The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has pulled up Manipal University (MU) for denying a student (currently serving at Manipal Hospital) of his certificates even though he completed his course in 2008.
Dr Sushith of Kuloor in Dakshina Kannada district got admission into MD Biochemistry at Manipal University in 2005-06 and completed the course in 2008. However, the varsity refused to issue the certificate and withheld it without giving him any substantial reason.
Sushith then filed a complaint with the Dakshina Kannada District Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum in Mangalore. The university stated that Sushith had no funds to pay the tuition fee and the varsity had even given him a concession and waived the fee. In addition, they paid him a stipend during the course of his studies with the understanding that he would serve for five years after the completion of the course failing which he should repay the entire tuition fee.
However, he failed to abide by the conditions in the agreement and absented from duty.
They further said that they had no objection to handing over the original certificate if he agrees to pay `9.3 lakh. They stated that the varsity had retained the original certificates as a lien till he performed the terms of the aforesaid agreement.
However, the Forum directed the Manipal University register and dean of Kasturba Medical College to hand over the original medical degree certificates issued by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education to the complainant.
The order of District Forum was challenged by Manipal University before the State Commission which dismissed their appeal and said the question of line does not arise in this case. In the entire service agreement, nowhere is it mentioned that if Sushith violates any of the conditions mentioned, the varsity would have the right to retain the certificates till the recovery of `9.3 lakh.
The Commission’s order was challenged before the National Commission which dismissed the appeal and said `20,000 should be paid to Sushith.