This revision petition has been filed by the petitioner Dr. Bareet Chand against the order dated 29.11.2012 of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Uttar Pradesh, (in short ‘the State Commission’) passed in Appeal No.2295 of 2009.
2. Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner’s son Ravi Arora took admission in the respondent No.1 the Engineering College (opposite party No.1). The opposite party No.1 cancelled the admission after about a month for not submitting the original Transfer Certificate and Migration Certificate. The petitioner filed consumer complaint bearing No.313 of 2005 before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum II, Moradabad, (in short ‘the District Forum’), which was resisted by the opposite party No.1. The District Forum vide its order dated 30.10.2009 partly allowed the complaint and passed the following order:-
“Case is accepted partly as mentioned above. OP No.1 is instructed to pay Rs.40000/- towards compensation to the complainant within 2 months from the date of this order. In addition to this towards litigation cost Rs.5000/- is to be paid. In case of non payment in time opposite party shall pay 7% annual interest from the date of this order to the date of payment to the complainant. The complaint is dismissed for the remaining reliefs.”
3. Aggrieved by the order of the District Forum, the complainant/petitioner preferred appeal before the State Commission. The State Commission vide its order dated 29.11.2012 dismissed the appeal.
4. Hence the present revision petition.
5. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner in person and the learned counsel for the respondent No.1 and 3. The respondent No.2 was proceeded ex-parte vide order dated 03.02.2017. The petitioner argued that Rs.51,850/- was deposited as fees, however, the same has not been refunded by the opposite party. He stated that there was permission to take only 61 students in that particular engineering subject, however, the opposite party No.1 admitted 62 students and therefore, his son’s admission was cancelled on flimsy ground. The petitioner was ever ready to deposit the original Transfer Certificate and Migration Certificate, however the opposite was not willing to give any receipt for the same. It was requested that full fees of Rs.51,850/- should be refunded to the complainant.
6. The petitioner further submitted that due to cancellation of admission by the IMS Engineering College, his son has lost full one year as he could not take admission in any other college, therefore, the college must compensate for this loss.
7. On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondent No.1 stated that as per the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Maharshi Dayanand University Vs. Surjeet Kaur, 2010 (11) SCC 159, the student is not a consumer and education institution is not a service provider. Hence, consumer forum cannot entertain such complaint. He further stated that the admission was cancelled because the student did not submit the original Transfer Certificate and Migration Certificate, which was required by the Engineering College and they are essential documents which should be filed at the time of admission.
8. I have carefully considered the arguments advanced by both sides and have examined the record. I agree with the argument of the learned counsel for the respondent No.1 that student is not a consumer and institution is not a service provider, however, this differentiation is mainly for such matters, which are provided under some statute and basically relate to academics, teaching standard, examination, award of degree etc. In my view, the matter of fees (not the fixation) can be addressed by the consumer forum. As per AICTE guidelines, if a candidate withdraws his admission before the last date of admission, he is entitled to get full refund of fees and the institution shall retain only Rs.1,000/-. In the present case, the admission has been cancelled by the opposite party No.1 on the ground that original Transfer Certificate and Migration Certificate were not submitted by the student. On the other hand, the petitioner has stated that he tried to submit these documents however, the Institution was not willing to give any receipt for the same. As the District Forum had already awarded Rs.40,000/- as compensation to the complainant, however, the candidate had suffered loss of full one year, therefore, atleast he is entitled to get full refund of fees except Rs.1,000/-, which will be retained by the Institution. Accordingly, the revision
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petition No.532 of 2013 is partly allowed and the opposite party No.1/respondent No.1 is directed to pay Rs.20,000/- (rupees twenty thousand only) in addition to amount ordered by the District Forum. Out of Rs.20,000/-, Rs.10,000/- will be treated as against refund of fee, as Rs.40,000/- has already been awarded by the District Forum and remaining Rs.10,000/- as compensation to the complainant. This order be complied with by opposite party No.1 within a period of 45 days from the date of receipt of this order.