For failing to refund fee, district consumer disputes redressal forum, Chandigarh, has held a Sector-36 based coaching institute deficient in services and directed it to refund Rs 73,970 fee to a Sector 48 resident.
Disposing of the complaint filed by Nirmal Singh Mann, the consumer forum also directed coaching institute AK Vidyamandir to pay Rs 10,000 as cost of litigation.
Mann, in his complaint, said he had admitted his son Anant Singh Mann to AK Vidyamandir for coaching class of +1 Non Medical Elite Session 2013-2014. Mann added he had deposited Rs 98,630 fee in three installments but due to health problems, his son could not continue his study in the non-medical stream and changed to commerce.
Anant stopped taking coaching at the institute in August 2013. Mann, therefore, in September 2013, approached the institute to refund the proportionate fee but AK Vidyamandir failed to do so despite assurance.
Denying any deficiency in services, the institute, in its reply said, “Fees once paid to the institute will not be refunded or transferred under any circumstances.”
The institute claimed that one seat was allotted by for Anant Singh Mann as he attended classes from June 10, 2013, to August 29, 2013, and the seat could not be filled thereafter and hence no refund can be made.
The consumer forum, presided on May 23, held, “The stand taken by the institute is one-sided and biased and against the principle of equity and natural justice. If the student wishes to discontinue after three months, it should refund the fees.
Any clause stating that fees once paid shall not be refundable is unconscionable and unfair.”
The order held, “AK Vidyamandir cannot compel the complainant’s son to study at their institute.
No harm will be caused to the institute by Anant Singh Mann’s withdrawal from its classes.
Otherwise also, it is not a contention of the institute that it is a programme where seats are limited and cannot be filled again.”
“The institute is not entitled to retain any amount beyond the period the student has studied with them,” the order held.