Con­sumer court asks in­sti­tute to re­fund fee to stu­dent

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Dehradun Con­sumer Dis­putes Re­dres­sal Fo­rum has di­rected a Doon-based ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion, BFIT Group of In­sti­tu­tions, to re­fund ad­mis­sion fee of Rs 77,040 to a girl stu­dent from Jodh­pur, Ra­jasthan, who opted out of a B.Com (Hons) course be­fore it started. The in­sti­tute was also di­rected to pay her an ad­di­tional sum of Rs 15,000 as com­pen­sa­tion for caus­ing men­tal agony and Rs 5,000 to­wards the cost of lit­i­ga­tion.

In her com­plaint filed on 11 Novem­ber 2015, Ni­harika Pali­wal stated that af­ter see­ing an on­line ad­ver­tise­ment of BFIT Group of In­sti­tu­tions, she took ad­mis­sion in the B.Com (Hons) course for the 2015–18 aca­demic ses­sion and de­posited a fee of Rs 77,040 on 23 July 2015.

Pali­wal in her com­plaint said that when she later vis­ited the col­lege, she found it lack­ing in the fa­cil­i­ties ad­ver­tised on the In­ter­net. She then with­drew ad­mis­sion and filed an ap­pli­ca­tion with the in­sti­tute to re­fund her fee. She was told that the amount would be re­funded af­ter the in­sti­tu­tion held its an­nual meet­ing in Au­gust 2015.

The com­plainant said that when she ap­proached the in­sti­tute for re­fund of her fee in Au­gust, she was told to come in Septem­ber. She even sent a le­gal no­tice to the ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tute through her lawyer for the fee re­fund but she did not get the de­sired re­sponse. Ag­grieved, Pali­wal filed a com­plaint with the district con­sumer re­dres­sal fo­rum.

Dur­ing the trial, the ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tute failed to send any­one to counter the com­plaint filed against them. Af­ter con­sid­er­ing the ar­gu­ments put for­ward by com­plainant’s lawyer, the con­sumer or­dered the BFIT Group of In­sti­tu­tions to re­fund Rs 77,040 to the lit­i­gant within 30 days as she did not pur­sue the course.

Bank or­dered to com­pen­sate ci­ti­zen for freez­ing ac­count

The Gu­jarat State Con­sumer Dis­pute Re­dres­sal Com­mis­sion has asked Bank of Bar­oda, Su­rat, to pay Rs 1.20 lakh as com­pen­sa­tion to a nona­ge­nar­ian, whose ac­counts had been frozen by the bank in Au­gust 2012, lead­ing to his cheque be­ing dis­hon­oured. The State Com­mis­sion has, while up­hold­ing the or­der of Su­rat Con­sumer Dis­pute Re­dres­sal Fo­rum, or­dered the bank to pay com­pen­sa­tion with 9.5 per cent in­ter­est from 2012 on the money that had been frozen, and also to pay com­pen­sa­tion for the cheque that had bounced.

Act­ing on the ob­jec­tion re­gard­ing er­ror in his father's sig­na­ture raised by a son of Jayan­ti­lal Lak­dawala, a re­tired govern­ment em­ployee, the bank, in Au­gust 2012, had frozen Lak­dawala's ac­counts, in­clud­ing his per­sonal sav­ings ac­counts, as well as one where he had added three of his sons as joint hold­ers. This had led to Lak­dawala's cheque of Rs 1.35 lakh, sent to one of his daugh­ters-in-law, be­ing dis­hon­oured.

Lak­dawala had is­sued the dis­hon­oured cheque from his per­sonal sav­ings ac­count, which he had ex­pected to hold Rs 26 lakh. Un­known to him, one of his sons had dis­puted his ear­lier trans­fer of Rs 26 lakh from the joint ac­count to his per­sonal ac­count, on the ground that the sig­na­ture on the cheque was er­ro­neous. The bank had cho­sen to freeze Lak­dawala’s ac­counts, and the cheque of Rs 1.35 lakh bounced.

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