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‘Univ not service provider, student not consumer’

Rebecca Samervel TNN

Mumbai: The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on Monday held that an education board is not a service provider and a student writing an exam is not a consumer.

The order came after Mohammed Karim, a varsity student, filed a complaint, stating that he submitted his thesis in 2002 but was yet to receive his doctoral degree. The commission,whilestating thatthecomplaint was not maintainable, observed that disputes over evaluation cannot be determined under the Consumer Protection Act.

Karim was registered for a three-year PhDdegreecourse at the Mathematics Department, Delhi University, since July 6, 1999. In his complaint filed before the district forum in Delhi, Karim said that despite submitting his papers to his research professor he was never informed about collecting his degree. Karim said there was an unexplained delay in the issuance of the degree to him. He further stated that on October 13, 2003, the university cancelled his registration without any just or sufficient cause or even informing him about the fate of his PhD course. Alleging that this was deficiency in service, he lodged a complaint before the district forum and sought a compensation of Rs 10 lakh. However, the forum dismissedthecomplaintin 2006.

Karim then filed an appeal before Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. In 2007, the state commission allowed the appeal and after setting aside the order remitted it back to the forum. But the university filed a revision petition.

The national commission took into consideration a Supreme Court (SC) order that said the board was not a service provider and a student who takes an exam not a consumer.

Source:

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