A consumer forum at Delhi rejected the plea made by a student seeking a refund of Rs. 3.52 lakh which he paid to pursue PGD in Public Relations and Event Management at a private institute. He claimed that the institute failed to provide a job or internship as promised during the admission. However, the consumer forum rejected the plea made by the student and clarified that 'education is not merely a commodity and student is not a customer'.
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A resident of Noida who filed a plea also claimed that the institute has to pay Rs. 40,000 for causing mental pain and agony as well as deficiency in service on the part of the institute as well as the Executive Director.
R.S. Bagri, Presiding Officer who heads the forum bench revealed that as per Consumer Protection Act, the plea filed by the students does not come under the sphere of the forum. On the other hand, education is not a commodity, and the complaint filed by the student does not come under the definition of consumer.
While rejecting the plea, the bench referred to several verdicts given by Supreme Court, State Consumer Forums and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in similar kind of cases. All these judgments clearly indicated that students are not consumers and education is not a commodity.
The student had approached the consumer forum after the institute denied to refund the fees. The institute, however, denied the allegations of any unfair means of trade practice.