Saturday, 22 October 2016

Whether Admission brochure/prospectus has force of law?

 A bare reading of the aforesaid clause makes it
clear that a candidate who is selected for admission
after counselling is required to deposit a sum of
Rs.10,000/- as fee failing which the admission would
stand cancelled. After the candidate is admitted the
University will deduct a sum of Rs.2500/- as
processing fee and refund the balance amount to the
candidate through the institution where he/she has
been admitted. In the instant case, the petitioner never
got admitted and the offer of admission was declined
by her. Having deposited the fee, she is not entitled to
the refund as per the aforesaid clause. As already
observed, only candidates who actually get admitted
are entitled to the refund. There is good reason for the
University to make such a provision. This is only
meant to dissuade the students to seek admission in
more than one institution thereby wasting seats
depriving other students from admission. In the result,
it must be held that the petitioner is not entitled to the
refund of the amount claimed by her.
Consequently, the writ petition is dismissed
with no order as to costs."
Accordingly, 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 admission
brochure or the prospectus has a force of law which is to be strictly
followed. Reference can be made to Amardeep Singh Sahota Vs.
State of Punjab 1993(4) S.C.T. 328, Raj Singh Vs. Maharishi
Dayanand University 1994(2) S.C.T. 766, Sachin Gaur Vs.
Punjabi University 1996(1) S.C.T. 837 Rahul Prabhakar Vs.
Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar 1997(3) S.C.T. 526, Indu
Gupta Vs. Director of Sports, Punjab 1999(4) S.C.T. 113 and

Rupinder Singh and others Vs. The Punjab State Board of
Technical Education & Industrial Training, Chandigarh and
others 2001(2) S.C.T. 726. The relevant observations made in
Rahul Prabhakar's case (supra) read as under:-
“7. A Full Bench of this Court in Amardeep Singh
Sahota v. State of Punjab, (1993) 4 SLR 673 : 1993
(4) SCT 328 (P&H) (FB) had to consider the scope
and binding force of the provisions contained in the
prospectus. The Bench took the view that the
prospectus issued for admission to a course, has the
force of law and it was not open to alteration. In Raj
Singh v. Maharshi Dayanand University, 1994 (4)
RSJ 289 : 1994(2) SCT 766 (P&H) (FB) another Full
Bench of this Court took the view that a candidate
will have to be taken to be bound by the information
supplied in the admission form and cannot be allowed
to take a stand that suits him at a given time. The Full
Bench approved the view expressed in earlier Full
Bench that eligibility for admission to a Course has to
be seen according to the prospectus issued before the
Entrance Examination and that the admission has to
be made on the basis of instructions given in the
prospectus, having the force of law. Again Full
Bench of this Court in Sachin Gaur v. Punjabi
University, 1996 (1) RSJ 1 : 1996 (1) SCT 837
(P&H) (FB) took the view that there has to be a cut
off date provided for admission and the same cannot
be changed afterwards. These views expressed by
earlier Full Benches have been followed in CWP No.
6756 of 1996 by the three of us constituting another
Full Bench. Thus, it is settled law that the provisions
contained in the information brochure for the
Common Entrance Test 1997 have the force of law
and have to be strictly complied with. No
modification can be made by the Court in exercise of
powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of

India.”
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT
CHANDIGARH
 Civil Writ Petition No.11226 of 2005
Date of decision: 1.8.2016
Ankit Sharma .
V
Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar and another 
CORAM:MR.JUSTICE G.S.SANDHAWALIA



The petitioner seeks quashing of order dated 16.5.2005
(Annexure P/4) passed by the Punjab State Consumer Disputes
Redressal Commission, Chandigarh (hereinafter referred to “the
Commission”) vide which the appeal of the petitioner has been
dismissed while upholding order dated 16.3.2005 (Annexure P/3)
passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum,
Ludhiana (hereinafter referred to “the Forum”).
The Commission came to the conclusion that in view of
Regulation 9(iii) of Prospectus issued by the respondent-University,
the petitioner was not entitled for the refund of fee of ` 10,000/-. It
was accordingly held that since the candidate having been admitted
in first round of counselling had not reported to the college and
therefore, initial deposit stands forfeited as per the above said
Regulation.
Counsel for the petitioner has vehemently submitted that

in view of Clause 7.3 (a) of the Prospectus every candidate selected
for admission was required to deposit the said amount which had
been duly deposited. Thereafter after deducting the processing fee
the balance amount was to be remitted to the institution and to be
refunded finally to the candidate in question. The Clause 7.3 (a) of
the Prospectus reads as under:-
“Each candidate selected for admission, after
counselling, will be required to deposit a sum of `
10,000/- failing which the admission shall stand
cancelled. After deducting the processing fee of
Rs.2500/-, the balance amount shall be remitted to
the institution to which the candidate is admitted
finally for refund to the candidate.”
A complaint before the Forum was thus filed on the
ground of deficiency of service under the Consumer Protection Act,
1986 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”). The said complaint was
dismissed by the Forum on the ground that the petitioner had
voluntarily decided not to join the college and there was no evidence
that the seat had been filled up. The amount stood forfeited and
therefore in view of the specific clause in the Prospectus, the
complainant was not entitled for the refund of fee.
Even otherwise a perusal of Clause 7.3 (a) which has
been reproduced above would go on to show that refund would only
be made in case the candidate was admitted and the amount had to be
remitted to the institution to which the candidate was admitted finally
for refund to the candidate. It is not disputed that the petitioner
himself had written to the University that he did not wish to take
admission, therefore, amount be refunded. The above clause only

pertains to refund where the person had been admitted and refund is
through the said institute. The petitioner at his own wish chose not
to take admission. Reliance upon Clause 9 (iii) was thus well
justified by the Commission in the facts and circumstances of the
case which provide for forfeiture. The same reads as under:-
“A candidate who was admitted in the first
counselling and did not report to the college, his/her
initial deposit shall stand forfeited.”
In similar circumstances, a Division Bench in Civil
Writ Petition No.3808 of 2002-Ritima Birla Vs. Punjab Technical
University, Jalandhar decided on 12.5.2003 rejected the claim of
refund on account of the fact that the said clause is only meant to
dissuade the students to seek admission in more than one institution
thereby wasting seats depriving other students from admission.
Relevant portion of the judgment reads as under:-
“We have heard the learned counsel for the
parties. The claim of the petitioner is based on
Clause 4.5 of the Prospectus issued by the University
which reads as under:-
“4.5 a) Each candidate selected for
admission, after counselling, will be
required to deposit a sum of
Rs.10000/- failing which the
admission shall stand cancelled. After
deducting the processing fee of
Rs.2500/- the balance amount shall be
remitted to the Institution to which the
candidate is admitted finally, for
refund to the candidate.
b) The candidate admitted to a
particular institute shall deposit full
fee to the respective institution not
later than three days after the start of
session, failing which the admission
shall automatically stand cancelled.
c) xxx xxx xxx.”

A bare reading of the aforesaid clause makes it
clear that a candidate who is selected for admission
after counselling is required to deposit a sum of
Rs.10,000/- as fee failing which the admission would
stand cancelled. After the candidate is admitted the
University will deduct a sum of Rs.2500/- as
processing fee and refund the balance amount to the
candidate through the institution where he/she has
been admitted. In the instant case, the petitioner never
got admitted and the offer of admission was declined
by her. Having deposited the fee, she is not entitled to
the refund as per the aforesaid clause. As already
observed, only candidates who actually get admitted
are entitled to the refund. There is good reason for the
University to make such a provision. This is only
meant to dissuade the students to seek admission in
more than one institution thereby wasting seats
depriving other students from admission. In the result,
it must be held that the petitioner is not entitled to the
refund of the amount claimed by her.
Consequently, the writ petition is dismissed
with no order as to costs."
Accordingly, 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 admission
brochure or the prospectus has a force of law which is to be strictly
followed. Reference can be made to Amardeep Singh Sahota Vs.
State of Punjab 1993(4) S.C.T. 328, Raj Singh Vs. Maharishi
Dayanand University 1994(2) S.C.T. 766, Sachin Gaur Vs.
Punjabi University 1996(1) S.C.T. 837 Rahul Prabhakar Vs.
Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar 1997(3) S.C.T. 526, Indu
Gupta Vs. Director of Sports, Punjab 1999(4) S.C.T. 113 and

Rupinder Singh and others Vs. The Punjab State Board of
Technical Education & Industrial Training, Chandigarh and
others 2001(2) S.C.T. 726. The relevant observations made in
Rahul Prabhakar's case (supra) read as under:-
“7. A Full Bench of this Court in Amardeep Singh
Sahota v. State of Punjab, (1993) 4 SLR 673 : 1993
(4) SCT 328 (P&H) (FB) had to consider the scope
and binding force of the provisions contained in the
prospectus. The Bench took the view that the
prospectus issued for admission to a course, has the
force of law and it was not open to alteration. In Raj
Singh v. Maharshi Dayanand University, 1994 (4)
RSJ 289 : 1994(2) SCT 766 (P&H) (FB) another Full
Bench of this Court took the view that a candidate
will have to be taken to be bound by the information
supplied in the admission form and cannot be allowed
to take a stand that suits him at a given time. The Full
Bench approved the view expressed in earlier Full
Bench that eligibility for admission to a Course has to
be seen according to the prospectus issued before the
Entrance Examination and that the admission has to
be made on the basis of instructions given in the
prospectus, having the force of law. Again Full
Bench of this Court in Sachin Gaur v. Punjabi
University, 1996 (1) RSJ 1 : 1996 (1) SCT 837
(P&H) (FB) took the view that there has to be a cut
off date provided for admission and the same cannot
be changed afterwards. These views expressed by
earlier Full Benches have been followed in CWP No.
6756 of 1996 by the three of us constituting another
Full Bench. Thus, it is settled law that the provisions
contained in the information brochure for the
Common Entrance Test 1997 have the force of law
and have to be strictly complied with. No
modification can be made by the Court in exercise of
powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of

India.”
Even otherwise, the present writ petition would not be
maintainable in view of alternative remedy which was 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. The Apex Court in Cicily Kallarackal
Vs. Vehcile Factory 2012 (7) JT 426 has held to this effect and it
depreciated the fact that the writ petition was entertained where the remedy
is provided under the Act. Relevant portion of judgment in Cicily
Kallarackal's case (supra) reads as under:-
“In view of the above, it is not always
necessary to set aside an order if found to have been
passed by an authority/court having no jurisdiction.
Despite this, we cannot help but to state in
absolute terms that it is not appropriate for the High
Courts to entertain writ petitions under Article 226 of
the Constitution of India against the orders passed by
the Commission, as a statutory appeal is provided
and lies to this Court under the provisions of
the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Once the
legislature has provided for a statutory appeal to a
higher court, it cannot be proper exercise of
jurisdiction to permit the parties to bypass the
statutory appeal to such higher court and entertain
petitions in exercise of its powers under Article
226 of the Constitution of India. Even in the present
case, the High Court has not exercised its jurisdiction
in accordance with law. The case is one of improper
exercise of jurisdiction. It is not expected of us to
deal with this issue at any greater length as we are
dismissing this petition on other grounds.”
Resultantly, even on this account, the present writ petition is
not maintainable.

Accordingly, the impugned order dated 16.5.2005
(Annexure P/4) passed by the Commission and order dated
16.3.2005 (Annexure P/3) passed by the Forum are upheld and the
present writ is dismissed.
August 01, 2016 (G.S.SANDHAWALIA)

Print Page

No comments:

Post a Comment