Bhupesh Khurana and Ors. v. Vishwa Buddha Parishad and Ors.

In the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum

NameBhupesh Khurana and Ors. v. Vishwa Buddha Parishad and Ors.
Citation(2001) 2 CPJ 74 (NC)
Year29 September 2000
Appellant Bhupesh Khurana
RespondentVishwa Buddha Parishad
Bench/JudgeC.L. Chaudhary, J.
Acts Consumer Protection Act, Constitution of India

Abstract

Academic fraud could also be a threat to the intellectual integrity on which the advancement of knowledge depends. Academic fraud can taint the reputation of the University and of its honest scholars and researchers. It can compromise the position of collaborators, subordinates, and supervisors. Fraudulent research can lead other investigators down fruitless paths of inquiry, at enormous costs to knowledge, morale, careers, time, and money. Its occurrence places great strains upon collegial interaction.

The incidence of educational fraud is difficult to measure and is, one hopes, very small.  One lesson learned from the reported cases is that unplanned procedures don’t allow universities to reply well to charges of educational fraud. Specific procedures developed beforehand should help reduce the danger to everyone involved.

Introduction 

In this case, fraud or misrepresentation of the facts had been done by the University because it shows that the university was an affiliate with the Magadh University Bihar, and Dental Council of India, New Delhi. But the very fact is that it had been seeking affiliation. They’ve committed fraud with the life of a student by not providing them with a bright future. Thanks to the misrepresentation of the very fact, the scholars had in touch with the mental torture, financial loses and harassment due to the loss of their two valuable academic years and also additional expenses for his or her fresh admission in another college. Such commission, omission and conduct by the University amount to deficiency in commission. The scholars were legally entitled to recover the expenses incurred by them during the course of stay alongside compensation and damages. The National Commission held the University liable for committing fraud and deficiency Buyer Protection Act. 

Facts

In this case, young students who passed the 12th standard and were searching for his or her better professional future, were misled by the advertisement issued by the respondent. All the Complainants were having a superb academic record and searching forward to their better future career prospects. The respondent ran an establishment collectively within the name of Buddhist Mission Dental College and Hospital. The school was established by Vishwa Buddha Parishad which was established in 1997. The school was stated to have started working from the year 1988. The other parties advertised within the national newspaper (English Edition) for admission for BDS course 1991-1992 inviting applications for admission for the primary year of BDS course. Within the advertisement, it’s categorically and clearly written that the school is “under Magadh University, Bihar, and Dental Council of India, New Delhi”. Also, similar sorts of advertisements were published within the newspaper for the tutorial session of 1992-1992 and 1992-1993. within the prospectus of the school, it had been clearly mentioned that the school travel by the other parties are affiliated with Magadh University and recognised by Dental Council of India, thereby giving a transparent impression that the said college is duly recognised by the Dental Council of India which may be a statutory body for the aim of running the institution and also affiliated with Magadh University for the aim of conducting the annual BDS examination and giving the degree course on completion of the course. The prospectus also mentioned that the institution fulfils all the conditions of establishment as required by the Dental Council of India. The scholars in bonafide and straightness accepted the knowledge of the other party as authentic and proper and sought admission within the BDS Course and paid a considerable amount as demanded by this educational institute under various heads. They attended their classes regularly for a full session after their admission for the session 1991-1992. However, the eleven complainant students got worried when the University examinations thanks to being held in September, 1992, were not in view. The complainants alongside their parents made enquiry to this educational institute for explanations on why the annual examination wasn’t conducted in time by the Magadh University. In spite of a number of requests and reminders made by the complainants, no date-sheet for examinations was declared till December, 1992. The complainants lastly approached the Governing Authority and they came to understand that the school was neither affiliated to Magadh University nor recognized by the Dental Council of India and thereby unable to carry the examinations. Complainants alleging to have suffered irreparable loss and injury due to such acts of this educational institute filed a complaint before the National Commission claiming compensation to the tune of Rs. 1,21,94,000/-.

