w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n

The Indian Institute of Planning and Management Mohali through its Dean v/s Kamal Grover

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIAN INSTITUTE OF PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U80211DL2006PTC155260

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

    First Appeal No. 612 of 2011

    Decided On, 14 February 2013

    At, Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Chandigarh

    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellant: Ms Geeta Gulati, Advocate. for the Respondent: Krishan Lal, Advocate.

Judgment Text

Inderjit Kaushik, Presiding Member

1. The Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM), appellant/ opposite party (In short 'the appellant') has filed this appeal against the order dated 07.03.2011 passed by the learned District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, SAS Nagar, Mohali (in short 'the District Forum').

2. Facts in brief are that Sh. Kamal Grover, respondent/ complainant (hereinafter called as 'the respondent') filed a complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (in short, 'the Act') against the appellant, pleading that after reading the advertisement in different newspaper, he met the appellant for a ‘two years full time Post Graduate Programme in MBA’ for his son namely Saurabh Grover, who is a graduate. During the discussion, the appellant confirmed that it is duly recognized from the competent authority of Govt. of India i.e. U.G.C. and assured the respondent that he should not worry regarding the recognition by the competent authority. On the assurance of the appellant, the respondent deposited Rs.35,000/- as advance fee vide receipt dated 27.05.2010 and the appellant allowed the respondent to deposit his remaining fee after taking the loan from Punjab National Bank, Ludhiana as he was employed there as a clerk.

3. After depositing Rs.35,000/-, the respondent came back to Ludhiana along with his son, but he was never intimated that when the classes would start. On 21.06.2010, the respondent wrote a letter as per telephonic conversation for intimating him for attending the classes, as he had already deposited Rs.35,000/-, but no reply was received. Another letter dated 25.06.2010 was written, but that was also not replied.

4. The respondent applied for loan for the purpose of depositing the same and completed all the formalities and he was under the process of getting the loan sanctioned, when a news item was published in the newspaper 'Hindustan Times' dated 27.08.2010 vide which he came to know that the respondent institute was not recognized by UGC. The respondent was taken aback and he was shocked to know that he has been cheated and all his hopes were dashed. The respondent suffered physically and mentally, besides financial loss. The son of the respondent was not allowed to attend the class, whereas the classes had already started w.e.f. 21.05.2010. The respondent also served a legal notice, but no refund was made.

5. It was prayed that the complaint may be allowed and the appellant may be directed to refund the fee of Rs.35,000/- and to pay Rs.25,000/- as compensation and Rs.11,000/- as litigation expenses.

6. In the written version filed on behalf of the appellant, it was stated that the batch for which the student was enrolled with IIPM started on 27th May, 2010 as per the selection letter issued by the institute, but the student paid only retention fee on 27th May, 2010 which was a late submission and the retention amount is taken only to confirm the admission of the student and it is mandatory for the student to pay his first installment to become eligible to attend classes. Last date for submission of retention fee and first installment was 21st May, 2010. The retention amount is not refundable. A legal notice was received on 4th January, 2011 and on the same day, the advocate was called by IIPM to get the contact details in order to proceed with all formalities required for the refund, but there was no positive response from the advocate Krishan Lal.

7. It was agreed by the advocate that he will come to the institute with the respondent party, but no intimation was given. There was no approach from the respondent party for the refund of the amount. The institute submitted a demand draft of Rs.34,000/- dated 17th February, 2011 of IDBI Bank, Mahilpur, New Delhi, bearing no.010886 in favour of Saurabh Grover S/o Kamal Grover and Rs.1000/- was deducted as processing fee. The appellant assessed the amount in two weeks just to avoid further harassment. The appellant never promoted itself as UGC recognition and it was always stated that IIPM will provide a UGC recognized degree for two years full time postgraduate program in MBA from an Indian University i.e. M.S. University, Tamil Nadu which is UGC recognized. It was prayed that the case may be settled on the basis of the refund amount paid to the student.

8. Parties led evidence in support of their respective contentions by way of affidavits and documents.

9. After going through the documents and material placed on file and after hearing the learned counsel for the parties, the learned District Forum observed that that a sum of Rs.34,000/- out of the total fee of Rs.35,000/- has already been refunded by the appellant to the respondent through the cheque handed over in the Forum on 21.02.2011. The remaining amount of Rs.1,000/- is also liable to be refunded along with interest from the date of deposit till the date of payment @ 9% p.a. Valuable year of the son of the respondent was wasted and compensation of Rs.15,000/- was awarded along with litigation expenses of Rs.2,000/-.

