IN THE COURT OF SOHAIB AHMED RUMIDISTRICT & SESSIONS JUDGE/PRESIDING OFFICER DISTRICT CONSUMER COURT, GUJRANWALA
Case No. 279/08
Kaneez Farhat Vs. Haji Arif Mehmood, Al-Madina Travels, G.T Road, Gujranwala (Respondents)
Case of the complainant is that in June 2008 she approached the respondent Haji Arif Mehmood who deals in traveling for a lesser pilgrimage (Umra) tour. She was offered a complete package comprising of transportation from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia and inside the Holy City of Mecca and Madina including food and lodging of best quality. According to the complainant, she was promised to be included in a female group of pilgrims.
As per demand Rs50,000/-were handed over to the respondent. She was given different dates for departure which was delayed by the respondent purposely to extort money and ultimately she was constrained to pay Rs. 25,000/- in addition to the amount already paid, to the respondent. In the airplane which took off on July 5th 2008 for Jeddah she was allotted a seat in the rear portion which caused the journey fatigued because of heavy noise produced by the engine.
An old man namely Syed Bakhat Shah of Gujranwala was forcibly made her partner for the whole time during the tour. No guide was provided during the visit of sacred places in Saudi Arabia. Low standard residence was provided at Mecca and Madina. The complainant enumerated the following points showing “deficient service” by the respondent during the Umra tour, viz;
a) Frequent alteration in the traveling schedule.
b) Overcharging of Rs. 25000/-.
c) At the time of departure provision of food during the tour was
d) She was sent alone in the company of an old man instead of with a
e) Traveling by air through allotment of a seat in the rear portion.
f) Substandard residence in the hotel.
2 of 3
g) No guide was arranged to carryout the visit of sacred places.
Respondent replied that she has filed the complaint on the instigation of one whose partnership in the traveling business was extinguished by the respondent in order to blackmail. According to the package settled between the parties airline return ticket in bombay class, building resident at Mecca and Madina alongwith transport was to be provided by the respondent.
It was made clear to the complainant that the Umra group had set on 07-05-2008 but she insisted to perform Umra and on her desire a fake Mehram namely Bakhat Shah(whose name was pointed out by the complaint herself) was arranged to carry out the sacred journey in the company of complainant. Amount of Rs. 50,000/- was received from the complainant as package fee in the end of June 2008.
After completing the visa formalities of the complainant and her fake father, Airline ticket was arranged. Ultimately complainant was dispatched on 05-07-2008 through Saudi Airline. The air fright had been enhanced with effect from 01-07-2008 by the airline therefore she was furthercharged Rs. 25,000/- .
In order to prove her case complainant appeared as PW1, produced Muhammad Ashfaq as PW2, Abdul Waheed as PW3 and Mushtaq
Ahmed as PW4. she produced copy of legal notice mark “A”, copy of receipt dispatch of legal notice mark “B” and affidavit Exhibit “PA”. Whereasrespondent appeared as RW1.
I have heard arguments and perused the record.In this case it is to be ascertained as to what was the package offered by the respondent. Complainant has not produced any thing in black and white in this respect. According to her statement she was promised to travel within a group of pilgrims. The residence, transportation and food was to be provided by the respondent. Apart from it, respondent has to provide 5 Kg Dates and the Holy water as well. PW2 Muhammad Ishfaq, the husband of complainant has said nothing about the settlement of package.
Same is the position of PW3 on this point, PW4 Mushtaq Ahmed who is ex-partner in the respondent’s firm stated that residence, food, Dates and Holy water was included in the package. On the other hand it transpires from the pleadings and the evidence that return ticket of air journey from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia, transport inside Saudi Arabia, building residence at Mecca and Madina was settled between the parties.
What is admitted that the building residence was not provided, Instead, residence in the hotel was provided. To this extent deviation 3 of 3on the part of the respondent from the settled package is there. As far as sending the complainant with a female group is concerned she was made clear that the group has departed and on her own desire Bakhat Shah was attached as a traveling partner. She is a consenting party to this extent. It is in the evidence that as per rules a women cannot perform Umra without the company of her Mehram (the person in prohibited degree).
It is very strange that complainant, a young women was determined to perform a sacred and religious element of Umra in the company of a fake Mehram, who was stranger to her. To do a pious job in an un pious manner. As far as frequent change in the traveling schedule is concerned respondent can not be held responsible for the same because it was beyond his control to receive Rs. 25000/- from the complainant due to enhancement in the air fright seems to be justified. Similarly allotment of seat in rear portion of flight is not the matter within the control of the respondent.
Moreover, such a seating is considered to be more safe in the air journey. Extraordinary noise at this corner which is away from the engine is out of question. As far as provision of food during the tour is concerned the respondent at the time of departure has pointed out to the complainant that she has to take food at her own expenses which is a violation of the contract.
The respondent has been found guilty of providing deficient service to the extent of residential facility and failure to provide food during the tour. He could not provide building residence to complainant. Respondent is therefore, directed to pay Rs. 6000/- to the complainant, the amount claimed and spent on food and Rs. 4000/- for not providing building residence Rs. 1000/- as legal expenses is also awarded alongwith Rs. 2200/- as counsel fee. Respondent is directed to pay all above said amount to the complainant within one month of passing of this judgment. File be consigned to the record room after its due completion.
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