City college directed to refund fee

Pankaj Kumar Tiwari had obtained admission in Gautham College of Pharmacy in R T Nagar paying a fee of Rs 30,000. The college had claimed that it was affiliated to Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Pharmacy Council of India and also the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

RTI blows the lid

When the classes did not start even a month after the scheduled date, Pankaj wrote a letter to the AICTE and also applied under RTI to check whether the College was indeed affiliated. He found that the College was not affiliated to any of the three organisations, and demanded refund of fees from the college. But the college issued a cheque in the name of Pankaj Kumar and not in his full name. Aggrieved by the indifferent attitude, he approached the IV Additional District Consumers’ Disputes Redressal Forum. He also sought compensation for losing an entire academic year.

The college claimed it had refunded Rs 30,000 along with all the original documents of the complainant. The authorities alleged the complainant was harassing them with a false complaint and there was no deficiency of service.

The Forum ruled that the college had started calling for admissions without obtaining affiliation and when it failed to secure the affiliation, attempted to refund the fee after the commencement of the academic year. This would make it impossible for the students to seek admissions elsewhere, leading to the loss of an entire year.

 Finding no proof for the refund of money by the institute, the Court directed the college to pay Rs 30,000 collected as fees. The college was also asked to pay Rs 10,000 as damages, Rs 5,000 as punitive damages and Rs 2,000 towards the cost of the complaint.

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