Colleges and Universities covered under Consumer Protection Law

Colleges and Universities covered under Consumer Protection Law.  As education falls in the  ambit of service of Consumer protection Act as such colleges and Universities fall under the Consumer Protection law

While expanding the scope of Consumer Law, National Commission opened new doors in “Bhupesh Khurana and others Vishwa Budha Parishad and others” that imparting education falls within the ambit of service as defined under CPA as per the report on consumerprotection.in. It was held that fees are paid for services to be rendered by way of imparting education by educational institutions

Colleges and Universities covered under Consumer Protection LawAny student becomes a consumer when he attends an educational institution & hires the services of that institution upon payment of fees for attending classes and writing examinations. He becomes a consumer when that fee is accepted from him reports CCC

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An educational Institution can also be held liable under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Holding of exams, declarations of results are all services under the Act & can be looked into by the consumer courts. Consumer courts have also held that it is not within their jurisdiction to look into whether particular rules in an institutions prospectus are illegal or not.

This is a great move in the direction of Consumer Protection as many Five stars schools & colleges are mushrooming day by day. These claim of false affiliation with well known Universities in India as well as abroad and charge huge sums in the name of fees and other charges, which is unaffordable for the common man. Many of these institutions appoint unqualified staff and faculty to teach a particular stream and sometimes even such aculty is not available. Examinations are not held in time or results are not declared for months or even years, or certificates are not issued to them. Most of such Colleges & Schools are being run by fly- by-night operators with only commercial motives. In the last decade imparting education has become just another business rather than service to the society. To be cheated and lose hard earned money is one thing but more important fact is that the future of many students is at stake.

In many such cases, which have come before the National Commission, the apex consumer court has clearly held that providing education is a service and has compensated the aggrieved consumer.

In a number of cases the non supply of Roll Number, unexplained delay in deciding the application for admission, misrepresentation in advertisement and prospectus about the recognition of the college, non refund of the initial payment as college fee etc. have been held as deficiency in service

As per the recent citations quoted by legal point, Universities are covered under the Consumer Protection Act.

As per the Judgement – “Ram Kumar Aswani v. M/s A.K. Structural Foam Ltd. 1993 CPC 383” – A student applying for revaluation of his result comes under the definition of a “Consumer”

In another case ,  Registrar H.P university v Suresh Kumar 2007(2) CPC, the Complainant could not get admission in M.A. class due to mistake of University which wrongly declared him unsuccessful- University directed to pay compensation of Rs. 50,000  with costs to the complainant

Also in  the case of Guru Nanak Dev University v. jagjit Singh 2005(1) CPC 490 Pb. , After accepting admission fee from complainant GNDU Amritsar revoked admission due to not having necessary qualification – University directed to refund fee with interest.

Also in one of the cases , Classes were not started after the university received fee for less number of students (as it was not viable to run the course). The University waas directed to refund the amount with cost- (Director, Mahatma Gandhi University v. Gopalkumar. 1999(1) CPC 292).

Also in the past, Consumer courts have held that misleading advertisements by educational institutions can amount to an unfair trade practice and have even directed the institutions to stop such ads in the future. Where the student could not get his roll number for which he had applied to sit for his exams & as a result of this, he lost a year of his studies, the consumer courts have held that it amounted to a deficiency of service.

About the Author

- Vakilno1 is a group of Law Enthusiasts and Legal Experts in India with a passion to provide the latest info and articles on Indian Legal System

 

 

 

 

 

 

Displaying 24 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Nive says:

    I had paid security deposit(refundable amount=10,000) to the college when i took admission in the college. My course was for 2 years, now its a 3rd year still college is not paying me back my deposit..they are not even replying

    What i am suppose to do in this case.. plz help

  2. In India their are many private universities running B.Ed courses which recognized by National Council for Teacher Education New Delhi and NCTE approved these universities for certain intake but these universities does not follow the rules of NCTE & UGC and admit students more then allotted seats by NCTE & UGC. All private universities does this and make money in bulk, in this case role of NCTE & UGC is also doubtful because either these council doesn’t want to take action against them or they dont have any monitoring body, in both the cases students are suffering unknowingly.

  3. Rajesh Samel says:

    My daughter has completed her MBA in tourism from one institute. Her batch was passed out on 2012. Now College is demanding third party service tax from us. and not issued certificate because of the same reason. Can i approach to consumer forum. Please advice.

