Two complainants had paid the amount towards membership

The Dakshina Kannada Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked Country Club Ltd. here to refund Rs. 1.7 lakh, along with 12 per cent interest, to two women, who wanted to become its members lured by its offer of complimentary residential sites. The club has also been asked to pay litigation cost of Rs. 1,000 each to the complainants.

While R. Nagarathna of Gandhinagar here paid Rs.1.25 lakh to become “Mr. Kool” member of the club, her daughter paid Rs.45,000 for the same purpose but stopped further payment as the club was not responding favourably to her mother's requests to show and register a site in her name, as promised by it.  The club had promised “sites with best amenities” free of cost to those who enrolled for “Mr. Kool” membership. The club in its letter of March 15, 2008 to Ms. Nagarathna stated that a “site at Vedic Country Spa, Project II KOOL, Phase ‘B' — site no. 927 (measuring 1089 sq. ft)” had been allotted to her and demanded that Rs.15,000 be paid towards site confirmation and administrative charges, including the cost of stamp paper, registration and maintenance charges, for 30 months. Ms. Nagarathna had served a legal notice on the club saying that she had paid the entire amount as demanded by the club. She sought refund of the amount, along with interest. 

The club contended that as per the terms and conditions, a member had to make payments within 45 days from the date of payment of membership fee and failure to do so would lead to forfeiture of the fee. It claimed that there was no deficiency in its service. The forum said that the club was bound to register a site without raising any additional demand. Its demand for additional money was unjustifiable and amounted to deficiency in service and unfair trade practice. The daughter sought refund of Rs. 45,000 she had paid. 

Asha K. Shetty, president of the forum, in her order on September 15, said that the club had failed to give a satisfactory explanation for not showing the site to Ms. Nagarathna.

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