The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has reiterated that the Consumer Protection Act does not apply to educational institutions/colleges. Co-curricular activities like swimming do not fall within the service scope as mentioned in the Act.
Brief Facts of the Case:
The appellant filed the instant appeal against the order dated 03.06.2016 passed by UP Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Lucknow, by the father of a student studying at Respondent School.
Before the Court, the father submitted that the school offered various Summer camp activities, including swimming and charged Rs 1000 for which he had paid. He further stated that on 28.05.2007, he received an urgent call from the school, and when he reached the school, he was informed that his son died in the swimming pool.
After that, the appellant approached the State Commission and claimed a sum of Rs 22,55,000 as compensation.
The State Commission dismissed the Complaint that the father(appellant) was not a consumer of the school.
Aggrieved, the appellant approached the NCDRC.
Observations made by NCDRC:
The National Commission relied on College of Engineering vs Gulshan Kumar & Anr, where the Apex Court held that educational institutions don’t provide any kind of service, so in fees, etc., there cannot be a question of deficiency of service.
The Commission also relied on Manu Solanki & Ors vs Vinayaka Mission University, wherein NCDRC held that educational institutions’ incidental activities would not amount to rendering any kind of service as per provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.
Order of the Commission
In the context mentioned above, the NCDRC agreed with the view of the State Commission that the complainant could not be considered a consumer in the instant case. So the Complaint is not maintainable as it does not come under the scope of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.