JUDGEMENTS FOR REFERENCE
Withdrawing from a Course
Complainant: Swapnil Kadam Defendant: SIG Engineering College, Pune (SIGCE) Ruling by: Maharashtra State Consumer Forum
In a recent case, the Maharashtra State Consumer Forum ordered the refund of full fee with costs to a student who took admission in one college and moved to another. Even if the college puts out a notice that they will not refund the fee, or make you sign an agreement about non-refundability of fee, it is bad in law. Many consumer courts have held such an opinion and ruled in favour of the student.
Offering Unapproved Programme
Complainant: Vaibhav Saxena Defendant: Indian Institute of Aeronautics Ruling by: Delhi District Consumer Forum
While the institute claimed it had approval from Distance Education Council (DEC), the students proved it wrong. So the forum ordered complete refund of fee and came down heavily on the institute. “It is beyond imagination how much trauma must have been caused to the students who lost two precious years apart from the loss of money,” said the order of the forum.
Deficiency in Service
Complainant: Karishma Kanuga Defendant: WLC College of India Ruling by: Pune District Consumer Forum
The student Karishma successfully sued WLC to get a refund after taking admission in their media course. Her main contention was that the course was unapproved and no classes took place for 41 days. The district forum ruled in her favour. Complainant: Devjit Singh & Others Defendant: IITT College of Engineering, Manimajra, Chandigarh Ruling by: State Consumer Disputes Forum, Chandigarh
In 2002, Devjit Singh and five other students approached the forum and alleged deficiency in service in terms of non-disclosure, lack of approval, unauthorized admission and lack of facilities. They got the full refund while IITT also paid the fine.
Unfair Trade Practice
Complainant: Kanishk Sharma Defendant: Brilliant Tutorials Ruling by: East Delhi District Consumer Forum
Even if you leave midway through the course, there is the possibility of a partial refund. In a case against a coaching institute, the forum observed thus: “A student may leave in the midstream if he finds the service deficient, and to tell him that fee once paid is not refundable is uncalled for and an unfair trade practice.”