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Kolkata B-school wins battle against student
Tuesday June 25, 2013 10:08 AM, Rahul Chhabra, IANS

A Kolkata-based business school has won its battle against a post-graduate programme applicant with the apex consumer court reversing a subordinate commission's direction to refund Rs.34,000 out of the admission fee deposited by her.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission offered relief to Globsyn Business School and held that it was not wrong in refusing to refund the admission fee received from Mayuri Ghosh, a resident of Kolkata's Durga Charan Doctor Road area.

Ghosh deposited Rs.35,000 as admission fee in April 2009 for a post-graduate course but sought a refund a month later citing a financial crunch and inability to pursue the course, which required a total fee of Rs.535,000.

"Admission fee deposited by complainant was not refundable and the complainant was not entitled to seek refund only on the ground of severe financial crises," said national commission Presiding Member K.S. Chaudhari and Member B.C. Gupta.

The top consumer commission, in a recent order, also ruled that the business school was not deficient in service in rejecting Ghosh's plea for a refund.

The business school had moved the national commission against the state consumer commission's direction to refund Ghosh Rs.34,000.

The business school, based in the Salt Lake Electronic Complex, said as per the March 10, 2009, offer letter to Ghosh, the admission fee was non-refundable and the state commission erred in accepting her plea seeking a refund.

The national commission accepted the business school's plea and said it "has not committed any deficiency in service in refusing refund of Rs.35,000 received as admission fee".

"Consequently, the revision petition is to be allowed and the order passed by the state commission is set aside and complaint filed by Ghosh is dismissed with no order as to costs," said Chaudhari.

The business school earlier contested the complaint filed by Ghosh in a district forum and submitted that she deposited the fee with the full knowledge of the condition that there would be no refund.

The institution said that of the 180 seats for the session in which Ghosh sought admission, 15 remained vacant.

While countering Ghosh's plea for a refund, the business school said that it incurred an expense of Rs.141,667 per candidate towards the admission process and had suffered a loss of Rs.21,25,000 due the 15 vacant seats.

Citing the loss, the business school claimed that it was not in a position to refund Ghosh Rs.35,000 and sought the dismissal of her complaint.

Counsel for the business school cited an earlier case and claimed that "students seeking admission to professional colleges and even otherwise are fairly mature and are supposed to understand the full implications of filling the admission forms..."

The student, therefore, will have to be taken to be bound by the information supplied in the admission form and cannot be allowed to take a stand that may suit him at a given time, the business school said.

Ghosh now has the option of approaching the Supreme Court against the national consumer commission's decision.

(Rahul Chhabra can be contacted at rahul.c@ians.in)

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