Pune: Two MBBS graduates from Valsad and Surat, who had moved the District Consumer Court against a private health management and consultancy service provider firm for not having got them their desired medical admission or refunding their deposit to them, have won the Court’s favour.
The court in its directive has asked the private firm provider to refund Rs 14.66 lakh with a 9% annual interest since October 29, 2014, to the two graduates for deficiency in service. Another Rs. 10,000 has to be paid by the service provider to each of the complainants as costs incurred
Viral R Patel, a resident of Valsad , and Naman B Zala, a Surat resident had approached the firm, International Health Management and Consulting located in Model Colony, Shivajinagar between April and June, 2014 for processing of applications to a German institute’s Post Graduate medical course. It is reported that while Patel paid Rs 7.34 lakh, Zala parted with Rs 7.32 lakh for the admission..
The doctors in two separate complaints alleged that the firm neither processed their admission nor refunded the deposits made by them, and also went ahead and terminated their contract at their own will.
Interest calculated till date on the refund amount works out at Rs. 1.81 lakhs for each complainant, and till an actual payment is made to the victims, will continue to rise.
Meanwhile, the firm on its part in a written statement had presented the argument that the consumer court had no jurisdiction over the matter, which involved a contractual obligation between the firm and the complainants.
It also denied having caused any deficiency in service, unfair trade practice or issuing misleading advertisements. The statement giving reasons for not having made a refund said that as per the contract clause, it was prepared to refund 70% of the amount, but the complainant Patel did not provide his bank details. In Zala’s case, the firm clarified that he necessary disclosures by him were not made, thereby not entitling him to any reimbursements.
The bench, however, observed, “The opposite party (firm) has admitted receipt of amount as alleged by the complainants. The opposite party nowhere mentioned in its correspondence that the complainants had suppressed material fact or gave false information. Moreover, the clause as regards deduction of 30% amount of the agreement cost appears to be unilateral and unreasonable. The opposite party had unilaterally terminated the agreement without any sufficient reason and refused to render the service even after accepting huge amounts. In such circumstances, this forum is of the considered opinion that the opposite party has rendered deficient service to the complainants,” reports TOI
The bench comprising Onkar G Patil,VP Utpat, and Kshitija Kulkarni gave the firm 45 days to implement the order.