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The Director, (Academic HR), Elitte Institute of Engineering & Management & Another v/s Kaustav Nandi

Company & Directors' Information:- NANDI ENGINEERING LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110KA1996PLC019618

Company & Directors' Information:- INSTITUTE OF ENGINEERING & MANAGEMENT [Active] CIN = U80300WB2009NPL133456

Company & Directors' Information:- S. M. ACADEMIC INSTITUTE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U80300MH2009PTC191925

Company & Directors' Information:- H S MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140DL2005PTC141500

Company & Directors' Information:- A S INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U80302DL2005PTC140941

    S.C. Case No. FA/670 of 2013

    Decided On, 07 May 2014

    At, West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Kolkata

    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellants: Subir Bhattacharya, Ld. Advocate. For the Respondent: Subrata Nandi, Authorized Person.

Judgment Text

Mridula Roy, Member:

The instant Appeal is directed against the Judgment and order dated 29.05.2013 passed by Ld. District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum, Kolkata Unit II in Complaint Case No. 236/ 2011 allowing the same on contest with cost against the Opposite Parties directing the Opposite Parties jointly and severally to refund the admission fee of Rs.29,000/- after deduction of 10% within thirty days from the date of the order and to pay litigation cost of Rs.2,000/- the Complainant, further directing the O.Ps. to pay an amount of Rs.25,000/-to the State Consumer Welfare Fund.

Being aggrieved by and dissatisfied with the said order the Opposite Parties have preferred the instant appeal on the ground that the Complainant, on 15.06 2010, was admitted in Management quota and subsequently, on 15.07.2010, expressed his inability to join the course and since he was admitted in management quota the terms of the contract and not general rules would be binding upon him. The case of the Complainant (Respondent herein) in a nutshell is that on the basis of the result of JEXPO 2010 and by virtue of management quota the Complainant, on 15.06.2010, was admitted to the institute of the Opposite Parties to pursue a diploma course on ETCE for the session 2010-2011 which was scheduled to start on 11.08.2010 by paying a sum of Rs.29,000/- and Rs.11,000/- i.e. an amount of Rs.41,000/- in total. The Complainant further stated that prior to the commencement of the said course the Complainant was selected for B.Tech course on the basis of the result of AIEEE-2010 and got admitted to said course in Kingston Engineering Collage at Berunanpukuria, P.O. Malikapur, Barasat, by paying a sum of Rs.47,760/- on 14.06.2010 and informed the Opposite Party No.2 on 15.07.2010 by a letter, of said incident expressing his inability to join the course conducted by the Opposite Party Institute and requesting the refund of the deposited amount. In reply to that letter the Opposite Party No.2 agreed to refund Rs.11,500/- in total on account of caution deposit of Rs.5,000/- + Book Bank deposit of Rs.3,000/- + Uniform fees of Rs.3,500/- and refunded the same. The Complainant and his father requested the Opposite parties on several occasions to refund the balance amount of Rs.29,000/- but the Opposite parties paid no heed to that. The complainant, therefore, filed the instant case praying for direction upon the Opposite parties to refund a sum of Rs.29,000/- and to pay a sum of Rs.50,000/- towards compensation.

The Opposite Parties contested the case and filed Written Version denying and disputing all material allegations stating inter alia, that the Complainant and his father signed a contract at the time of admission and the terms of the contract were binding upon them and as per the terms of the said contract the Complainant was not entitled to get refund of amount as prayed for. It was contented by the Opposite Parties that the Complainant was admitted to the said course in management quota on first come first serve basis and, therefore, the AICTE order as well as the Judgment relied upon by the Complainant in support of his contention that he was entitled to get refund of the deposited amount were not applicable. Accordingly, the Opposite Parties prayed for dismissal of the case with exemplary cost.

In course of argument Ld. Advocate for the Appellants has submitted that they are not liable to refund any amount since they had already refunded Rs.11,500/- to the Complainant. In support of their contention Ld. Advocate for the Appellant relied upon the decisions reported in (1) III ((2012) CPJ 387 (NC) – Adarsh Mira Leekha – vs. – Haryana Urban Development Authority and Another. (2) III (2012) CPJ 4 (SC) – Surya Pal Singh – vs. – Siddha Vinayak Motors & Anr. (3) IV (2012) CPJ 726 (NC) – Sanjay Kumar Jangra – vs. – Haryana Urban Development Authority.

In course of argument the representative of the Respondent has submitted that the Respondent is very much entitled to get refund of Rs.28,000/- from the Appellant – authorities after deducting Rs.1,000/- as per AICTE Rules since the Complainant had intimated the Appellants of his inability to join the course well ahead of commencement of the said course.Having heard both sides and on perusal of the record it appears that the Respondent was admitted to the institute of the Opposite Parties to pursue a diploma course on ETCE for the session 2010-2011 which was scheduled to start on 11.08.2010 by paying a sum of Rs.29,000/- and Rs.11,000/- i.e. an amount of Rs.41,000/- in total. Subsequently, the Complainant got better chance and admitted to B.Tech. Course to another Institution and intimated the matter to the Appellants by a letter dated 15.07.2010 expressing his inability to join the course under the Appellant Institution and asked refund of the deposited amount of Rs.41,000/-. Admittedly, the Appellants refunded Rs.11,000/- to the Respondent. Now, the moot point is whether the Appellants are liable to refund the balance amount of Rs.29,000/- to the Respondent.

It appears from the photo copy of the circular having reference No. AICTE/Legal/04(1)/2007 dated 19.04.2007 issued by the All India Council for Technical Education, ( a Statutory Body of the Government of India), Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, I.P. Estate, New Delhi – 110002 have the view that the entire deposited amount should be refunded after deducting a nominal amount for processing fee to the student as it is contented in the said circular that since the AICTE affiliated institutes are admitting students to technical education programmes collecting fees in full long before the actual starting of the academic session and in the event of a student withdrawing before starting of the course, the wait – listed candidate should be given admission against the vacant seat and the entire fees collected from the student, after a deduction of the processing fee of not more than RS.1,000/- shall be refunded and returned by the Institution/ University to the student/ candidate withdrawing from the programme.

However, the Appellants contented that the student was admitted in Management quota and, therefore, no amount apart from caution money, book bank deposit and uniform deposit would be refunded. But, no document has been furnished on behalf of the Appellants so that they could substantiate their averment in respect of the same. Therefore, in absence of any cogent evidence we are unable to accept the contention of the Appellants that the balance amount should not be refunded to the Respondent since he was admitted in Management quota.

In view of that, we are of opinion that the Ld. District Forum rightly directed Opposite Parties – Appellants to refund the deposited amount after deduction and accordingly we hold t

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hat the Respondent is entitled to get refund of Rs.28,000/- from the Appellants. However, we are not inclined to award an amount of Rs.35,000/- to be deposited to the SCWF by the Appellants since we do not find any cogent ground for awarding the same even the Ld. District Forum does not mention as to why such amount is to be deposited by the Opposite Parties - Appellants. In the result, the appeal succeeds in part. Hence Ordered That the instant appeal is allowed in part on contest without cost. The appellants are directed to refund Rs.28,000/- and to pay Rs.2000/- towards litigation cost to the Respondent within 30 days from the date of this order. The impugned order is modified to the extent.