Slamming a private engineering coaching centre “FIIT JEE”, over a complaint moved by a 16-year-old girl student of Panchkula, whose fee was not refunded after she desired to leave the course after 17 days, the Chandigarh Consumer Forum has observed, “…FIIT JEE coaching centre has innovated a novel way of extracting money from innocent little children, who aspire to achieve success in entrance examinations for admission to IIT/NIT and other premier institutions for engineering…”. The forum has also directed FIIT JEE and its two associate partners, Edfora Infotech and Megacosm Cognitions, to pay Rs 1.28 lakh to the complainant.
The forum, in its judgement, held, “…FIIT JEE is not an accredited academic institution or is affiliated with any Board or University. It is merely a coaching centre for students who aspire for admissions to engineering/technical institutions…”
As per complaint, Nilisha Garg of Panchkula, took admission in FIIT JEE under a two-year integrated school progamme for JEE (Advanced) 2020. At the time of admission, she was asked to get enrolled in Class XI at SGGS College, Sector 26, Chandigarh. FIIT JEE informed her that students would be required to reach the college by 8 am and from 8 am to 9.45 am, they would be taught subjects other than physics, chemistry and mathematics. From 9.45 am onwards, the students would be taught the three subjects. Nilisha was further informed that in case a student did not understand the lecture, ample opportunities and time would be allotted to the students for clarification the next day by the faculty.
Advocate Munish Goel, counsel for Garg, said Garg paid a fee of Rs 1,18,700 for two-year programme and Rs 28,800 for enrollment in SGGS College, as advised by the institute. On attending the classes, Nilisha was not able to understand the course and so, she approached the faculty. Counsel alleged that the faculty favoured 3-4 students and did not extend assistance to Nilisha. The institute adopted unfair means, discouraged other students and demoted the complainant to the extend that she started feeling lonely and demoralised, stated Advocate Goel.
Nilisha attended the classes for 17 days and upon more dissatisfaction,her father, Lalit Garg, sought refund of the amount from the institute, which was not made. FIIT JEE, in its reply, stated that the complainants were duly informed that once admitted in the course, the fees deposited will not be refunded under any circumstances. They ensured quality education and uniform teaching standard. The reply also stated that the seat vacated by the complainant was not filled to maintain quality and uniformity.
The forum, after hearing to the submissions of both parties, held that FIIT JEE, in connivance with SGGS College, exploited Nilisha by compelling her to get admission in the college against her wish. It noted that the coaching provided by FIIT JEE was unethical and against the set traditional object of imparting education as a noble and a charitable cause.
The forum further observed, “FIIT JEE does not guarantee or assure admission in IIT/NIT. The FIIT JEE group has prepared agreement which favour their interest only and give little scope to the parents or children to get out of that web, by way of signing such agreement.”
“Recently a number of suicide casualties among children, who are undergoing such coaching classes, has come up in the newspapers. This reflects a sorry state of affairs about the way of teaching in these centres…No child can be confined to a two-year course against his/her wish, especially when it does not guarantee or assure success in getting admission in IIT/NIT…The excuse provided by FIIT JEE regarding non-filling of seat is frivolous and cannot accepted to justify for forfeiture of amount to the student…,” read the judgment.
The FIIT JEE or alike coaching centres are not the ultimate way of achieving success and have only become big names because of their high-end luxurious advertisements in the media/newspapers, stated the judgement further. Since SGGS College of Chandigarh has returned an amount of Rs 25,000 to the complainant before this forum, FIIT JEE was directed to pay Rs 1,18,700 to the complainant with interest at 12 percent per annum from July 13, 2018, along with Rs 10,000 as litigation cost.