MUMBAI: With the fact that PACE IIT & Medical should not have forced an IIT aspirant to continue with virtual classes during the pandemic when he was unable to learn online, a district consumer commission ordered the coaching academy to Rs 2.47 lakh fees to be repaid to the father of the Powai student.
“After seeing the deteriorating condition of his son in education, the complainant visited the opponent (PACE IIT & Medical) in February 2021 for his son’s withdrawal from the course and sought a refund of the proportional fees. “request was not considered by the opponent. His son discontinued his course in March 2021. This action on the part of the opponent is deficient service,” said the Additional Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Disputes Correction Commission.
The institute denied the allegations, arguing that classrooms, tables, sofas, blackboards, pens, etc. are only peripherals or enabling for the provision of the core service of coaching and their absence can not be treated as lack of service.
While the commission ordered the institute to pay an additional Rs 5 000 for litigation costs to the complainant, Raj Chowdhary, it did not grant any interest on the fees, saying: “The fact cannot be denied that the opponent also underwent financial pressure as a result of for Covid-19. ”
Chowdhary filed the complaint in October 2021. He argued that he admitted his son to the institute in December 2019 for the academic session of 2020-22 after paying Rs 4.24 lakh. The IIT-JEE classes would start in March-April 2020, but due to the curtailment that was enforced, the institute advised Chowdhary’s son to join his online classes. He reluctantly began attending, assuming that Covid-19 would be a short-term phenomenon. However, he soon became uncomfortable with long hours of online classes on a daily basis.
Chowdhary said since the institute assured him that physical classes could begin in November 2020, he waited until January 2021. He further argued that his son was a deserving student, but his periodic class assessments showed deteriorating grades due to online classes. .
The institute denied the allegations. It said the student’s inability or lack of enthusiasm to adapt to modern ways of communication and learning can in no way be a lack of service on his part. It was further pleased that it was forced to switch to the online mode of education in the light of the Disaster Management Act and the directions and guidelines issued by the central and state governments in the light of the pandemic.