The South Mumbai District Consumer Forum has ordered a pharmacy college to pay Rs2.30 lakh to a student, to whom it didn’t award a scholarship of Rs96,000 despite having received it from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
The consumer forum has recently directed KM Kundnani College of Pharmacy in Cuffe Parade to pay the amount within one month to Ankita Jain, who completed her M. Pharma course from the college.
“The complainant (Jain) was eligible for the scholarship and the opposite party (the college) failed to pay the scholarship amount to her. This is deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of the opposite party,” the consumer forum said while announcing its judgement.
The student had approached the consumer forum in March 2015 complaining that the college had refused to pay her the scholarship amount. She then claimed the amount along with interest and compensation.
Her complaint said she took admission in the college in 2011 and since she had cleared Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (Gate), her name had been forwarded by the college to AICTE for scholarship. She alleged that though the college gave her the scholarship amount for the first year (Rs96,000), it refused to make the payment the next year despite receiving it from AICTE.
The district forum rejected the contention as regards entitlement of the student to the scholarship amount after noticing information obtained by the complainant under RTI showed that other pharmacy colleges paid scholarship amounts to M Pharma students irrespective of them failing or passing subjects in subsequent years.
The college responded to her complaint contending that the complainant was not entitled to get the scholarship amount for the second year as she had failed in a subject that year. Besides, it also raised technical objection saying the complaint can’t be filed with the consumer forum as there was no consumer-service provider relationship between the student and the college.
The forum rejected the objection saying, “The complainant took admission by paying tuition fee of Rs75,000 to the opposite party. The complainant has hired services of the opposite party by paying the amount and hence, the complainant comes within the definition of consumer.”