HYDERABAD: The Ranga Reddy District Consumer Redressal Forum here has directed a private management institute to refund a sum of over Rs 1.5 lakh and issue a transfer certificate (TC) to a female student after she withdrew her admission from the institute citing harassment.
Sai Shree Divya G, a student of Siva Sivani Institute of Management, Kompally paid a sum of Rs 4.25 lakh towards the first instalment of tuition fee for two-year PGDM triple specialisation course. One day, she noticed that a stranger was following her in the college. Later, she started receiving calls and inappropriate gestures from that man and she reported the matter to the director (admin) but no action was taken against the stalker.
This caused serious nervousness, fear, phobia and depression in Divya, and she fell sick and was hospitalised. Unable to bear the harassment, she decided to quit the college and sent a letter on October 18, 2014 stating the reason for not attending the classes and requesting for return of TC and refund of the fee, but got no response. As they reside in Nagpur, her father’s friend visited the campus. Though he was promised to receive a response, he got none.
A legal notice was issued on December 22, 2014, seeking the TC and fee refund as per AICTE rules to which the college management sent a reply asking for payment of second-year fee. Left with no option, Divya filed this complaint against the institute, institute’s president, executive vice- president, vice-president and director (admin) seeking justice.
The opposite party made a written submission that the institute was dependent on the fee paid by students and the withdrawal of complainant’s admission and non-payment of the second instalment of fee would directly affect its finances. They claimed that Divya failed to provide necessary details of such incidents as harassment and added that even her father’s letter neither contained details of the alleged incidents nor disclosed the name of the person who harassed his daughter.
During the trial, the Bench observed the results of the first trimester results and found out that Divya failed in all the five subjects and attributed the same to her mental condition. “The endorsement dated November 21, 2014 by the opposite parties only state that the refund can be given and TC would be returned upon payment of entire fees. Hence it appears complainant’s reason for withdrawal from the college is not refuted or denied by the opposite parties,” the bench said.
“Though we cannot affix responsibility upon opposite parties for the alleged failure to control the harassment of complainant on the campus, as the same is not sufficiently proved, Divya certainly is eligible for refund of the fees upon withdrawal as she has not utilised certain services or facilities covered under the amounts paid by her. However, She has to forgo the entire admission fees and the tuition fees as she has not brought any evidence on record to show that the seat left vacant by her withdrawal was subsequently allotted to another student. Thus, the complainant is entitled to refund of IT facility of `60,000, other facilities of Rs 40,000 and also Rs 56,250 towards proportionate hostel fee. The opposite party is also liable to return the TC of the complainant without seeking any payments whatsoever,” the bench added.