February 5th, 2016
News Source: timesofindia | Image Source: youtube
The students who are trapped in the web of educational institutions citing clauses like “fees once paid cannot be refunded under any circumstances” or “In the case of any dispute, the matter shall be referred to arbitration and institute shall appoint the Arbitrator. The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on the parties”, can sue the institutes in consumer forums of the state and make them pay fair amount. This incident will definitely put a smile on their worrying faces.
A Dehradun Consumer Disputes Redressal has asked a Doon-based Commerce College to refund the full fees with an additional amount to the student. Niharika Paliwal, a Jodhpur student filed a complaint against the BFIT Group of Institutions and the court compelled the educational Institute to pay Rs. 77,040 admission fees to her along with a penalty of Rs 15000 for mental harassment and Rs.5000 as a cost of litigation.
Niharika after being convinced by a misleading online advertisement took admission in 2015-2018 academic session thereby depositing the full fees on July 23, 2015. On seeing the lacking facilities as advertised on the internet, she opted out of B.Com (Hons) course even before its commencement.
Paliwal then withdrew admission and filed an application with the institute on July 25, 2015, to refund her fee. She was told that the amount would be refunded after the institution holds its annual meeting in August 2015. After reaching to the institute in August, she was told to come in September. She even sent a legal notice to the educational institute through her lawyer for the fee refund but she did not get the desired response. Aggrieved, Paliwal filed a complaint with the District Consumer Redressal Forum at Dehradun on 21st November.
Due to the failure of the institute to make it to the court during a trial, the unfairness of the institute went undefended. Therefore, the consumer court ruled the BFIT Group of Institutions to refund the hard earned money to the litigant within 30 days as she did not pursue the course.
The Logical Indian applauds Niharika for taking this fight and setting an example for other students to follow. The law favors the students in such cases and they can sue an institute for deception. In cases of educational fraud or trickery, students who want to leave an institute or course mid-way hesitate to appoint a lawyer for the trials. Where else, institutes have the resources for good legal representation. The consumer courts are unbiased and can be a great help for students to avoid fraudulently. So keep all the correspondence, receipts and communications intact. Get everything in writing. Also, educational institutes should be prudent and does not hesitate to return the hard earned money of the parents.