Consumer forums are the special court for a judicial hearing set up by the government to protect the rights of the consumers. It deals with consumer disputes, conflicts, and grievances faced by the consumer after buying and availing services of the buyer. Consumer forum under the Consumer Protection Act 1986, is a special court for the consumer who avails or buys services from the seller. Any customer who falls under the definition of the Act as a customer under the Consumer Protection Act can complain about the services of the buyer in the Consumer Forums.
The case was filed by the complainant under a National Dispute Redressal Forum against the university indulged in the unfair trade practice and provide a deficiency of the services to the complainant. The complainant alleged that the university assured him about the false requisite approvals of the university. The complainant was admitted in the offshore program in the year of 2005-2006 as the two-year study in Thailand and two and half year study in the alleged university and after completion, an MBBS degree has been conferred by the alleged university and the same should be recognized by the Central government and Medical Council of India.
After two years of studying in Thailand, the complainant was informed to continue his course in Thailand and conferred with the foreign medical degree and appear for the screening test in India. The writ petition filed by the university on behalf of the student for the appearance of the screening test in India and further it was allowed by the council.
The National Examination Board filed the writ appeal in which they stated that the qualification of a student is not a primary qualification as the degree is not recognized by the Medical Council of India as well as Thailand. The complainant seeking compensation for the deficiency of the service and the unfair practice indulged by the university as a loss of the social standing, academics, career opportunities as well as mental and physical agony.
- The defect in service, trade, and unfair trade practice by the educational institution post-admission which falls under the course of imparting knowledge has conferred under the ambit of the definition of education as education means to impart knowledge.
- As the university is deemed university and its activities are governed by the Universal Grant Commission Act, the educational institution did not have proper affiliation in imparting the education then the consumer forum does not have proper jurisdiction to deal the same.
The National Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum held that the educational institution does not impart services as their works are to impart knowledge hence, the consumer forum does not have jurisdiction to entertain the complaint. Educational institutions are not providing any service nor in the matter of admission nor the fees so there is no ground for questioning the deficiency of the services. Such matters cannot be entertained by the Consumer Forum under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The complaint filed against the Dental College alleging them for the deficiency of service for admitting the students, even it was neither an affiliated university nor even recognized by the Dental Council of India.
Edited by Vartika Gajendra Singh
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje