The Haj Committee which is established under the Haj Committee Act, 2002, does not render its services for any profit and it collects that amount which is incurred to arrange for the Haj pilgrimage. It is established only to facilitate the pilgrimage of Muslims for Haj and matters connected therewith, therefore it is ousted from the scope of Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
In a revision petition from an order of Rajasthan State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission allowing the complainants to claim compensation from the Haj Committee of India, preferred by the Haj Committee before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Committee (NCDRC), it was observed by Hon’ble Justice V. K. Jain, the Presiding Member, that Haj Committee does not fall under the ambit of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and therefore the complainant cannot ask for compensation from the committee. It was observed that the complainants who opted for ‘Green Category’ amongst the three options available to them which is charged at a price of Rs.96,940/- but their name appeared in the additional quota list and by the time arrangements for their pilgrimage was made the rates of Riyal had already soared from Rs.96,940/- to Rs.1,06,742/-. Therefore, in the matter of Haj Committee of India v. Abbas Ali & Anr. NCDRC said that it is pertinent to consider clause no. 18 of the Haj Guidelines-2008 which reads as follows:
“18. I understand that Haj Committee of India, constituted under the Act of Parliament renders service to the Pilgrims without any consideration. I also understand that the services of Haj Committee of India are free of charge. Haj Committee of India, as such does not come within the purview of Consumer Protection Act of 1986. I therefore, shall not claim any compensation against Haj Committee of India under Consumer Protection Act.”
And also, the fact that Haj Committee does not render services with profit motive.
Therefore, NCDRC held that the complainants cannot be said to be consumers of the Haj Committee of India within the meaning of Section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 incapacitating them from claiming any compensation from the Committee.
In the concluding remark the NCDRC also observed that as every pilgrim applicant is required to sign the above mentioned guidelines therefore they have agreed to the ratio decidendi of this case.
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