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Unhappy with your coaching institute? You may have a case for refund

Written by:
Prachi Darji
Published on

Coaching for examinations has now become the norm rather than the exception. Almost every parent is willing to spend on home tuitions, group classes or coaching institutes to see their child prosper. As per the data of Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) the yearly revenue of the coaching industry is over 1 lakh crore! This willingness to spend, coupled with intense competition to get into top colleges in India has led to rapid growth in coaching institutes, a lot of which simply prey on parent’s concern for their children, take all the fee upfront and then provide substandard coaching. This can be counter-productive and do more harm to the student’s confidence and preparation, not to mention the monetary loss.

However, law can provide relief to parents in such matters. There have been numerous cases filed in court against coaching institutes for fraud or simply incompetent coaching. A synopsis of one such case and the verdict (which was in the complainant’s favor) is shared below. If you or your child go through a similar experience, it would be prudent to discuss your case with a lawyer having experience in such matters (we at can help find one) and take suitable action. You might get your money back and also save other parents from similar experiences.


Sehgal School of Competition v Dalbir Singh [III (2009) CPJ 33 (NC)] Date of Decision: 30.04.2009

The complainant sought refund from the opposite party’s coaching school after only one year of the two-year course on the ground that the coaching was not up to the mark. The District Forum directed refund of the fees and the opposite party’s appeal was dismissed. In revision, the petitioner contended that payment of lump sum fees for two years was a condition (of the contract) that and no part of the fees could either be refunded or transferred under any circumstances. The Commission held that this condition was one sided and biased in favor of the opposite party, against natural justice and not a fair trade practice. The Commission also rejected the opposite party’s plea that in Homeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Chandigarh v Miss Gunita Virk [I (1996) CPJ 37 (NC)] it was held that Consumer Fora did not have jurisdiction to declare any rule in the prospectus of any institution as unconscionable or illegal. Referring to its recent decision in Nipun Nagar v. Symbiosis Institute of International Business [I (2009) CPJ 3 (NC)], it observed that the Commission had held that (under certain circumstances) it was unjust to collect fees for the total period of the course and dismissed the petition.