Can’t take university to consumer court: SC | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Can’t take university to consumer court: SC

Statutory authorities like universities or education boards are not service providers and, thus, can’t be dragged by students to consumer courts alleging deficiency in service, the Supreme Court has ruled.

delhi Updated: Jul 21, 2010 00:47 IST
Bhadra Sinha

Statutory authorities like universities or education boards are not service providers and, thus, can’t be dragged by students to consumer courts alleging deficiency in service, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Allowing an appeal filed by the Maharishi Dayanand University challenging the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), a bench headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan said a direction couldn’t be passed against such an authority to award a degree to a student.

The bench reversed the NCDRC’s conclusions and held that its direction to award the B.Ed degree to the student, Surjit Kaur, was “contrary to the rules.” It rejected Kaur’s contention that she was a student under the Consumer Protection Act and the university was providing her with a service while holding exams.

Explaining the Consumer Protection Act laws, the bench said when a board or a statutory authority conducts an exam in discharge of its statutory function, it does not offer “services” as the examinee doesn’t hire or avail any service from the board for a consideration.

Instead, it held, a candidate taking the exam is a person who asks the board to test him to ascertain if he has sufficient knowledge and assess his competence vis-à-vis others.