The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed a Chandigarh-based company representing a medical college in Manila,and also the college,to jointly refund US $12,000 to a 19-year-old in Sector 19 along with Rs 50,000 as compensation and Rs 25,000 as litigation costs for falsely promising him admission in the college.
The directions have been given by president of the forum PD Goel and members Rajinder Singh Gill and Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota to HCMI Education (Healthcare Management International),Sector 32,Chandigarh and Emilio Aguinaldo College (College of Medicine),Emilio Aguinaldo Educational Corporation.
In his complaint,the youth stated that after assessing his educational qualification,the executives at HCMI Education assured him that he was eligible for admission to the MBBS course at the Manila college. Convinced by the institute,Narinder paid them Rs 5,000 as processing fees in August 2007.
Some days later,the institute asked him for his original certificates along with US $3500 in favour of the Manila college and $7500 as Foreign Student Fee. In addition to this amount,Narinder also paid the institute $1,000 as registration fee.
Narinder said that the institute then arranged his visa to Philippines. In November 2007,Narinder left for Philippines,enrolled at the college and successfully completed the first semester. At the end of the second semester,the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of the Republic of Philippines informed the students that the college had offered the MBBS programme without taking the governments approval.
Narinder raised the issue with the college and also the institute,and was assured of justice. When nothing was done regarding his complaint,he filed a case in the Forum.
In its reply submitted in the Forum,HCMI Education stated that it only acted as a facilitator in helping students to access quality medical education in the Philippines.
The institute agreed that it had assured Narinder of his eligibility for admission to the MBBS course at the Manila college. It stated that at the time of admission,the MBBS program was recognised by CHED,and the eligibility criteria was changed later which resulted in abolition of the programme.
The institute said that after the eligibility criteria was changed,Narinder was assured that the units earned by him in the first two semester would be adjusted in the B Sc programme. Hence,his money was not refunded. The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum also served notice upon the Manila college regarding the case,but it did not send any representative to the court in this regard.
Narinder argued that he was on the crossroads of his career,which had been jeopardised because of the cruel joke played by the institute and the college. He added that his dreams of doing MBBS had been shattered due to the gross negligence and unfair trade practice adopted by the opposite parties.
After considering the case,the Forum observed that the mal-intention of the opposite parties was indicated through the modus operandi adopted by them. They first allured aspiring youth by presenting green pastures in the disguise of a bright career,then shrugged off their responsibility by misguiding students and misrepresenting the facts. The Forum agreed that the institute and the college had played a cruel joke with the student and also wasted a precious year of his career. In this light,the Forum directed the institute and the college to refund the money paid by the student and also compensate him for the harassment.