School bus operator penalised for not refunding fees

  • Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 15, 2014 10:00 IST

For retaining school bus fee even when the no service was availed of by a student, consumer disputes redressal forum, SAS Nagar, has directed the school bus service provider to pay Rs 3,000 as compensation for mental agony and harassment to the child's father.

Disposing of a complaint filed by Rajinder Singh Kardam, resident of Phase 4, the consumer forum directed Manjit Singh Saini, who provided school bus service for picking and dropping schoolchildren, to also refund Rs 1,860 with 5% interest from February 20 till final payment.

Kardam said his daughter, a student of St Xavier's High School, Sector 71, SAS Nagar, had been availing of the bus service for the past three years, and he had been paying a monthly fee of Rs 930 for it.
He alleged that since the beginning of February, the bus driver stopped coming to the usual stop, and also started dropping his daughter at different spots as per his discretion.

When he confronted the bus service provider, they failed to take action or refund the bus fee that he had paid for February and March, following which the child stopped boarding the bus.

Denying any deficiency, Saini said there was no report or record to show that the student was ever late to the school due to the bus. They claimed that if there was any problem, Kardam would not have deposited the fee for February and March.

They said after getting the notice, they went to the complainant's house to inquire about the matter and solve it, but the complainant insulted them.

The consumer forum, presided over by Madhu P Singh on November 12, held, "The school and bus service provider have not provided any services to the ward of the complainant in February and March due to a dispute between the two parties. The said amount of Rs 1,860 remained deposited with transporter since February 20, which the complainant is entitled to recover. Retaining the amount despite the fact that no services were provided by Saini to the student is an act of deficiency in service and unfair trade practice."

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