Students misled by educational institutes on affiliation and recognition awarded to their courses can drag them to consumer courts, the Supreme Court has said while asking a bogus dental college in Bihar to pay INR 22 lakh as combined compensation to 11 students. Holding that wrong claims by educational institutes amount to deficiency in service under the Consumer Protection Act, the court directed the Buddhist Mission Dental College and Hospital, Bihar, to pay INR 2 lakh each to 11 students who lost two academic years due its false claim. The dental college was pulled up for making false claims on affiliation to the Magadh University and recognition of its BDS (Bachelor of Dental Science) course by the Dental Council of India (DCI). The compensation of INR 2 lakh would be in addition to the INR 30,000 penalty imposed on it by the National Consumer Redressal Commission, the apex court said.
'We are of the opinion that the appellant institute by giving totally misleading and false advertisement clearly misled the respondents (students) that the institute is affiliated to the Magadh University and recognised by the Dental Council of India. The respondents have lost their two valuable academic years which would have tremendous impact on their future career,' a bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and H S Bedi observed.