New Delhi: Educational institutions cannot retain the tuition fees of a student if he withdraws from a course without attending classes, a consumer forum here has held while asking the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) to refund it to a student.
"This forum as well as the Delhi State Commission has been taking a consistent view that no institute can be allowed to retain the tuition fee charged by it in case tuition has not been provided or availed. They are only entitled to deduct a token amount for the expenses incurred by them for process of admission," the East District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has said.
The forum presided by NA Zaidi gave its order on the complaint of city resident Rajesh Aggarwal that he had deposited to NIFT Rs 51,750 as the tuition fees for the admission of his daughter, who, however, was not able to attend classes and had withdrawn from the institute.
But the NIFT refunded him Rs Rs 25,000 only, forfeiting Rs 26,750 of his daughter`s tuition fees, said Aggarwal in his complaint.
The forum pointed out to the NIFT that even as per the University Grants Commission`s guidelines, an institute can only deduct a token amount of Rs 1,000 towards expenses of admission process and not retain the tuition fees and asked NIFT to refund Rs 25,750.
"Keeping in view general guidelines issued by the UGC and the judicial pronouncements, we find that NIFT is not entitled to forfeit the amount of Rs 26,750 and they are only entitled to deduct admission process expenses of Rs 1,000 from the total deposit amount of Rs 51,750.
"We therefore, direct NIFT to refund to the complainant (Aggarwal) a further amount of Rs 25,750," the forum said.
In its defense, the NIFT had argued that it is an autonomous institute and that Aggarwal had been informed at the time of admission that if his daughter withdraws from the course only 50 per cent of the tuition fees would be refunded.