Directing Chitkara International School, Sector 25, Chandigarh, to not compel parents to purchase annual material from the school, the district consumer forum has directed the institute to pay Rs 1.75 lakh to parents of two students.
The forum also asked the school to strictly comply with the State Transportation Policy after one of the parents alleged violation of the policy by the institute.
The directions came on a joint complaint by parents of two students, Ajay Parbhakar and Pinki Swami, both residents of Sector 40, Chandigarh.
The parents claimed that a school circular, dated March 25, 2013, directed students to follow all instructions, else their name would be struck off. They alleged that the school had imposed an annual material fee of Rs 3,000, not allowing students to purchase books and other material from the market, which they termed “unfair trade practice”.
Swami’s parents alleged that she had told them about her bus driver driving rashly and negligently. Her bus had also met with an accident on January 11, 2017, and a case for rash and negligent driving was registered. However, no action was taken by the school against the bus driver.
Her father alleged that he wasn’t informed about the accident, and the school failed to take care of the children, leaving his daughter traumatised.
The complainants also pointed out that the school violated the State Transport policy of Chandigarh, and even charged fee in “flagrant violation of the rules”. As such, the state transport commissioner, Chandigarh, had even cancelled the permit of a school bus (CH-01-TA-4360).
Denying allegations, the school in its response to the petition, claimed that they were following all instructions, and providing quality education and facilities for which student’s parents needed to bear the burden commensurate to the expenditure in providing those facilities.
However, after listening to the arguments, the consumer forum, partly allowed the complaint, and directed the school to pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 to the complainants for its restrictive trade practices. The school was also told to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh, inclusive of punitive damages, for deficiency in service with regards to safety of minor children, mental agony and harassment caused to them; and pay another Rs 25,000 as cost of litigation.
The entire compensation of Rs 1.75 lakh will be equally shared by the complainants.