A Consumer Court recently fined an educational institute Rs 36,000 for deficiency of services, by not conducting the decided number of classes for the course, and also for the teaching, which was not up to the mark.
The complainant, Siddhanth Chhabria, a resident of Juhu, had joined the Triumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt. Ltd. (T.I.M.E) in July 2010, at Santacruz, for preparation of MH-CET and N-MAT examinations. The lectures were to be conducted in the academic year of 2010-2011. Chhabria had paid Rs 12,500 for a weekend batch from July 2010, and the lectures were to be conducted regularly.
According to Chhabria, by the end of September 2010, when 18 to 20 lectures were to be completed, only eight were taken. Chhabria approached the managerial staff of the branch and enquired about the classes.
“Considering the attitude of those running the classes, the complainant was frustrated and absolutely unhappy with the services rendered by the classes. They were not only irregular in conducting the lectures, but the quality of the teaching provided was not up to the mark,” the judge noted in his order copy.
In spite of repeated enquiries about the irregularities and teaching standard, the complainant could not get satisfactory explanations. He just got hollow promises from managerial staff. Hence Chhabria decided to discontinue the classes. He also returned the study material supplied to him and asked for a refund of the fees. He asked for it several times.
In November 2010, the institute offered only Rs 3,500 to Chhabria, who refused to accept it and sent them a legal notice. He got a reply from the institute but they refused a refund.
Chhabria then filed a complaint with the Consumer Court and claimed refund of tuition fees, compensation for mental agony and cost of the complaint. Despite being given several chances, the institute did not file their written arguments.
Judges S S Vyavahare and S V Kalal observed, “The act of the institute for refunding Rs 3,500 against Rs 12,500, though it was very irregular in conducting the classes, and the teaching standard, was also not up to the mark. The said act of institute must be deprecated by considering the same as deficiency of service on their part. Therefore, we are of the view that the complainant is entitled to get compensation. The complainant has claimed refund of tuition charges and Rs 50,000 for compensation towards mental agony and for loss of academic year. Considering the fact that the complainant has spent two months in the teaching class we are of the view that complainant is entitled to get refund of Rs 11,000 and Rs 20,000 towards compensation for mental agony and Rs 5,000 towards cost of the complaint.”