The consumer court here has directed the Regional Institute of Co-operative Management, Sector 32, to shell out over Rs. 38 lakh to its seven former students who were wrongly told that the institute's diploma was equivalent to an MBA.
As per orders of the Chandigarh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, the student would get refund of Rs. 4.5 lakh each, plus Rs. 1 lakh each as compensation.
The students led, by Anamika Singh of SAS Nagar, who had undergone the Post-Graduate Diploma in Management (Agri-Business) in the 2010-12 session from the institute had filed a complaint before the district forum alleging that the RICM had wrongly represented that its diploma was equivalent to Master of Business Administration and recognised by the Association of Indian Universities for that. The students sought refund of the fees and compensation for loss of opportunity and time.
Deepak Aggarwal, counsel for the students, contended that they could not apply for further studies due to the wrong information.
The district forum, however, agreed with the contention of Pankaj Chandgothia, counsel for the institute, that the diploma was duly recognised by the AICTE, which was the only mandatory recognition required under law. Therefore, the diploma was valid but the additional benefit of MBA equivalence was not available. The district forum declined the prayer for refund but awarded `1 lakh each as compensation for the wrong claim of MBA equivalence.
The students filed an appeal before the state commission, which modified the order and has directed the institute to refund the entire fees besides paying the compensation.