Refund fee to student, forum orders FIITJEE
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed FIITJEE, a coaching institute, to refund fee to a student who left the classes over dissatisfaction with the teaching methodology at the institution.Harsh Vardhan Sikka, a resident of Sector 38, had appeared in a test conducted by the institute and got admitted in their Pinnacle two-year integrated programme. He deposited Rs 1,10,900 through cheque on March 23 last year, and examination and tuition fee of Rs 86,163 in instalments.
Harsh Vardhan submitted that he attended the classes at the institute from April 11 conducted at a school in Sector 37 and paid fee for three months. The complainant stated that he regularly attended the classes, but was dissatisfied with the methodology of teaching by the institution. At the time of the admission, the teaching and executive staff of FIITJEE had given assurances that in case of need, extra assistance in his studies would be provided at the school or the institute.Harsh Vardhan stated that he was not able to perform well in his tests and regular coaching, rather he was taunted and harassed by teachers and was called incompetent and not suited for the course.
The institute considerably brought down the morale of the complainant, who then withdrew from the course on August 6, 2018.
The complainant’s father Rakesh Sikka sought refund of the fee for the period when Harsh Vardhan did not attend classes, but in vain.
Harsh Vardhan, through his father, filed a complaint with the forum on December 3.
In its reply, the institute submitted that the complainant and his parents were made aware of the terms and conditions at the time of the admission. They accepted and signed the same. The complainant was not entitled to any refund and he had never made any request or complaint that he was not satisfied with the teaching methodology of the institute. In order to seek refund of the fee, which is not payable, the complainant concocted a false story whereas he himself withdrew from the course of FIITJEE from August 3, 2018.
After hearing the arguments, the forum stated that as per the public notice issued by the UGC, all institutions are directed to refund money of student for the period the college/institution was not attended.
“Receiving fee in a lump sum for complete two years, as happened in the present case, apparently reflects the highhandedness of FIITJEE. Despite clear-cut instructions/directions, the institute did not stop the unfair trade practice of charging lump sum for the whole two years of coaching/tuition period,” observed the forum.
The forum directed FIITJEE to refund the entire fee received from the complainant, after deducting charges for four months when the student had attended the classes. The institute was further told to pay Rs 5,000 as litigation costs and Rs 10,000 as compensation to Harsh Vardhan for causing mental agony and harassment to him due to their deficient act.