The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has penalized a Sector 35 training institute for not refunding the course fee to a student who discontinued the course soon after enrolling.
The complainant, Vinay Kumar Attar of Mohali, filed a case against M/s Indira Gandhi Institute of Aeronautics, Sector 35-C, Chandigarh, and its New Delhi office through its managing director.
Vinay alleged that in July 2022 he had approached the institute for training in a Commercial Pilot License course and paid the course fee. $1.9 lakh by check and $5,000 in cash in July 2022. As the check could not be cashed due to a technical issue, the complainant paid the amount through NEFT in the same month.
Although the course of the subject was to start on July 6, 2022, he was informed that the teacher of the subject was not joining the course. He attended classes from July 12 to August 10, but discovered that the substitute teachers did not have the desired experience. Therefore, he decided to suspend the course and requested a refund of the amount that was denied.
At the forum, the opposition parties appeared through lawyers and asked for time to present replies and evidence. However, no one showed up on the postponed date, so the proceeding was ex parte.
The forum observed: “…till date they have done nothing to redress their grievance. Therefore, the above-mentioned act of the opposition parties (institute) certainly amounts to deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on their part, especially when all the evidence presented by the complainant is not refuted by the institute.”
“As far as the amount of refund and compensation to be awarded to the plaintiff is concerned, since it is true that he continued the course of the matter for about 45 days, he is entitled to receive a refund of the amount after deduction of the proportionate amount of the training period he attended, i.e. $1,95,000–24,375 = $1,70,625 plus interest and compensation, etc. for the harassment suffered by him,” he added.
The forum ordered the institute to refund $1,70,625/- to the complainant along with interest @ 9% per annum from the date of filing of this consumer complaint till the date of payment.
He also ordered them to pay $5,000 as compensation for causing him mental agony and harassment and to pay $5,000 as litigation costs.