The petitioner joined another institute after three semesters and the university allegedly refused to return his certificates

The Tamil Nadu State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission bench here has directed the Registrar of SASTRA Deemed University to refund the tuition fee and return certificates to a B.Tech student, who discontinued his studies at the university to join another educational institution.

The Commission issued the order rejecting the plea of the university to set aside the order of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Tiruchi, directing the Registrar to refund Rs.1.12 lakh to the student, B.S. Manohar.

Mr. Manohar had discontinued his B.Tech course at the university after the third semester as he got admission to another institute.

Mr. Manohar had filed a case in the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Tiruchi, in 2009 through the Consumer Protection Council, alleging that the university demanded tuition fee for the next five semesters to return his certificates and refused to refund the fee he had paid for the semesters.

The district forum had held the university guilty of deficiency in service and directed the Registrar to refund the fee to the student along with six per cent interest, and return his certificates.

In his appeal filed in the State Commission, the Registrar contended that the student was not entitled to refund of fee as per the rules and regulations of the university.

Judicial member J. Jayaram and member S. Sambandam of the Tamil Nadu State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission ruled that the university’s refusal to return the original certificates and the fee to Mr. Manohar amounted to ‘deficiency in service’. “This is an unfair practice”, they noted in the order.

However, they modified the order of the district forum and held that the university did not have to pay the interest.