K. Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy

ICFAI University faulted for not providing full information to a student at the time of his admission

HYDERABAD: The A.P. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (APSCDRC) found fault with the ICFAI University, Hyderabad for not providing full information to a student at the time of his admission and ordered refund of fee to the concerned student.

Upholding the verdict of Warangal District Consumer Forum, the State Commission ordered the university to refund Rs. 22,300, the tuition fee paid by the student, in addition to Rs. 5,000 towards compensation and Rs. 2,000 for court costs within a month. The case was filed by Md. Anwaruddin.

Cheques given

Md. Anwaruddin joined MBA programme (distance mode) at the university’s Warangal study centre in December, 2003. He paid Rs. 15,000 out of Rs. 51,500 and gave 10 post-dated cheques of Rs. 3,659 each for the remaining tuition fee. By then, he was under the impression that he could attend contact classes at Warangal study centre. As classes did not commence even after the beginning date, he enquired about the same with the headquarters in February, 2004.

The university informed him that classes could not be conducted at Warangal and suggested him to attend classes at Hyderabad or to continue the course in ‘self study’ mode. Then the complainant withdrew from the course and demanded repayment of the fee. As the university turned down his request, he filed a case with the District Forum seeking back the paid amount of Rs.22,300 with 12 per cent annual interest and Rs.1 lakh towards damages and costs.

The university contested the case saying that classes were not held at Warangal as there was no requisite number of students. It said his withdrawal was not accepted since the provisions concerned do not allow such exit before clearance of post-dated cheques. It further argued that there was no deficiency in service since the provisions were clearly indicated in its distance education regulations.

Appeal dismissed

However, the District Forum pointed out that the ICFAI had not provided any such details in the application form, nor did it define what the ‘requisite number’ could be. When the ICFAI challenged the verdict in APSCDRC, the appeal was dismissed.