District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed SGPC-run Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University (SGGSWU) here to refund the fee paid by Gurpreet Singh of Ragho Majra, Patiala.
As per Gurpreet, he took admission in M.Tech (Computer Sciences and Engineering) in SGGSWU in the 2011 session and deposited Rs 36,000 fee on July 26. Thereafter, he got admission in Punjabi University, which he preferred and accordingly he intimated SGGSWU for refund of fee. As per Gurpreet, another student filled the vacant seat. He approached the SGGSWU several times seeking refund of the fee and also served a legal notice but all in vain.
SGGSWU submitted its reply that though Gurpreet vacated seat in SGGSWU, but he was not entitled to get the fee refunded as the seat vacated by him could not be filled and the application for refund of fee was submitted after the last date of admission. As per SGGSWU prospectus, a student will be refunded the fee if he withdraws his candidature within two weeks of admission.
The Forum referred to the Punjab government's notification that "in keeping with the direction of Ministry of Human Resource Development Department, all institutions and universities shall maintain a waiting list of candidates. In case a candidate withdraws before the course begins, the waitlisted candidates should be given admission against the vacant seat.
The entire fee collected from the student, after deduction of the processing fee of not more than Rs 1,000, shall be refunded and returned by the institution/university to the candidate. Should a student leave after joining the course and if the seat consequently falling vacant gets filled by another candidate by the last date of admission, the institution must return the fee collected with proportionate deductions of monthly fee and proportionate hostel rent, where applicable".
The Forum observed that SGGSWU placed on record detail of fee refund to students (2011-12), showing the name of students admitted in the course, date of applications for refund of fee, amount received and refunded and cheque number. However, the list doesn't reflect the name of Gurpreet, which shows that he was not allotted the seat, as he had not deposited the full amount of fee.
Gurpreet was supposed to pay Rs 42,500 for pursuing the course, but he deposited Rs 36,000 only, which shows that the complainant was not allotted any seat. As per the Forum, the SGGSWU's contention that Gurpreet was not entitled for refund of fee as the seat vacated by him could not be filled later did not stand merit as he was not allotted any seat in the course.
The Forum directed SGGSWU to refund Rs 35,000 after deducting Rs 1,000 as processing fee within one month of receipt of the copy of this order otherwise 6% interest will be levied till its realisation.