At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE V.K. JAIN
By, PRESIDING MEMBER
For the Petitioner: Satyender Chahar, Advocate. For the Respondents: R3, Shruti Dutt, Advocate, R1 & R2, Nemo.
Oral:The Court Master informs that all the three respondents stand duly served. Respondent No.3 is represented by a Counsel but respondent Nos.1 & 2 are not represented. Respondent no.1 is reported to have been served on 8.9.2020 whereas respondent No.2 is reported to have been served on 23.9.2020.2. I have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and respondent No.3 and have considered the record.3. It transpires from the record that the petitioner and respondent No.3 – LBS Group of Education Institute are associates who were running an Engineering Course for awarding Diplomas to the students taking admission in respondent No.3 Institute. The complainant took admission in the institute and on successful completion of the course, a provisional Diploma Certificate was issued to him. However, the regular Certificate was not issued to him. Being aggrieved, he approached the concerned District Forum by way of a consumer complaint.4. The complaint was contested by the petitioner before the District Forum primarily on the ground that the complainant was not a consumer and had not made any payment to the petitioner.5. It was stated in the written version filed by the petitioner that it had actually terminated the agreement with the university and was not competent to issue any Degree to the complainant. The written version filed by respondent No.3 - LBS Group of Education Institute was not accepted since the same was filed more than 45 days after service of notice upon it.6. The District Forum having allowed the consumer complaint, the petitioner approached the concerned State Commission by way of an appeal. The said appeal having been dismissed, the petitioner is before this Commission.7. As noted earlier, one of the objections taken by the petitioner in its written version was that the complainant was not a consumer. This question recently came up for consideration by a three Member Bench of this Commission in Consumer Complainant No. 261 of 2012, Manu Solanki Vs. Vinayak Mission University and connected matters dated 20.01.2020 and the following view was taken:-51. In view of the foregoing discussion, we are of the considered opinion that the Institutions rendering Education including Vocational courses and activities undertaken during the process of pre-admission as well as post-admission and also imparting excursion tours, picnics, extra co-curricular activities, swimming, sport, etc. except Coaching Institutions, will, therefore, not be covered under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.8. In view of the above-referred decision of the larger Bench of this Commission, the Fora below had no jurisdiction to entertain the consumer complaint. The impugned order is, therefore, set aside and the consumer complaint is dismissed with liberty to the complainant to avai
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l such remedy other than a consumer complaint as may be open to it in law. If the complainant decides to approach a Civil Court for the redressal of his grievances, he shall also be entitled to seek benefit of the provisions contained in Section 14 of the Limitation Act.9. The revision petition stands disposed of.