  4. Kiran N says:

    Iam studying in a pvt engg college by taking an education loan. This year while giving fee structure to the bank the college has not mentioned some money in it as it is to be paid to the college and they took int in cash. I was not able to arrange that money in time due to which i got attendance shortage.Can i approach consumer court. Please reply soon iam getting shortage of attendence

  5. sadhana says:

    I applied for MBA from smude.at the time of admission it was told that it is objective type pattern.in the middle of the session they changed the pattern to descriptive type. Can i ask for justice in court?am i a consumer?

  6. trust deed two type first upon of public and seconds private..

  7. I have one question that if teaching staff is not getting salary as given under UGC rules, then under which act, there is a provision of Court of Law to get justice with prior suit in Court.

  8. Sir I placed my daughter in one of the boarding schools in dehradun, but due to lack of facilities as promised by school my daughter left that school within 7 days .. i paid them 2 lakh rupees , now i atleast want 1 lakh 50 thousand .. I am looking for a good suggestion that c an help me to get my money back .

    I will highly thankful

  9. Priyanka says:

    Sir,I had just completed my BE,now waiting for result. Before 3 years i had joined college bus…i paid 15000/- bus fees. but because of some reason i left bus within 2 months,for that 2000/- got deducted from my total bus fees.and transport dept of our college told me that,”ýour remained fees will be refund to you”. 3 years i tried my best to get my fees back, but now at the end of college they told me that,”you’ll not get your fees back.”
    Sir,please suggest me solution for this problem.
    I’ll thankful.

  10. Priyanka says:

    Sir,I had just completed my BE,now waiting for result. Before 3 years i had joined college bus…i paid 15000/- bus fees. but because of some reason i left bus within 2 months,for that 2000/- got deducted from my total bus fees.and transport dept of our college told me that,”ýour remained fees will be refund to you”. 3 years i tried my best to get my fees back, but now at the end of college they told me that,”you’ll not get your fees back.”
    Sir,please suggest me solution for this problem.
    I’ll thankful.

  11. DOYEL says:

    dear sir,last year 31/07/13 i took admission in 1yr B.Ed course at PACIFIC university Udaipur from NIMTT institute of Kolkata,Baghajatin in West Bengal.Initially they gave 100% assurance of exam to be held in NIMTT campus AT kOLKATA.Then 06/03/14 they shifted me to Swami Vivekananda University in Sagar MP.16/06/14 they again shifted me back to Pacific University at Udaipur and cleared that exams will not be held in NIMTT KOLKATA and i have to travel to Udaipur for exam.They took rs 73,000 fees from me.Now i found out they cheated many students like this.They are not repling back my mail for refund.plzz help me sir what legal steps can i take..

  12. Your Name... says:

    dear sir,last year 31/07/13 i took admission in 1yr B.Ed course at PACIFIC university Udaipur from NIMTT institute of Kolkata,Baghajatin in West Bengal.Initially they gave 100% assurance of exam to be held in NIMTT campus AT kOLKATA.Then 06/03/14 they shifted me to Swami Vivekananda University in Sagar MP.16/06/14 they again shifted me back to Pacific University at Udaipur and cleared that exams will not be held in NIMTT KOLKATA and i have to travel to Udaipur for exam.They took rs 73,000 fees from me.Now i found out they cheated many students like this.They are not repling back my mail for refund.plzz help me sir what legal steps can i take..
    constant changing university caused me monetary loss because i had to buy both university b.ed books.more over it is not possible for me to travel Udaipur for Exams.They broke their assurance of exam being held here and more over edaing my querry.. ill be thankfull for your reply..

  13. DOYEL says:

    dear sir,last year 31/07/13 i took admission in 1yr B.Ed course at PACIFIC university Udaipur from NIMTT institute of Kolkata,Baghajatin in West Bengal.Initially they gave 100% assurance of exam to be held in NIMTT campus AT kOLKATA.Then 06/03/14 they shifted me to Swami Vivekananda University in Sagar MP.16/06/14 they again shifted me back to Pacific University at Udaipur and cleared that exams will not be held in NIMTT KOLKATA and i have to travel to Udaipur for exam.They took rs 73,000 fees from me.Now i found out they cheated many students like this.They are not repling back my mail for refund.plzz help me sir what legal steps can i take..
    constant changing university caused me monetary loss because i had to buy both university b.ed books.more over it is not possible for me to travel Udaipur for Exams.They broke their assurance of exam being held here and more over edaing my querry.. ill be thankfull for yo

  14. Gaurav says:

    Hi,

    I am a student of a University in Rajasthan, Recently my Laptop was stolen from my locked hostel room when I was attending my classes.

