Holding a dental college guilty of deficiency in services and adopting unfair trade practice, the Thane Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum ordered it to pay Rs 70,000 compensation to a student along with the tuition fee refund of Rs 79,000.
Dismissing the defence of the Terna Dental College in Navi Mumbai, the forum president S S Mhatre and member S S Patil recently asked it to pay compensation and refund the amount to Kavita Mullal Kanojia, an OBC category student.
According to Kavita, she had passed the HSC exam in 2010 and then secured admission in Terna college on September 12, 2011 after passing the CET.
At the time of admission, she paid Rs 2,05,100 fees to the college, including tuition fees of Rs 1.60 lakh, deposit, among others. She told the college that she belonged to the OBC category and gave an undertaking that she would produce the caste validity certificate within 30 days and got the admission.
The college, located at Nerul in Navi Mumbai, had told her that if she cancelled her admission before September 25, she would get only 50 per cent of the tuition fees back and if she failed to produce the caste validity certificate within a month she will have to pay Rs eight lakhs.
Fearing that she might have to pay huge money, she cancelled her admission on September 21.
But when she obtained the caste validity certificate on September 30, she approached the college to secure admission, but was turned back stating that the seat had already been filled up. The college returned an amount of Rs 1.25 lakh to her, but withheld Rs 80,000 of the tuition fees.
However, the girl approached the forum to claim the refund and also sought Rs 3 lakh towards loss of her academic year.
Citing a clause in a rule, the forum pulled up the college and said the entire tuition fees has to be refunded to the student minus Rs 1,000 as processing fee.
“The opposite party (college) did an unauthorized deduction of a huge amount of Rs 80,000 from the amount paid by the complainant for her admission and this amounts to deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party and it also amount to unfair trade practice as defined under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986,” the forum observed.