Dr. S.M. Kantikar, Member
1. This revision petition is filed under Section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 against the order dated 3.4.2010 passed in First Appeal No. 573 of 2009 by Chhattisgarh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Raipur whereby the State Commission partly allowed the appeal filed by the OP and modified the order passed by the District Forum, Raipur.
2. The brief facts relevant to dispose of this revision petition are that the complainant, Shri Vishal Shadangi took admission on 29.8.2007 in the Touchwood Aviation Academy at Raipur, Chhattisgarh (OP 2) and deposited registration fee of Rs.35,000/- and Rs.4,60,000/- towards the course fee for private Pilot Licence Course. It is alleged by the complainant that after deposit of fee, the complainant was attending classes but the petitioner failed to provide him actual flying hours to complete the course, which was mandatory for the purpose of getting commercial pilot licence. In the meantime, the complainant approached the OP at the institute but there was no avail. Thus, the OPs committed the deficiency in service. In the meantime, the Chief Flight Instructor of the institute had also left the job and joined some other institution. Thus, due to such unsafe condition of the institute, the complainant left the institute from 1.12.2007. He requested the OPs for refund of fee paid by him but the OP denied about complete refund and only Rs.78,200/- was offered.
3. Aggrieved by this deficiency in service and unfair trade practice, the complainant filed a complaint before the District Forum, Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
4. The OPs resisted the complaint by filing the written version and submitted that the complainant took admission in the year 2007, that time, the institute had not formulated any rules in regard to its refund policy. OP also submitted that under Schedule ‘D’ of their refund policy, the complainant took admission. Also, the refund policy could be seen from their website. Despite knowing everything, the complainant took the admission in their institute. As per their refund policy, only Rs.78,200/- shall be refunded.
5. The District Forum after going through pleadings and the material placed by both the parties, allowed the complaint and directed the OPs to pay the amount of Rs. 3,67,000/- as a refund of fee alongwith Rs.500/- as costs of litigation.
6. Being aggrieved by the order of District Forum, the OPs/petitioners filed first appeal before Chhattisgarh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Raipur (in short, ‘the State Commission’). The State Commission vide its order dated 3.4.2010 partly allowed the appeal by directing the appellants/OPs to pay a sum of Rs.2,40,000/- to the complainant.
7. Hence, the present revision petition has been filed by the OPs/petitioners.
8. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties. Learned counsel for the complainant vehemently argued that the complainant got the admission in the institute of the petitioners. The complainant was attending the classes but the OPs started to reduce the period of training because of the shortage of trainees in the institute. The complainant was not provided actual flying hours to complete the course, which was mandatory requirement for getting the licence. Also, at the time of admission, the OPs have not provided any information about the refund of the fees.
9. Learned counsel for the petitioner vehemently submitted that the complainant after going through all the rules and regulations of the institute, got admitted and stayed for six months. He left voluntarily on his own. The OP tried to contact the complainant but the complainant was not traceable. Though in September, 2007, the staff members were changed in the institute, the training of trainees remained unaffected. Their institute had clearly displayed on their website about the fee structure, prospectus and the refund policy. As per rules of OPs institute, the complainant was only eligible to get refund of Rs.78,200/-.
10. After our thoughtful consideration, it is an admitted fact that the complainant took admission in OPs institute as a trainee by depositing Rs.4,95,000/-. After a few months, the complainant was no more interested to continue his training in that institute. Thus, he was seeking refund of the fee from the institute. We have perused the refund policy ‘Appendix ‘D’ and Appendix ‘E’ displayed on website. It states that 10 % after three months till one year.
11. We have perused the Appendix ‘D’ and Appendix ‘E’. Appendix ‘D’ refund policy mentioned about 10 % after three months till one year after admission whereas website information appendix ‘E’ shows the applicable refund will be 10% within three months, meaning thereby, there will not be any refund after three months. As per the averments, the complainant took admission in September and left the institute after 2nd December, 2007, which was almost three months.
12. We have perused the letter dated 16.2.2009 written by the said institute, as an information, to the District Forum. It clearly mentions about the background of the complainant. The relevant paragraph is reproduced as below:
'5. Background of Shgri Vishal Shadangi It is worthwhile pointing out at this stage that Shri Vishal Shadangi has been pursuing flying training since 2003. In a span of 4 years till Sep. 2007 when he joined Touchwood, he had flown a total of 8 hours and 50 minutes only, in two flying institutes namely Ahmedabad Aviation andAeronautics Ltd and Indore flying Club. In touchwood, in a period of two months he flew 4 hours and 45 minutes before he stopped coming for flying training from 02 Dec. 2007 onwards. He gave the application for withdrawl from the course on 06 May 2008, nine months after joining the academy. We wish to submit that such performance of a student in 3 different flying clubs speaks volume about the casual approach of the student and the institution should not be penalized for this casual attitude and non interest in his chosen profession on the part of the individual student.
13. Similarly, the petitioners in their support filed two affidavits of the students, namely, Mr. Gagandeep Juneja and Mr. Animesh Rastogi, which clearly speak about the conduct of the complainant. Therefore, in our view, the complainant was very casual towards his career and the training. It is pertinent to note that the complainant attended the classes till December 2007 and had flew 4 hours and 45 minutes only in the period of two months before he voluntarily stopped for flying training from 2nd December, 2007 onwards but after six months, he gave his application for withdrawal i.e. 6.5.2008.
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. On the basis of foregoing discussion, it is clear that the complainant suffered the loss at his own peril. He took casual approach towards his training. The other students completed 50 hours of flying training within six months. Therefore, we cannot hold the OP institute responsible or deficiency in their services. In our view, the OP/institute arrived correctly as the complainant was eligible to get refund of Rs.78,200/- only. Therefore, we set aside the orders of both the fora below and direct the petitioner/OP to refund Rs.78,200/- alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from 1st January, 2008 within four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, failing which the entire decretal amount will carry interest @ 12% per annum till its realization.