Rs 5-lakh fine for misuse of emblem | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Rs 5-lakh fine for misuse of emblem

A private institute has been fined for “misleading students by using the national emblem on its advertisement”.

mumbai Updated: Jan 26, 2011 01:56 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari

A private institute has been fined for “misleading students by using the national emblem on its advertisement”.

Acting on a complaint of two students, the Central Mumbai Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Chate International Academy Pvt Ltd to deposit Rs 5 lakh within a month with its legal aid fund.

A bench comprising forum president Naleen Majithiya and member Bhavna Pisal said the institute, running several courses of shipping management, were resorting to “unfair trade practice and publishing misleading advertisements”.

The complainants, Deepak Mishra and his sister Sonal, had last year taken admission in the institute’s Dadar branch for the diploma in international shipping management course.

Out of the total course fee of Rs 4.61 lakh, both had deposited Rs 61,000 each.

However, when their pleas to various banks for financing their studies was turned down, they realised that the course was not recognised by the Government of India, as claimed by the academy in its advertisement.

They approached the consumer forum in June 2010 after the academy refused to refund the fees paid by them.

Both the complainants had sought merely refund of the fees paid and had not claimed any compensation, though they alleged deficiency in service. But, during the course of the hearing, Majithiya and Pisal noted that the private institute had misused the national emblem in order to mislead and lure students to join their course.

“By printing the emblem of Government of India in their information brochure, the opponents [Chate International Academy] had misled complainants and other students,” observed the forum.

The forum also noted that the emblem was being misused despite advertisements by the Central Water Transport Department declaring the academy was not recognised for conducting any course in shipping management.

The forum has now asked the academy to refund fees collected from both the complainants and also to pay Rs 25,000 to them for mental agony and another Rs 5,000 for cost of the litigation.

Despite numerous attempts, officials from Chate International Academy were not available for comment.