CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION

MAHARASHTRA STATE, MUMBAI



FIRST APPEAL NO.904 OF 1999 Date of filing : /1999

IN CONSUMER COMPLAINT NO.337/1998 Date of order : 09/04/2009

DISTRICT CONSUMER FORUM, KOLHAPUR



1. Rev.Father Apollo, Cardioz S.J.

Principal, St.Xavier’s Pre-primary & Primary School

Kolhapur 416 003

2. The Secretary Poona Jesuit School Society (PJSS)

St.Vincent’s House, St.Xavier’s High School

Camp Pune 411 001 ………..Appellants/org.O.P.nos.1&2

v/s.

1. Mr.Deepak Sambhajirao Gadkari

R/o.357/4, E, Torana Nagar

Kolhapur 416 003 ……..Respondent/org.complainant

2. Education Officer (Primary)

Nagala park, Kolhapur

3. Education Officer (Secondary)

Nagala park, Kolhapur

4. Dy.Director of Education

Hatti Mahal Road, C ward

Kolhapur

5. The Administrative officer

Municipal School board, Kolhapur ………Respondents/org.O.P.nos.3 to 6



Corum: Justice Shri B.B.Vagyani, Hon’ble President

Shri S.R.Khanzode, Hon’ble Judicial Member



Present : Mr.Yogesh Mankavade-Advocate h/f.Mr.Amit Borkar-Advocate

for the appellants

None for respondents.

O R A L O R D E R



Per Justice Shri B.B.Vagyani, Hon’ble President

1. Heard Mr.Yogesh Mankavade-Advocate h/f.Mr.Amit Borkar-Advocate for the appellants. None for respondents.

2. Respondent no.1, who was complainant before the District Consumer Forum, Kolhapur has raised a dispute with regard to deficiency in educational services. Omkar son of respondent no.1 was studying in Pre-Primary. He got through in examination. Thereafter he was promoted to next class. Respondent no.1 was therefore asked to deposit first term fee on or before 30/4/1998 in order to confirm the admission. However, respondent no.1 did not deposit the amount of fees. He did not even inform the School authorities that he would be depositing fees later on. There was no communication from him. He did not get time to deposit term fee extended. The other students were already admitted. School reopened on 8/6/1998. There was no vacancy as such in the class. Respondent no.1 asked the School authorities to admit his son Omkar in first standard, but there was no vacancy. Therefore respondent no.1 filed consumer complaint.

3. District Consumer Forum allowed the complaint and directed the School authorities to admit Omkar in second standard. Omkar was admitted in another school for first standard. District Consumer Forum directed the School authorities to pay Rs.15,000/- as compensation and Rs.1000/- by way of cost of the litigation to respondent no.1. In case of delay in payment, District Consumer Forum awarded interest @ 18% p.a. The District Consumer Forum directed Education officer (Primary), Education officer (Secondary) and Deputy Director of Education and Administrative officer of Municipal School Board, Kolhapur to look into the mater and make the School authorities to amend the improper rules. School authorities have taken exception to this order and have come up in appeal.

4. We are constrained to observe that the District Consumer Forum has not considered the main issue involved in the complaint. There is no consumer dispute as such raised in the complaint. There was no deficiency as such on the part of School authorities. It was the fault of respondent no.1. He did not deposit the amount of fees before cut off date. Failure to deposit the amount of fees within prescribed time limit is a serious mistake on the part of respondent no.1. He cannot pass on blame to the School authorities. The school authorities did nothing illegal in refusing to admit Omkar in first standard, because of failure of respondent no.1 to deposit amount of fees before cut off date. Moreover, there was no vacancy in the first standard.

5. The District Consumer Forum encroached upon the powers of education officer. Admission is the exclusive province of education officer-Primary. The education officer has power to give directions in the matter of admissions. The District Consumer Forum misinterpreted the decision of National Commission. The District Consumer Forum cannot give moral sermons. Such kind of extra ordinary zeal must be checked otherwise District Consumer Forums may direct medical college to admit a student for medical course.

6. District Consumer Forum has concluded in the body of the order that refusal to admit Omkar in 1st standard is a deficiency in service. District Consumer Forum has further held that refusal to admit Omkar in first standard is not only illegal, but also unethical. This observation of the District Consumer Forum is not at all justified. School authorities have not committed any deficiency in service. Therefore question of awarding compensation to respondent no.1 is not correct. Direction to pay compensation is erroneous. In the result, we pass following order:-

ORDER

1. Appeal is allowed.

2. Impugned order under challenge is quashed and set aside.

3. The complaint stands dismissed.

4. Pronounced and dictated in the open court.

5. Copies of the order be furnished to the parties.





(S.R.Khanzode) (B.B.Vagyani)

Judicial Member President