New Delhi: A Chennai school has been asked by the apex consumer commission to refund Rs 25,000 that a child’s father was “coerced” to pay as donation for its New Auditorium Project (NAP) to admit his daughter there.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission’s (NCDRC) direction came on child’s father K Rajendran’s plea against a Tamil Nadu State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission’s ruling by which his appeal against Chennai (North) district forum’s order had been dismissed.
The district forum had dismissed Rajendran’s complaint against Chennai’s CSI Ewart Matriculation Higher Secondary School, saying he had paid the donation voluntarily and hence, no deficiency in service could be attributed to the school for not refunding the amount.
In his complaint, Rajendran had alleged that when he sought his second daughter’s admission in the school, he was coerced to pay Rs 25,000 towards the institutes’ NAP, in addition to which he was also asked to pay Rs 5,220 towards tuition fee and special fees, which included Rs 2,500 towards building fund.
Referring to a fee slip issued by the school to Rajendran when he had sought to admit his daughter there, the NCDRC said the document clearly showed that donation of Rs 25,000 for the NAP was a pre-condition for accepting the tuition fees.
The condition mentioned in the fee slip said “after the payment of NAP by DD and uniform by cash only, the fees will be accepted.”
“…the element of coercion in collecting the ‘donation’ for the New Auditorium Project of the school is writ large on this document (fee slip). We partly allow the revision petition and direct the
School (through its principal) to refund to the petitioner (K Rajendran) Rs 25,000 that it collected from him through coercion as a pre-requisite for admission of his second daughter to the LKG class in February, 2001. The school will also pay Rs 5,000 as cost to him,” the bench presided by Member Anupam Dasgupta said.