Issues

  1. Whether imparting education for consideration is service under the buyer Protection Act, 1986.
  2. Whether the consideration is regarding the compensation to be awarded to the Complainants.

Related case

Buddhist Mission Dental College and Hospital v. Bhupesh Khurana

In this case, the Supreme Court supported the choice of the National Commission, that educational institutions are often said to supply services for consideration, where they charge fees, therefore, they’re responsible for compensating the scholars for having scammed them. 

Bangalore water system and Sewerage Board v. A. Rajappa and Others

The Supreme Court held that the University or an academic institution, the character of the activity is ex hypothesis, education which may be a service to the community. Ergo, the University is an industry.

Judgement

The opposite party made the primary contention that each complainant claims differently. Many of them do not even pay the fees but are demanding an equivalent. Then, it’s stated that the at the tune of admission the prospectus mention that it’s an affiliate but further it’s claimed that it’s seeking affiliation and therefore the university took all the steps for getting the popularity by the  Dental Council of India didn’t perform any inspection thanks to the government decision. After then, the complainant was informed that the explanation for delay in not conducting the examination was on account of the delay on the part of the Dental Council of India to hold out its inspection. Therefore, the damages and compensation claimed by the complainant were denied. But the contention of the complainant was clearly mentioned within the prospectus and represented that the university commits a fraud, mislead and cheat with other students.

The parties got the chance to file an affidavit by way of evidence in support of their respective cases which opportunity they need availed of. it had been urged by the complainant that the other party made a false representation thanks to which they sought admission. Imparting education may be a service under the supply of the buyer Protection Act and there’s a transparent deficiency on the part of the other parties. The whole defence stays with the other party that within the prospectus they gave used the word “seek” is unfounded within the context of the advertisement and therefore the other material published by the other Parties, which clearly stated that the school was affiliated. it had been also argued that the Complaint was bad for the misjoinder for parties and explanation for action.

The complainant represents the advertisement in support of their case which clearly stated that the other party commit fraud or mislead them as there’s nowhere within the advertisement it’s mentioned that the university is seeking affiliation Rather, it describes a premier dental college of Bihar established and managed by the Vishwa Buddha Parishad under Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India, fulfilling all the standards and conditions of Dental Council of India. Then the prospectus has been presented. the other parties deprive support from the phrase “to which this institution seeks affiliation for the aim of examination and award of degree in B.D.S”, to support their argument. By reading the advertisement and prospectus as an entire, there’s no manner of doubt that the permission given was that the college was affiliated with the Magadh University and was recognised by the Dental Council of India.

Rejecting contentions of the other party the National Commission was of the view that the knowledge given within the advertisement that the school was affiliated to  Magadh University and is approved by the Dental Council of India might be taken by a standard person to mean that the school had been given recognition by the Dental Council of India and was affiliated to the Magadh University.

The National Commission laid down that imparting education by an academic institution for consideration falls within the ambit of ‘Service’ as defined within the C.P. Act. Also, fees were paid by students for services to be rendered by way of imparting education by the tutorial institution. The complainants had hired the services of the respondent for consideration in order that they were consumers as defined within the C.P. Act. Therefore, the Commission directed the school to refund the admission fees paid by the scholars at the time of admission with interest at the speed of 12% p.a. from the date of receipt of the fees till the date of payment and also directed the institute to pay Rs. 20,000/- to every student for compensation for mental agony and harassment.

The complainants also claimed the donation and capitation fee which was paid by them but no receipt was issued. there’s nothing on the record thereto. So, the Commission is not inclined to grant any relief regarding this. The respondent shall pay Rs.10000/- because of the cost of this petition and also allowed two months’ time to get the directed amount. The Complaint was finally disposed of.

Conclusion 

Parents and students, should, therefore, always check the small print of the institute or college and therefore the course during which they’re seeking admission and do not fall prey to misleading advertisements. you’ve got the proper as a consumer for a refund of fees if you discover that the tutorial institute has been deficient in its service. For further details, you’ll check the web site of UGC or AICTE to seek out whether the University or college during which you’re seeking admission is recognised or not.

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Reference

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