Você está na página 1de 5

Sreedharan Nair N.

vs Registrar, University Of Kerala on 31 May, 2001


Equivalent citations: I (2004) CPJ 27 NC Bench: D Wadhwa, C Chaudhary, J M Members, R Rao, B Taimni ORDER C.L. Chaudhary, Member (J) 1. This appeal is directed against the order of the Kerala State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission dated 5th May, 1994 in Complaint No. 79 of 1992 The brief facts of the case are that the appellant was complainant before the State Commission. The appellant was an evening-class regular student of three years LL.B. course in the Kerala Law Academy Law College, Peroorkada, Thiruvananthapuram during the years 1987-90. He completed the course after paying the full tuition fee and other fees in the college as well as the examinations fee of all the three years to the University of Kerala. He was declared pass in all 1st, 2nd and 3rd LL.B. examinations conducted by the University of Kerala with Registered Nos. 701 (1987-88), 1669 (1988-89) and 2938 (1989-90). The complainant submitted an application on 9.11.1990 with necessary fees to the University of Kerala for obtaining Provisional LL.B. Degree Certificate. According to the appellant, the university failed to supply the certificate. By a letter dated 23rd July, 1991, the university informed the appellant that the qualifying examination passed by him (i.e. the B.G.L. Degree Examination of the Mysore Universtiy) on the basis of which he had undergone the LL.B. course in the Kerala Law Academy Law College, had not been recognised by the University. The question of regularisation of the LL.B. examination taken by him and issuing of provisional certificate etc. of the same to him could be considered only on recognition of the qualifying degree awarded to him by the Mysore University. The question of recognition of the B.G.L. Degree of the Mysore University was still under the consideration of the University. 2. The grievance of the complainant was that the opposite party had caused extraordinary, unreasonable and unfair delay in the matter of issuing of certificate for which fees had been remitted. The appellant was deprived of opportunity to gainful occupation by indifferent functioning of the opposite party. In these premises, a prayer was made that the appellant may be awarded Provisional Degree Certificate of LL.B.,

and a compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs for the loss of earning and mental agony suffered which is split up as under : 3. The opposite party submitted before the State Commission that the Examination Coordination Committee at its meeting held on 7.1.1994 recommended to refer the matter to Academic Council. The State Commission disposed of the complaint with the following observations : "A version has been filed by the University explaining the difficulties in awarding the provisional degree certificate LL.B. However, it has come out now the question of recognising the qualifying examination of the complainant is under consideration of the University and the Examination Coordination Committee of the University at its meeting held on 7.1.1994 recommended to refer the matter to the Academic Council. The Counsel for the University also submitted that the matter will be placed before the next Academic Council meeting. In the circumstances we do not think that there is any justification to interfere with the matter at this stage. We have no doubt that the Academic Council of the University will consider the case and pass the appropriate orders. We make it clear that if the complainant is aggrieved by the order that may be passed by the Academic Council he will be at liberty to approach this Commission again with the above observations the complaint is dismissed. We direct the parties to bear their respective costs." 4. At the time of hearing, the decision of the Meeting of the Academic Council dated 8.7.1994 was placed before us, which reads as under: "The Academic Council considered along with the recommendations of the Standing Committee, the question of releasing LL.B. mark list/provisional certificate of Sri N. Sreedharan Nair, even though, his B.G.L. Degree has not been recognised by this University and that he does not pass a recognised qualifying degree for taking LL.B. (3 years course) degree examination of this University. Resolved that the LL.B. mark list/ provisional certificate of Sri Sreedharan Nair need not be released since he is not qualified to take LL.B. (3 year Degree) Examination of this University". 5. We have heard the learned Counsels for the parties.

