College asked to pay Rs. 2 lakh each to 17 students who were awarded ‘wrong’ degree

The Dakshina Kannada Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ruled against the St. Aloysius College in two separate cases.

The autonomous college has been asked to pay Rs. 2 lakh to each of the 17 complaints for its inability to award the degree it promised. In the second case, the college and the Life Insurance Corporation of India have been jointly and severally asked to pay damages of Rs. 15,000 to each of the two lecturers who resigned, and pay them the amount due to them under a group insurance scheme.

The forum also asked the college to pay litigation of Rs. 2,000 in each case.

In the first case, a group of 17 students had filed nine cases before the forum complaining that St. Aloysius College had failed to award them M.S. degree in Software Technology and instead gave them M.Sc. despite charging Rs. 1.70 lakh as fee from each student for the two-year course.

The forum pointed out that Mangalore University had turned down a request for changing the name of the course from M.Sc. to M.S. saying that an M.S. could be offered only to those who have studied four-year bachelor’s (honours) course in science. The college was offering its course to those who completed three-year B.Sc. The students had joined the course to obtain M.S. degree which has “higher value than the M.Sc…”

Declining to accept the college’s contention that M.S. and M.Sc. were the same, the forum said students were not aware that the degree course opted by them was not approved and declared that the institution had committed gross negligence, deficiency in service and unfair trade practice.

Lecturers

The second case was filed by Santhosh Melwyn Mascarenhas of Kavoor and Mohammad Naseem of Kuntikana who resigned as lecturers in 2012 after about nine years of service. They were covered under LIC pension and group scheme for which 15 per cent of their salary was being deducted. The college had given no objection certificate to them to join any other institution.

They said college denied the benefits falsely alleging that they had remained absent without permission. The forum did not accept the contention of the college that the lecturers had not complied with the college regulations.

LIC maintained that the college had not given the details of the two teachers for it to pay the benefits. Pointing out that the college should have done this, the forum said failure on this count amounted to deficiency in service as well as unfair trade practice. LIC also could have processed the claim without waiting for details from the college.

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