Collecting fees for two years in one go amounts to “unfair trade practice”, a consumer forum here has said while directing coaching institute FIITJEE to refund half the tution fee to a student. A district consumer disputes redressal forum, headed by its President Justice N K Goel, directed FIITJEE, an institute offering programmes for IIT JEE and other courses, to refund Rs 1,16,564 to Sanjay Choudhary, father of a student who had taken admission in the coaching centre.
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“We hold that the institute (FIITJEE) has committed unfair trade practice by collecting fees for two years in one go… We partly allow the complaint and direct OP to refund half of the fees taken by them from the complainant towards the fee for two years duration.
“Accordingly we direct the institute to refund a sum of Rs 1,16,564 towards 50 per cent of the tuition fee paid by the complainant along with interest at 6 per cent per annum,” the forum said.
According to the complainant, his son had joined Saifabad branch of the institute in Hyderabad for a two-year integrated school programme for IIT-JEE course in 2010.
He said the institute had asked him to pay the fee amount of Rs 2,33,128 for the two years course before the date of joining. But later when his son found that the classes were not up to the mark, he decided to quit.
The complainant alleged that the institute declined to refund the fee citing the declarations he had made while joining the course.
While contesting the plea, FIITJEE told the forum that the student had left the course voluntarily and hence they were not bound to refund the fees as per their terms and conditions.
The forum, in its verdict, referred to a Superme Court judgement which had held that an educational institution can only charge prescribed fee for one semester or year.
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