Police have started an inquiry after a complaint was made by students of a private hotel management institute that they were duped of nearly Rs 40-50 lakh after the city-based institute wound up its operations even after taking the full fee from them for different courses.
The Sarva Institute of Hotel Management had been offering bachelors as well as masters degrees,besides the diploma courses,to the students. A police party headed by in-charge of the Sector 7 police post,Gurmail Singh,on Wednesday inspected the institute located at Sector 8 in Panchkula. Students complained that even though they have paid the full fee,the institute has been avoiding holding exams before it wound up its operations in the city here on Wednesday. Some 40-45 students from whom the institute has taken between Rs 60,000 to 80,000 as fee were affected after the institute allegedly wound up its operations in the city.
On Wednesday morning,when the students went to the institute,they found that the institute management had removed the computers and the other office infrastructure. The institute has been offering courses both for Masters and Bachelors level in the city.
Besides the three-year Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management degree that runs for three years,it has also been offering a three-year diploma in hotel management,diploma in hospitality management,diploma in food production and the short term courses in hospitality management that run for three months.
The institute has been running the courses in association with the Education Institute of American Hotel and Lodging Association and is accredited with the Queen Margaret University College,Edinburgh,UK. The institute is run by the Sarva group,which also owns a three-star property,Hotel North Park,and had also promised the students placements in 3 and 5 star hotels. It had also promised a one-year paid training at Australia. Gurmail Singh said that the students have filed the complaint with the management that their fee should be refunded. We are looking into the issue, he said.
The affected students said that the institute has been avoiding holding the examinations for a long time. Gurvinder Singh,a resident of Faridkot,said that he paid the full fee of Rs 75,000 to 80,000,but neither was the fee paid back to him nor was any certificate issued to him. I registered for the diploma in hotel management around one and a half years ago,but no exams were held, he said.
The students also complained to police that action should be taken in case the institute fails to pay back the money to them. The students asked in the complaint that either the fee be paid back to them or else they be made to continue their studies with some other institute.
A student,Hemant Mehra,who had also registered for a diploma course,said that he was also duped of money. Gaurav Kumar,another student,said that for the last over one year,no exam was held.
Another student,Rajmeet Kaur,said that she paid Rs one lakh for an MBA course at the institute but when she came to the institute on Wednesday she found that the office infrastructure had been removed.
Students said that the institute is a distance education learning center for the Indira Gandhi National Open University and a Punjab-based technical university. The Punjab-based university had however stopped utilising the services of the institute for distance learning.