The Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed a coaching institute in Sector 35 to refund half the fee to a student (Rs 21,784) after he withdrew admission.
It has also directed the institute to pay Rs 10,000 to the student for harassment and Rs 7,000 as litigation costs.
In his complaint,Sunny Sharma a resident of Sector 8 had stated that in February 2010,he took admission in the institutes two-year classroom programme for 2010-2012. Since he had got a good rank in the entrance exam conducted by the institute,he deposited Rs 43,569 after availing 75 per cent scholarship. This included
Rs 10,000 as admission fee,Rs 4,069 as service tax and Rs 2,750 for study material.
The classes started from April. In the meantime,the student was selected by a Pune institute,which offered him full scholarship for the complete course,including boarding and lodging expenses. He repeatedly requested the Chandigarh institute for the refund of his money after proportionate deductions. Since this was not done,he went to the consumer court.
In its reply,the institute stated that at the time of admission,it was specified that the fee was non-refundable and the student had signed an agreement to this affect.
It added that after three months of study,the student left the course voluntarily. Since the seat vacated by him could not be filled,he was not entitled to a refund.
After considering the case,Commission president Justice Sham Sunder and members Neena Sandhu and Jagroop Singh Mahal observed that the institute had got the fees deposited in advance beyond the current semester/year and then refused to refund half of it even though the student studied there for three months only.
It maintained that this amounted to an unfair trade practice on part of the institute.
In this light,the Commission directed the institute to refund half the fee to the student and also compensate him for the harassment caused to him.