Consumer Forum orders student to pay Rs 10,000 to SNDT College

Mubarak Ansari
Thursday, 28 March 2019

The Pune District Consumer Forum has imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on a girl student and her father for filling a false and frivolous complaint.

Pune: The Pune District Consumer Forum has imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on a girl student and her father for filling a false and frivolous complaint. The student had alleged that the SNDT College, Pune, is not listed on the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) website, hence she could not get scholarship for postgraduate diploma in food and nutrition. 

The DTE had clarified that the course is not eligible for scholarship, yet after that she filed the complaint. 

The case dates back to 2014 when the complainant got admission in the college and wrote several letters to the authorities for availing the merit-cum-means scholarship. As per the advertisement of the DTE, the educational institutions running the technical and professional courses have to enroll on the website as mandatory. But SNDT College was not listed. The student filed several applications under the RTE Act in order to ascertain the factual position and at last filed the complaint before the Consumer Forum.  

Defence of college 
The college officials submitted that the course in post-graduate diploma in dietetics is always run without financial aid from the SNDT University as the said course does not come under DTE and is run without granting any financial aid from the university.  

Forum’s observations
The consumer forum comprising President Anil Khadse and Members Kshitija Kulkarni and Sangita Yadav observed: “The DTE informed by its letter to complainant’s father as to why the particular course has not been taken on the website and the courses which come under the scholarship scheme covered under merit-cum-means basis with the detailed list have also been provided to the complainants.”

“In this backdrop the things which cannot be legally done or procedurally done by the college due to government policy cannot be insisted on by the complainants to be done.”

“However, in spite of that the complainants pursued the matter and dragged the college to this litigation. There is an increasing tendency on the part of litigants to indulge in speculative and vexatious litigation and adventurism. We think such a tendency should be curbed.”

“The Consumer Protection Act provides that the order of the compensatory costs shall not exceed an amount of Rs 10,000. We deem it necessary to impose costs of Rs 10,000 on the complainants for filing a false and frivolous complaint. The father-daughter duo have to pay penalty amount within 45 days and the amount will be given to the college.”

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