6. It was contended by the appellant that the Kerala University did not raise any objection at the time of admission of the three years Law Degree Course. The Kerala University allowed him to complete the three years course and he was declared pass in all the years, i.e. 1st, 2nd and 3rd year. If B.G.L. Degree of the Mysore University had not been recognised by the Kerala University for LL.B. course, the appellant should have been informed at the time of his admission in the LL.B. course. He submitted that the Kerala University may be directed to issue the Provisional LL.B. Degree to the appellant. The appellant will suffer irreparable injury and substantial loss, in case the LL.B. Degree is not awarded. He passed the LL.B. examination in 1991 and because of lack of Provisional Certificate, he has not been able to practise so far. In case the Provisional Certificate is not issued, all his labour done for completing the LL.B. course would go waste. He spent three years in completing the course. It means that he has lost valuable time all these years. In the alternative, it is prayed that he may be awarded compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs which amount he would have earned from the profession. 7. On the other hand, it was contended on behalf of the respondent that the appellant held a B.G.L. Degree from the Mysore University which was recognised as the qualifying degree for the LL.B. course of the Kerala University. 8. Whether a course is to be recognised or not is for the Academic Council of the University to decide and a student cannot have a legitimate expectation that his qualifying degree from another University will be recognised. The action or inaction of the Academic Council of the University in recognising or the delay in doing so, cannot be a subject matter of a consumer dispute. The decision was taken in the meeting of the Academic Council held on 8.7.1994. It was also contended that thousands of application forms are received by the University per year per examination and it is humanly impossible to scrutinise each and every application. In any case, the appellant does not come within the definition of 'consumer' as defined under Section 2(d) of the Consumer Protection Act. 9. We have considered the relevant contentions of the parties. 10. In our opinion, the appellant's case has a merit. If the Kerala University had not recognised B.G.L. Degree of the Mysore University as a qualifying degree for taking LL.B. (three year course) degree examination of the Kerala University, the appellant should have been told at the threshold, i.e. at the time of admission to the LL.B. Course

or at the time of writing the 1st year LL.B. examination. The appellant studied and completed the three year course and was declared pass in all 1st, 2nd and 3rd LL.B. examinations conducted by the University. The University allowed him to complete the course. On completion of the course, the appellant demanded the provisional certificate of LL.B. Degree and at the point of time, he was informed that he did not possess the recognised qualifying degree for the LL.B. course. The appellant hired the services of the University for consideraion for imparting education. In the case of Bhupesh Khurana and Ors. v. Vishwa Budha Parishad and Ors., reported as II (2001) CPJ 74 (NC)=2001 CCC 17 (NS), this Commission, relying upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board v. A. Rajappa and Ors., reported as 1978 SC 548, this Commission held as under : "Imparting of education by an educational institution for consideration falls within the ambit of `Service' as defined in the Consumer Protection Act. Fees are paid for services to be rendered by way of imparting education by the educational institutions. If there is no rendering of service, question of payment of fee would not arise. The complainants had hired the service of the respondent for consideration so they are consumers as defined in the Consumer Protection Act." 11. The definition of 'deficiency' as contained in the Consumer Protection Act reads as under: "Section 2(g) : "Deficiency" means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service." 12. It is a clear case of deficiency on the part of the University. The University allowed him to complete the 3 years LL.B. course and thereafter declined to issue required certificate. The appellant studied for three years and all the years have gone waste and without any fruitful results. The appellant is a retired Government servant and he joined the LL.B. course-with the hope and the expectation that he would settle in the profession. The claim of the appellant that the University may be directed to issue the provisional certificate cannot be allowed. Whether a course is to be recognised or not is for the Academic Council of the University to decide and no directions can be given in this regard by this Commission.

13. However, the appellant deserves to be compensated for the lapse and deficiency on the part of the respondent. 14. The next question that arises for consideration is the quantum of compensation which may be awarded to the appellant. The appellant has claimed Rs. 5 lakhs which is split up as aforementioned. He studied the course in order to join the legal profession after retirement for his earnings. He paid the tuition fee for all the three years and also examination fee. The appellant has lost the status of becoming an Advocate and also the earnings. Taking into consideration the totality of circumstances, we are of the view that it will be expedient and justice will be well met, if the appellant is awarded a compensation of Rs. 50,000/- against all his claims. 15. As a result, the appeal is allowed. The respondents are directed to pay a sum of Rs. 50,000/- in all to the appellant within a period of two months from the receipt of a copy of this order, failing which the appellant shall be entitled to interest at the rate of 12% p.a. till the date of payment. The appellant shall also be entitled to costs of this appeal which we quantify at Rs. 2,000/-. The appeal is disposed of in the above terms.