole;
- The conduct of any contest, lottery, game of chance or skill, for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, the sale, use or supply of any product or any business interest;
(3A) withholding from the participants of any scheme offering gifts, prizes or other items free of charge, on its closure the information about final results of the scheme.
We are of the view that the Op is indulged in business organizing online contest throughout the world and getting/earning handsome amount by organizing such contest but they do not bother to fulfill their promise to the winner which tantamounts to malpractice on their part.
Now we are coming on the point of compensation. The complainant has claimed the damages on account of physical and mental agony to the tune of Rs.10,00,000/- as-well-as Rs.20,000/- as litigation expenses. To assess the loss, this forum has collected the information from the Internet and found the cost of round trip ticket as Rs.80,000/- per person during the year 2018. We assess the expenses of staying, meals, accommodation etc. at least, they had to stay for two days which may not be less than Rs.20,000/- per person for two days.
8. Thus, as a sequel of above discussion, we are of the view that the complainant is entitled for Rs.1,60,000/- as cost of tickets of two persons and Rs.40,000/- as assessed above (the expenses of staying, meals and accommodation etc. for two days for two persons) and total amounting to Rs.2,00,000/- alongwtith interest. So, we allow the complaint accordingly and direct the Op to pay Rs.2,00,000/- to the complainant alongwith interest @ 9% p.a. from the date of filing of present complaint till its realization. The Op is further directed to pay Rs.5,000/- to the complainant as litigation expenses. Let the order be complied with within 30 days from the date of preparation of copy of this order. A copy of said order be supplied to the parties free of costs. File be consigned to record-room after due compliance.
Announced in open court:
(Suman Rana), (Rajbir Singh)