    Hostel is situated within the University Premises and is maintained by the university administration only. University claims to provide 24*7 security via state-of-Art technology.

    Police is also not registering the theft case (with due understanding with college) though laptop contains such data which can cause me financially, socially & loss of that data caused me immense stress and is impacting my studies .

    Kindly advise me:
    1. if this is a case of Security gap on the side of university administration & breach of Contract from University side.
    2. if I am eligible for claiming compensation against the loss occur to me under any Act (ex. Contract Act or Consumer Act or any other applicable Act).
    3. What step should I take to safeguard myself against any illegal use of stolen laptop.

    Regards
    Gaurav

  15. tankist says:

    dear sir,last year 31/07/13 i took admission in 1yr B.Ed course at PACIFIC university Udaipur from NIMTT institute of Kolkata,Baghajatin in West Bengal.Initially they gave 100% assurance of exam to be held in NIMTT campus AT kOLKATA.Then 06/03/14 they shifted me to Swami Vivekananda University in Sagar MP.16/06/14 they again shifted me back to Pacific University at Udaipur and cleared that exams will not be held in NIMTT KOLKATA and i have to travel to Udaipur for exam.They took rs 73,000 fees from me.Now i found out they cheated many students like this.They are not repling back my mail for refund.plzz help me sir what legal steps can i take..
    constant changing university caused me monetary loss because i had to buy both university b.ed books.more over it is not possible for me to travel Udaipur for Exams.They broke their assurance of exam being held here and more over edaing my querry.. ill be thankfull for your reply..

  16. You have rightly mentioned that an institution is bound to refund admission fee of a student who withdraws admission before the start of course and there are a number of judgements of the Supreme Court and national consumer disputes redressal forum in this matter, but Haryana state consumer forum have rejected the claim saying that the complaint does not fall in the definition of consumer siting a supreme court judgement in case P. T. Ka shy and Anr v. Ellen Charitable Trust and ors. cited as 2012(13) C. P. C. 615( S. C.) Hon’ble Apex Court has held as under:

    ” in view of the judgement of this court in Maharishi Dayanand University v. Surjeet kaur, 2010(2)cPC 696 S. C., wherein this court placing reliance on all earlier judgements has categorically held that education is not a commodity. Educational institutions are not providing any kind of service, therefore in matter of admission, fees etc., there can not be a question of deficiency of service. Such matters can not be entertained by the Consumer Forum under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986″

  17. You have rightly mentioned that an institution is bound to refund admission fee of a student who withdraws admission before the start of course and there are a number of judgements of the Supreme Court and national consumer disputes redressal forum in this matter, but Haryana state consumer forum have rejected the claim saying that the complaint does not fall in the definition of consumer siting a supreme court judgement in case P. T. Ka shy and Anr v. Ellen Charitable Trust and ors. cited as 2012(13) C. P. C. 615( S. C.) Hon’ble Apex Court has held as under:

    ” in view of the judgement of this court in Maharishi Dayanand University v. Surjeet kaur, 2010(2)cPC 696 S. C., wherein this court placing reliance on all earlier judgements has categorically held that education is not a commodity. Educational institutions are not providing any kind of service, therefore in matter of admission, fees etc., there can not be a question of deficiency of service. Such matters can not be entertained by the Consumer Forum under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986

    Can you site any judgement of the Supreme Court, clarifying whether students are consumers or not/ educational institutions are service providers or nor, decided after the above said judgement

  18. FOR FORTIFYING INSTITUTIONAL SANCTITY AGAINST VANDALISM AND ARSON – MANAS RANJAN MSIHRA 09937140840 :

    P.T. Koshy and Anr. v. Ellen Charitable Trust and Ors. reported in 2012(3) CPC 615

    Honble Supreme Court in P.T. Koshy and Anr. v. Ellen Charitable Trust and Ors. reported in 2012(3) CPC 615 that the Educational Institutions are not the service providers and the complaint against the Educational Institutions is not maintainable under the Act. Therefore, the appeal is liable to be allowed and the order passed by the District Forum is liable to be set aside.