10. Aggrieved by the impugned order dated 07.03.2011, the appellant has come up in appeal.

11. We have gone through the pleadings of the parties, perused the record of the learned District Forum and have heard the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the parties as well as perused the written arguments filed on behalf of the appellant.

12. In the written arguments filed on behalf of the appellant, pleadings were repeated and inter-alia, it was further submitted that the District Forum ignored the fact that vide letter dated 17.05.2010, the respondent was informed that the retention fee was not refundable. E-mail dated 21st June, 2010 was also sent for deposit of part payment of Rs.10,000/- out of first installment. The respondent has not brought on record any document to prove that the appellant institute was to impart degree, whereas it was to be awarded by the University. The documents, brochure and advertisement never projected that the appellant institute is UGC recognized and disallowed the son of the respondent to attend the classes as only retention fee was submitted which was as per the admission policy of the appellant institute and there is no deficiency in service. The order passed by the District Forum is wrong and illegal and the same may be set aside and the appeal may be allowed.

13. On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondent has contended that the order passed by the District Forum is legal and valid and there is no ground to interfere with the same and the appeal may be dismissed.

14. We have considered the respective submissions of the parties and have thoroughly monitored the entire record placed on the file.

15. In the reply to the legal notice dated 21.02.2011 by the appellant, it was stated that the appellant was ready to settle the case out of the court and to make payment of the refund amount of Rs.34,000/- but just to harass, the respondent started legal proceedings. Vide receipt dated 17.02.2011, an amount of Rs.34,000/- was deposited by Saurabh Grover. As per letter dated 17.05.2010 Ex.C-1 addressed to the son of the respondent by the appellant, the first installment of fee was to be paid by 21.05.2010. The retention fee was Rs.35,000/- and other fees are also shown which are not relevant in the present case. Vide receipt Ex.C-2, Rs.35,000/- were received by the appellant from the son of the respondent. As per Ex.C-3, permission for attending the classes in MBA was sought by the son of the respondent and he agreed to make part payment of Rs.10,000/- out of the first installment and the balance amount was to be paid on sanctioning of his education loan from the bank on or before 31st July, 2010 and he again requested to allow him to attend the classes. Ex.C-5 is the advertisement in the ‘Hindustan Times’ dated 27.08.2010 as per which, the news item was given that IIPM is not recognized by UGC. Copy of the legal notice is Ex.C-6. Ex.R-2 is the certificate of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University. Vide Ex.R-3, payment order dated 17.02.2011 of Rs.34,000/- was issued in favour of Saurabh Grover. In the IIPM prospectus, message was given to Saurav through e-mail dated 24th April, 2010 at 1.48 PM and the relevant portion is reproduced below:-

'Kindly Note that All the MBA programmes at IIPM are now UGC Recognized'.

16. From the above discussion, it is clear that the son of the respondent Saurabh Grover was allowed and assured by sending e-mail that the courses at the appellant institute are UGC recognized, whereas the version of the appellant in the reply is that the appellant will provide a UGC recognized degree for ‘two years full time postgraduate program in MBA’ from an Indian University i.e. M.S. University, Tamil Nadu which is a UGC recognized. The correct version has been given in the reply, but the allurement given through the advertisement and e-mail etc. to the son of the respondent as well as other students was to the effect that the appellant institute is recognized by UGC. The son of the respondent was duped by the appellant institute and the respondent, who is an employee of the bank, paid hard earned money from his pocket, with the hope that his son will get the MBA degree through the recognized institute, but that could not be done. The order passed by the District Forum is detailed and well reasoned and there is no ground to interfere with the same. The appellant has filed this false and frivolous appeal, just to delay and defeat the purpose of justice and the same is liable to be dismissed with special costs.

17. Se

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quel to the above discussion, the appeal filed by the appellant is dismissed with special costs of Rs.10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand) and the impugned order under appeal dated 07.03.2011 passed by the District Forum is affirmed and upheld. 18. The appellant had deposited an amount of Rs.9,000/- with this Commission at the time of filing of the appeal. This amount with interest accrued thereon, if any, be remitted by the registry to the respondent/ complainant by way of a crossed cheque/demand draft after the expiry of 45 days under intimation to the learned District Forum and to the appellant. 19. Remaining amount as per the impugned order along with costs imposed vide this order shall be paid by the appellant to the respondent/complainant within 30 days of the receipt of copy of the order. 20. The arguments in this appeal were heard on 06.02.2013 and the order was reserved. Now the order be communicated to the parties. 21. The appeal could not be decided within the stipulated time frame due to heavy pendency of court cases.