Submitted by Editor on Thu, 2016-01-07 09:52 Bengaluru: We often hear about cancellation/postponement of marriages. Generally the brunt is borne by the bride’s parents with the choultry owners/ management refusing to refund the advance paid by them at the time of hall booking in case the event is cancelled or postponed (Most of the time, the bride’s side is made to pay for the wedding hall!!). Generally choultry owners demand 50 percent of the total rent as advance payment. However, the scene is expected to change from now on. If the choultry owners continue with the same policy, the District Consumer Forum is going to pounce on them. Two separate orders issued by the Mysuru District Consumer Forum has made it clear that choultry owners cannot withhold the advance by the bride’s parents in the event of cancellation of marriage. The Consumer Court has observed that non-refunding of advance amounts to unfair trade practice. Nagappa Sait, a resident of Mysuru had faced a similar situation and knocked the door of consumer forum. Sait had booked one of the prestigious wedding halls in Mysuru City-Ananda Vihara Kalyana Mantapa-by paying an advance of Rs 50,000! But the wedding got cancelled and Sait requested the hall manager to refund the entire amount. But manager refused to refund the same. Manager’s claim was that there is no provision to refund the advance amount as per the rules and regulations of the hall. Manager also told him that already they had paid money to the agents for arranging dining tables, chairs, vessels, grand chairs, and lightings. He also said that hall management suffered financial loss due to cancellation of the marriage. However, Sait did not give up. He approached the consumer forum. Now consumer court has directed the hall management to refund Rs.50,000 to Sait with an interest at the rate of 18 percent per annum. The Forum further directed to pay Rs 3,000 towards mental agony and 2,000 towards litigation expenses of the complainant! But this is not an isolated case. In another such case, K H Prakash, another resident of Mysore also faced similar problems. He booked Jain Bhavan Kalyana Mantapa situated on Dewans Road, Lakshmipuram in Mysuru for his daughter’s engagement. The engagement got cancelled due to the death of one of his close relatives. When Prakash demanded the refund of Rs 6,000 advance, the manager of the hall refused. Alleging it as deficiency in service, Prakash filed a case in District Consumer Forum. Manager of the hall said that Prakash, while doing the booking, had agreed for all the terms and conditions laid by the hall. He argued that Kalyana mantapa was not liable to refund the advance amount and hence there was no deficiency of service on its part. But the Forum stated that such arbitrary rules and regulations formed by the hall amount to unfair trade practice. Thus Forum directed Kalyana Mantapa manager to pay Rs 6,000 with an interest of 18 percent per annum. Along with this the Forum ordered the hall management to pay Rs 2,000 as penalty and Rs 1,000 towards litigation expenses.