    Maharshi Dayanand University vs. Surjeet Kaur 2010(11) SCC 159 = 2010(2) CPC 696 S.C.

    wherein this Court placing reliance on all earlier judgments has categorically held that education is not a commodity. Educational institutions are not providing any kind of service, therefore, in matter of admission, fees etc., there cannot be a question of deficiency of service. Such matters cannot be entertained by the Consumer Forum under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986

  19. R/Sir,
    मेरी केस का मै संक्षिप्त रुपमे आपके सामने रख रहा हुं ।
    मै पुणे विश्वविद्यालय मे २८/२/१९८० को शिपाई पदपर नियुक्त हुआ । मेरा अच्छा काम, अच्छा बर्ताव और काम मे तत्परता, सहकारीयोन्से अच्छा सहयोग के कारण Vice Chancellor ने पुणे विद्यापीठ सेवा नियम १९६३ कलम ८ और ९ अंतर्गत सहाय्यक पदपर नियुक्ती कर दिया । मै कभी रिश्वत नही लेता था । इसलिये मेरी बहोत प्रशंसा होती थी । जनवरी १९९० मे मेरी मेडिकल परीक्षा विभाग मे ट्रान्सफर हुई । मैने जातेही रिश्वत के सारे रास्ते बंद किये । करप्ट बडे अधिकारी, करप्ट बाबू करप्ट छात्र मुझपर नाराज हुये । कुछ लोग खुश थे और जादातर नाराजही थे । एक बढे अधिकारीने अपने लडकीके मार्क्स बढाये थे । उसको मैने रोकनेकी कोशीस की थी । विश्वविद्यालय के भ्रष्ट अधिकारीयोने मिलकर षडयंत्र रचा । नकली शिकायतदार बनाये गये । झुटी शिकायते तयार की गई । बिना Preliminary Inquiry और बिना Proper परमिशन सस्पेंड किया । बिना Proper परमिशन इन्क्वायरी कमिटी बनायी । Inquiry करनेका फार्स किया । बिना Proper परमिशन और गैरकानुनी तरीकेसे मुझे कॅम्लसरी रिटायर्ड का पनिशमेंट दीया गया । Very Important Papers फाड दिये ।
    मैने अपिलेट अधिकारीसे रुल के अनुसार अपील किया था । वह अपिल एक अधिकारीने फाड दिया । मैने दुसरा अपील Tribunal मे दिया । आर्थिक प्रॉब्लेमकी वजह मै वकील नही दे पाया । Tribunal कहता है की डिपार्टमेन्टल इन्क्वायरी मे कोर्ट इंटरफेअर नही कर सकता और क्रिमीनल केस जैसा प्रुफ की जरुरत नही होती । अपील खारीज कर दी । मैने लीगल ऐड की मदत लेकर हायकोर्ट मे केस दाखील किया । हायकोर्टने अडमिशनमे ही निकाला । कहा की यह अपील का कोर्ट नही है । डिपार्टमेन्टल इन्क्वायरी मे इंटरफेअर करनेका Vice Chancellor को अधिकार है कोर्ट को नही । मैने Vice Chancellor से बात करनेका प्रयत्न किया लेकीन मिलने नही दिया । तो मैने महाराष्ट्र के राज्यपाल को अर्ज किया । तो विश्वविद्यालय ने राज्यपाल को गुमराह किया (Letter No. AN/2030 dt. 14/6/2007) । मुझे लगा की कोई ना कोई गडबडी हुई है । मैने Right of Infermation Act 2005 नुसार अर्ज किये तो पता चला पुरी की पुरी कारवाही गैरकानुनी है । लीगल ऐड का सला लिया और पुणे कोर्ट मे सिविल केस दाखील किया । सिविल कोर्ट को अधिकार नही ऐसा बता कर रिजेक्ट कर दिया । जिला कोर्ट मे अपील किया वो भी उसी बेस पर रिजेक्ट किया । कोर्ट का काम है की मै दोषी या निर्दोष यह तय करना । मगर यहां ऐसा नही होता । इस कानुनकी वजह हम न्याय नही दे सकते, उस कानुनकी वजह हम न्याय नही दे सकते । अगर कोर्ट मजबूर है तो न्याय कैसे मिलेगा । हर कोर्ट कोई न कोई बहाने बनाकर अपनी जिम्मेदारी से दूर भाग रहा है । ऐसा मुझे लग रहा है । ऐसे कोर्ट बनाये किसलिये जो न्याय नही दे सकते ।
    मेरी अर्थीक कंडीशन ठीक नही है । घर चलानाही मुश्कील है । अब मै सुप्रीम कोर्ट तक नही आ सकता । पुणे से दिल्ली आनाजानाभी नही हो सकता । तो क्या मुझे न्याय नही मिलेगा । मैने सिर्फ भ्रष्टाचार रोकने की कोसीस की थी । किसीका कोई नुकसान नही किया । मै पूरा १०० टक्का निर्दोष हुं । मैने कोई गलत काम नही किया । मेरे पास पैसे नही है इसलिये मै अच्छा वकील नही दे सकता । क्या पैसेसे न्याय मिळता है । जिसका वकील बडा उसका कोर्ट सुनता है । सत्यमेव जयते का क्या अर्थ होता है । बचपनसे मैने सुना है की आखिर सत्य का ही विजय होता है । क्या यह सही है मैने १९९७ से २०१४ तक न्याय की राह देख रहा हुं । आखिर कब आयेगा । ऐसा भी सुना है की सौ अपराधी छूटने दो लेकिन एक निरपराध को सजा नही होनी चाहिये । क्या ये सही है । मै तो १७ सालसे सजाही भुगत रहा हुं । अगर मै रिश्वत लेता तो ठीक होता । मेरे पास बहोत पैसे होते । न्याय मांगने की नोबत नही आती । अगर पकडा भी जाता तो पैसे देकर अच्छा वकील देता न्याय भी मिलता । मैने गलत किया की सही किया समझमे नही आ रहा । प्रश्न बहुत उठते है ।
    मे. हुजूर मेरी प्रॉब्लेम समझने की कोशिश कीजीये । मेरे पास निर्दोष होने के बहोत प्रुफ है । पुने विश्वविद्यालय के पास कोई प्रुफ नही, फिर भी न्याय नही मील रहा । आप चाहे, आपकी इजाजत हो तो मै पुरी केस विस्तारसे प्रुफ के साथ लिख भेजुंगा । मुझे न्याय चाहिये कृपा करके न्याय दिलवाये । ये मेरी नम्र विनती है ।
    पुणे आपका कृपाभिलाषी,
    दिनानाथ केशव बन

