Refund of advance paid for kalyana mantapam

This query is : Resolved 
 

(Querist)
31 May 2020

Sir
I booked a kalyanamantap for date 2-7-2020 at chennai.My son who has to come from USA for his son's upanayanam could not come here due to Corona outbreak both in India and USA.So I cancelled the booking as early as May 4 th of 2020 through SMS to the Mantap owner. Now the mantap owner refuses to refund the advance of Rs 25000 paid during Feb 2020.What is the recourse to me and if so what is the proceedure and can I get back the full refund.Please enlighten me
Gurumoorti


Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
31 May 2020

Have you executed any agreement or settled in writing the terms of the booking including the consequences of the cancellation. If yes, then act accordingly and if not then personally meet him and try to settle the issue. You may take help of some VIP person of the locality.

Dr J C Vashista (Expert)
01 June 2020

Sort out the problem amicably.
if the settlement is not possible issue notice for refund of money.

Sudhir Kumar (Expert)
01 June 2020

prima-facie you have no right to refund as he never refused services to you. You could not avail so due to reasons beyond his control.

There is a clear example tow cases taught in first year of LLB in contract law.

1. One let out his balcony to someone to watch a procession and procession did not take place but he was held entitled to rent. Your case is such.

2. One lets out his auditorium for a function and auditorium was destroyed by fire. He was held not liable for rent. Your is not the case.

Sudhir Kumar (Expert)
01 June 2020

So as suggested above only social remedy is there. Law will come to no help of your rather law will help him to recover balance expenditure.

P. Venu (Expert)
01 June 2020

Has the marriage also been postponed/cancelled?

K Rajasekharan (Expert)
01 June 2020

This seems to be what is called a 'frustrated contract' where Section 56 of the contract act would apply.

'Frustration of a contract' makes the contract void, and discharges the parties of the contractual obligations.

However, under Section 65 of the Act when an agreement has become void, the person who has received any advantage under such agreement is 'bound' to restore it or to make compensation for it, from whom he received it. 

The section applies to contracts rendered void by frustration, occured without the fault or control of either party during Covid lockdown period too.

Kindly examine this aspect with the help of a local lawyer, learned in commercial/contract law.  This is an under utilised and less known area for our ordinary lawyers.

An article published by me to provide an overview of  this kind of issue, is available at http://lawwatch.in/2020/04/18/force%20majeure/

Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
01 June 2020

I do agree with the wise advice of expert Rajasekharan.

Rajendra K Goyal (Expert)
02 June 2020

Please refer the terms and conditions of booking.
What were the conditions for refund entitlement in case booking is cancelled by your side?
If under the agreed terms, the amount should be refunded, you are entitled.
Show all documents to local lawyer and may file case for recovery if agreed terms so warrant.

Gurumoorthy.V (Querist)
30 June 2020

The mantapam owneragrees for refund but he is not specifying the date. He says that the refund will be made only after the pandemic situation goes off or else as soon as he receives money.Is it correct to take when there is no specific committment on the part of him Please enlighten
Gurumoorti

P. Venu (Expert)
30 June 2020

If so, you may try to get the assurance from him in writing.

Rajendra K Goyal (Expert)
30 June 2020

You can get a post dated cheque if he agrees to repay.



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