what is the legal importance/enforceability of Prospectus of admission to professional courses?
my son was enrolled in a professional engineering college and withdrawn his admission within 15 days at his own request.Eventhough classes had started,the admissions were closed to the course by the concerned university,much later.
For getting our certificates back from the college,we were forced to pay four years fees as penaltyl
In the prospectus,there was only one sentence regarding refund.i.e refund as per govt policy.The management told us that as per some agreement they had with govt,they are entitled to impose such penalties.
Now my question is:-1)Is the stand of the management is legally sustainable/enforceable?
2}for imposing any such penalties,is it not required to state the details explicitly in the prospectus?
3} to the best of my knowledge and belief,thee are no published notices or guidelines of either govt or the university to impose such penalties for withdrawal of admissions.
4) Now,if the contention of the management that they have agreement with govt on the same, unless it is publicly known (either news papers or though their websites),will those guidelines if any would be legally valid?
1 Answer from Attorneys
It has been held that imparting of education by an educational institute for a consideration is within the ambit of service under the Consumer Protection Act. Further with respect to your query regarding refund of fee by an educational institute, it is advisable to have a look at the decision of Hon’ble National Commission wherein it has been held that :- “We do not think it necessary to go into the question whether the rule in the prospectus about the non refund of fee is unconscionable or not, in detail. Suffice it to say that FORA constituted under the Consumer Protection Act have no jurisdiction to declare any rule in the prospectus of any institution as unconscionable or illegal. It is for the Civil Court to determine this point. If student/students apply for admission and deposit the fees and later on do not want to join the course, then the seat/seats so vacated will remain vacant throughout the academic year. In such circumstances it will become very difficult for any institution to run in a proper manner”. However, to settle the dispute with Institute, approach the jurisdictional consumer forum with a written complainant.
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