  20. Nitin Jain says:

    Dear Sir
    I did my B.E. from one of the private institute of rajasthan, due to negligence of college administration / HOD my 8th sem Internal marks was not sent to university before the declaration of final Mark sheet from University, after the declaration of result I got to know that “No marks was printed on my mark sheet against that particular Subject & I was declared as FAIL” even though I was appear in that Internal exam and secured 43 marks out of 45
    After that college administration request multiple times to university through written application to entertain my marks which was not sent by college HOD due to mistake, but university didn’t accept the same & replied against college letter that “NO MARKS WILL ENTERTAIN AFTER DECLARATION OF RESULT”
    Now at that point of time I had no option & I decided to file Civil WRIT at Hon’ble High Court Jaipur, as a result I won the case & direction given to university to accept my marks & issue correct mark sheet within 15 days
    Still University didn’t provide me correct mark sheet, they give me wrongly hand written mark sheet, after continuously follow-up with them finally the provide me correct marksheet.
    DURING THIS COMPLETE PROCESS I LOST MY JOB DUE TO UNAVAIBILITY OF CORRECT /PASS MARKSHEET ON TIME.
    After this I decided to go district consumer forum but they rejected my case by giving reference decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India “Bihar School Examination Board vs Suresh Prasad Sinha”
    Again I moved to State consumer commission where I won the case.
    After that both College & University moved to National Consumer Commission where case is registered but still not accepted
    REQUESTING YOUR HELP TO PROVIDE ANY SUPPORTING DECISSION OF Hon’ble Supreme Court of India where I can show that college & university falls under consumer act

  21. RISHI KIMAR says:

    REQUESTING YOUR HELP TO PROVIDE ANY SUPPORTING DECISSION OF Hon’ble Supreme Court of India where I can show that college & university falls under consumer act as far as refund of fee is concerned
    Regards
    RISHI KUMAR
    Mob:9313868835

  22. Anooj K Raj says:

    Sir,
    I paid exam fee and other fees to the Periyar University Salem through study centre. Appeared exam. Result was not published. statementof marks issued. Marks of practical exam, 4 papers not recorded in the marklist. sent petitions. marks list issued. provisional certificate not issued. filed a petition before district consumer court palakkad. Court declared that I am not a consumer.I quoted a judgement showing a similar case in 2006 approved by state forum.
    Whether I am a consumer or not in this case? Have any possibility to consider my case? Please help me in this regard.

  23. Swati says:

    Sir
    I am doing my MBA from a private college of ncr. At the time of admission they promised us for laptop and foreign trip and now they are not giving any of it. Now I am in second year. Please suggest what actions could be taken.

  24. Sunita Singh says:

    I took admission in met college at bandra in 2008 in second year during practical exam I suffered injury in my eye and gone through treatment for three but finally lost my eye because college had not provided safety measures to the students how can I sue the college authority.

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