Tamil Nadu: College to pay student Rs 1.9 Lakh for wasting a year's education

The College had not committed any negligence in service.

Chennai: The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum, Chennai (South) directed a fashion technology and media college to pay compensation of Rs 1.91 lakh to girl student for not offering her a post-graduate diploma course in Mass Communication.

In the petition, Lakshmi Madusudanan of Sembakkam submitted that she completed graduation and proposed to pursue PG Diploma in Mass Communication. She noticed advertisement of Wigan & Leigh College (India) Limited, (WLCI College) offering a Post- Graduate Diploma course in Mass Communication in their campus office at Bengaluru.

She paid Rs 1 lakh towards tuition fees, Rs 10,000 as security deposit. She also paid over Rs 17,000 towards registration and examination fees for the four-semester course. After joining she realised that the college was not having proper study materials, faculty members and infrastructure in the Bengaluru campus. Later, she was shifted to Chennai campus from Bengaluru.

However, the college management had not provided her a seat in the Mass Communications course. When questioned, the management assured her that first semester would be common for all media students and she would be provided a seat in Mass Communication after completion of the first semester. Later, they informed her that Mass Communication course was not available in Chennai campus. The management offered her a diploma course in Animation and she was forced to join it.

She contended that only after the assurance given by the management had she paid the fees. She was not able to continue the course for a year resulting in great mental agony. She sent a notice in April 2006 to the management asking them to repay the fees after deducting the necessary charges for the first semester. She said that the act of college clearly amounts to gross deficiency in service and caused her harassment, mental agony and hardship.

Denying the allegations, the management replied that WLCI college was a reputed fashion designing institute in India and it offers degree and diploma courses in fashion technology, social media, advertising and graphic design and digital media and communications. It was known for excellence in teaching. The college never made any offer to her to continue her studies in Chennai and, in fact, she opted for the intercity transfer to join the animation course in Chennai. Hence, the college had not committed any negligence in service. Stating that the fees paid shall not be refunded under any circumstances, the college sought dismissal of the complaint.

The bench President M. Mony, Members K. Amala and Dr T. Paul Rajasekaran, said it’s not denied that the student had wasted one year in her education. Considering facts and circumstances, the forum directed the management to refund her tuition fees of Rs 1.36 lakh and compensation of Rs 55,000 for causing her mental agony.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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