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Education not commodity, student not consumer: Consumer forum

education Updated: Jan 15, 2017 15:48 IST
PTI, New Delhi
Fee refund

A youth’s plea against an institute for allegedly not providing him with an internship or job as promised at the time of admission, has been rejected by a consumer forum in New Delhi.(Getty Images)

A youth’s plea against an institute for allegedly not providing him with an internship or job as promised at the time of admission, has been rejected by a consumer forum in New Delhi, which observed that “education is not a commodity”.

A Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (West)rejected the plea of the youth who sought refund of the Rs 3.52 lakh fee paid by him to pursue PG Diploma in Event Management and Public Relations at a private institute in New Delhi.

The complainant, a Noida resident, had also sought compensation of Rs 40,000 on account of mental pain and agony and deficiency in service from the institute and its executive director.

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“The complainant took admission with the opposite party, an education institution for pursuing PG Diploma in event management and Public Relations on payment of requisite fee.

“The opposite parties (institute and Executive Director)are imparting education. Therefore as held by Supreme Court, National Commission and State Commission of Chandigarh consistently, education is not a commodity and they are not service providers and the complainant is not a consumer under the Consumer Protection Act,” a forum bench headed by Presiding Officer RS Bagri said.

The forum accepted the assertion of the institute and its executive director that the complaint was not maintainable as the complainant “does not fall within the definition of consumer as provided under the Consumer Protection Act.”

It observed that “education is not a commodity”. The bench, while deciding the matter, considered various verdicts of the Supreme Court, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and a state commission, all of which had held that students are not consumers.

The youth had approached the consumer forum after he was refused a refund from the institute, which denied the allegations of any unfair trade practice.

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