District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Fatehgarh Sahib, recently directed the Continental Institute of Engineering and Technology (CIET), Jalvehra, to refund the fees of a student.
Manav Gupta of Barnala had filed a complaint against CIET and the Punjab Technical University (PTU), Jalandhar, under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
As per Manav, he had taken admission in CIET in the third semester of the BTech programme in the computer science stream through 'Lateral Entry to 2nd year (3rd semester) of Bachelor of Technology', 2010, of the PTU and had paid Rs 3,000 as registration charge.
Later, he had paid Rs 70,350. He had got selected in the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering Technology (SLIET) and had informed the CIET about surrendering his seat. He had also submitted a written request for the refund of fees and return of original certificates, which were with the college.
He took admission in SLIET and deposited Rs 28,050. He again wrote a letter to CIET and requested it to release the original certificates and refund the fees, but to no avail.
The college had stated that Manav was not entitled to a fees refund as per AICTE norms because he had voluntarily foregone his admission after the academic session had commenced.
They said that Manav had attended classes till September 22, 2010; the session had started on August 2, 2010; and on September 28, 2010, he had applied for foregoing his seat.
His documents were duly returned to him on October 22, 2010. Manav's father Ishwar Dass sought information from the PTU regarding the filling of CIET seats through LEET. PTU said that CIET had filled 47 seats through LEET under the general category, but according to the affidavit of principal Kuldeep Singh, CIET filled 45 out of 54 seats through LEET in the Btech, computer science amd engineering, in the third semester; nine vacancies still remained, and since the seat left vacant by Manav could not be filled by the college, he was not eligible for a fees refund.
The forum observed that according to the information, the total number of seats filled by CIET through LEET in the 2010-11 session were 47, which shows that till November 6, 2010, the total number of seats filled by the CIET were shown to be 45.
But in the information provided by PTU under the RTI Act, the total seats filled were shown to be 47; this showed that after the complainant vacated the seat, another candidate occupied it.
The forum directed CIET to refund the fees after deducting the fees for two months -- Rs 24,000 -- plus registration charges -- Rs 3,000. As Manav had paid Rs 73,350 in total, the forum directed CIET to give Rs 46,350 back to Manav, along with another Rs 5,000 as litigation charges, within a month of receiving the copy of the order; otherwise 9% interest would be levied till the amount was realised.