New Delhi: Some private colleges allure students with misleading advertisements, the apex consumer commission said, asking a Rajasthan-based pharmacy institute to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to a student for admitting him to an unrecognised course and awarding an invalid degree.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has asked the Goyanka College of Pharmacy in Rajasthan to refund the fees paid by Anil Kumar Kumawat and asked it to pay Rs 5,000 as legal cost apart from the compensation.
“It is quite often observed in our country that some of the professional institutes run by private organisations allure students by misleading advertisements and promises and collect huge fees or donations.
“Most of the aspirants are kept in dark about the legality of the course,” the bench comprising presiding member BC Gupta and member S M Kantikar said.
While pointing out that a few institutes even admit the students without proper infrastructure and statutory permissions, the commission said innocent students become the victim of such colourful assurances and take admission in the hope of bright future.
It also termed the conduct of the institute as an unfair trade practice.
“In the instant case, the institute was not recognised by the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI). The complainant, a young budding graduate, even though, after completion of the course and acquiring B.Pharmacy degree, was refused (job) by two pharmaceutical companies only because of non-recognition of the degree by the PCI.
“Thus, in our view, it was unfair trade practice by the institute,” the bench said.
According to the complaint, Kumawat, a resident of Sikar district, had joined the college in 2006-07 batch after depositing Rs 36,000 and a hostel fee of Rs 24,000.
He completed the course in 2009-10 and got a job in a pharma company in Mumbai. On the second day of the job, he was removed from the office on the ground that his degree was forged and his college was not recognised by the PCI.
He also alleged that after interview, he was selected in another company but after verification of marksheets, he was denied appointment due to non-recognition of the college.
The institute had claimed that they were not at fault as the complainant himself took admission after knowing all the rules.
It claimed that it had already on June 14, 2006 filed an application for registration of institute under PCI and the inspection had been carried out, but due to some formalities to be completed by the institution, the permission was kept pending.
Though the institute had made several representations to PCI office, the permission of registration was delayed, it had claimed.
The district forum had allowed the complaint and asked the institute to refund the fees and to pay Rs 50,000 towards compensation and Rs 5,000 as costs of litigation to the complainant which the state commission had upheld.