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School Ordered to Refund Admission Fee

The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Chandigarh upheld decision to refund provisional admission fees ruling in favor of Sandeep Kaur against St. Anne’s Convent School. The dispute centered on the refundability of fees paid for provisional admission to Class 11.

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The case presented before the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Chandigarh centered around the dispute between St. Anne’s Convent School and Sandeep Kaur regarding the refund of admission fees. Sandeep Kaur had sought admission for her daughter into Class 11 (medical stream) at St. Anne’s Convent School, paying a provisional amount of Rs 25,000 based on her daughter’s pre-Board results of Class 10. However, later she decided to enroll her child in a school located in Mohali and requested a refund of the admission/tuition fees from St. Anne’s Convent School.

St. Anne’s Convent School, however, refused to refund the entire amount, citing non-refundable admission fees as per their policy. The dispute escalated, leading Sandeep Kaur to file a complaint with the district commission, seeking a refund of the fees paid. The district commission partially upheld her complaint and ordered the refund of Rs 22,500 after deducting 10% towards administrative charges/service charges.

Unsatisfied with the district commission’s decision, St. Anne’s Convent School filed an appeal with the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, challenging the jurisdiction of the lower commission and arguing that the complainant did not qualify as a consumer under their interpretation. They further contended that the admission fee was explicitly stated as non-refundable.

The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, after hearing arguments from both parties, upheld the decision of the lower commission. They reasoned that until admission is regularized, the deposit of a provisional amount remains a monetary transaction without forming a binding contract. Therefore, the commission deemed it appropriate to order the refund of the admission fee, with a deduction of 10% for administrative charges/service charges.

This ruling highlights the importance of clarity in the terms and conditions set forth by educational institutions regarding the refundability of fees. While St. Anne’s Convent School argued that their policy explicitly stated non-refundable fees, the commission prioritized fairness and consumer protection, considering the provisional nature of the admission and the absence of a formalized contract. This decision serves as a reminder to educational institutions to ensure transparency in their policies and to consumers to be aware of their rights regarding fee refunds in such circumstances.


In conclusion, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission’s decision emphasizes the need for institutions to adhere to consumer protection regulations. Commission advised consumers to be aware of their entitlements when dealing with financial transactions, even in the educational sector.

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Payal Sharma

Payal Sharma

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