Refusal to Refund Fees for Late Cancellation of Admission Discretion of the Institute: Bombay HC
The Bombay High Court in Akash Munjaji Kandhare vs The Deogiri Institute of Engineering and Management Studies – Writ Petition No.12796 of 2021- allowed the respondent institute the discretion to impose fees upon student cancelling admission beyond the stipulated deadline. However, the court directed the respondent to return the original documents of the petitioner submitted during the process of admission.
The bench consisting of Justice S. V. Gangapurwala and R.N. Laddha held:
The respondent shall return the original documents of the petitioner submitted at the time of admission immediately.
In case, respondent is entitled to recover any fees, the respondent may take such steps as may be permissible under law.
The petitioner submitted that he had taken admission in the respondent institute and had cancelled the admission on his own accord on 28th February 2021 as per Clause 15 of the Information Brochure for Admission to Under Graduate Technical Courses (2020-21). Following the cancellation of admission, the respondent institute refused to return the documents submitted during the admission process. Aggrieved, the petitioner filed a writ before the court.
The counsel for the respondent institute submitted that the petitioner was admitted to the Bachelors of Computer Science Course on 30th January 2021. The petitioner cancelled his admission on the last date of admission which was 5th February 2021 on 5:00 PM rendering the seat vacant for a whole year. The counsel also stated that the college is non grant in aid and has to provide for the maintenance of the institute from the fees collected. Furthermore, the petitioner was admitted through reservation category and was already informed that in case he fails to fill the scholarship form by 20th February 2021 then he will have to pay full fees to the institute and the petitioner agreed to it by signing an undertaking, therefore, now he was under obligation to deposit the fees to the respondent institute.
The court perused the Clause 15 of the Information Brochure for Admission to Under Graduate Technical Courses (2020-21) which stated about the cancellation process and refund of the fees if any. The court observed that the petitioner had cancelled his admission after 5:00 PM on the last cut off date and was therefore not entitled to receive any refund.
Further the court added:
Sub-clause (c) of Clause 15 of the Brochure puts embargo on the rights of the Institution to retain the documents with a view to induce or compel such persons to pay fees.
Accordingly, the court while disposing the petition directed the respondent to return all original documents submitted by the petitioner and if necessary, the respondent may levy fees on the petitioner.
Rasmita Behera | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL