New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday upheld
the order of consumer fora that a college is bound to refund
the fee of a student as it lacked recognition", a lacuna which
amounted to deficiency in service.
The apex court agreed with the contention of the
student that she suffered loss of an academic year and mental
harassment due to the unrecognised status of the college which
forced her to withdraw her admission in it.
A bench of Justices Markandey Katju and T S Thakur
directed the Vinayak Mission Dental College to refund the
entire fee of Rs 5.15 lakh with interest to the student. It,
however, set aside the order of the fora which had directed
the college to pay a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh.
The apex court passed the order while disposing of the
college`s appeal challenging the concurrent findings of the
Delhi State Consumer Commission and the National Commission
which had held the college guilty of deficiency in service.
While the State Commission had imposed a fine
of Rs 6.15 lakh, besides asking it to refund the Rs
5.15 lakh fees, the National Commission pruned the
compensation amount to Rs 2.5 lakh.
Aggrieved, the college appealed in the apex court.
"We are of the opinion that refund of the amount of
fee deposited by the student with interest at the rate of 12
per cent per annum with effect from July 31, 2000 till the
date of payment meets the ends of justice," the bench said.
The college had argued that there was no evidence that
Khare had suffered any prejudice or inconvenience upon taking
admission in it.
The complainant refuted the contentions, saying that
the Commission was justified in holding that there was
deficiency in service on the part of the college.
Khare had earlier filed a complaint with the Delhi
State Consumer Commission alleging loss of an academic year
and harassment by the unrecognised dental college in which she
secured admission in the dental course.