Admission brochure/prospectus to be strictly followed, has a force of law

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Hearing an appeal which sought the quashing of the order passed by the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh vide which the petitioner’s appeal was dismissed while upholding the order passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ludhiana, which denied his claim for refund of the initial deposit of Rs 10,000, the Court held that an admission brochure or the prospectus has a force of law which is to be strictly followed.

As the petitioner had chosen not to take admission after the first round of counselling, the amount was forfeited by the University as per Clause 9(iii) of the Regulation issued by the Punjab Technical University.The Commission concluded since the candidate having been admitted in the first round of counselling had not reported to the college therefore, the initial deposit stood forfeited as per the above said Regulation.

The Bench of G.S. Sandhawalia, J. observed that the respondents cannot be held liable for any deficiency in service and the petitioner was not entitled for refund in terms of the above clause of Prospectus. It has time and again been held by six Full Bench decisions of this Court that an admission brochure or prospectus has a force of law which is to be strictly followed. Even otherwise, the present writ petition would not be maintainable in view of alternative remedy available to the petitioner under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 where under Section 19, the appeal would lie to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. [Ankit Sharma v. Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar2016 SCC OnLine P&H 6474, decided on August 1, 2016]

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