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THE REGISTRAR SAMPOORNANAD SANSKRIT UNIVERSITY versus DISTRICT CONSUMER REDRESSAL FORUM JAUNPUR & OTHERS

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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The Registrar Sampoornanad Sanskrit University v. District Consumer Redressal Forum Jaunpur & Others - WRIT - C No. 35317 of 1994 [2005] RD-AH 105 (6 January 2005)

 

This is an UNCERTIFIED copy for information/reference. For authentic copy please refer to certified copy only. In case of any mistake, please bring it to the notice of Joint Registrar(Copying).

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE OF ALLAHABAD

Court No. 37

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 35317 of 1994

The Registrar, Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi

...Petitioner

Versus

The District Consumer Redressal Forum, Jaunpur and others

...Respondents.

****

Hon. R.K. Agrawal, J.

Hon. (Mrs.) Saroj Bala, J.

By means of the present writ petition, under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, petitioner seeks a writ, order or direction in the nature of prohibition directing the District Consumer Redressal Forum, Jaunpur, not proceed with the case No. nil of 1994-Prabhat Kumar Yadav and  others Versus  Registrar, Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi and to drop the proceeding in the said case.

The brief facts giving rise to the writ petition are these:

The petitioner-Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi, has been established by the State Government and through a chain of Sanskrit Pathshalas all over India the University conducts courses for teaching Sanskrit language and literature. The sole object of the said University is to promote and spread Sanskrit language. According to the petitioner the opposite parties except one are the students of Adarsh Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya Jamdeeh Manikpur, district Jaunpur which is affiliated to Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi. The opposite parties approached the District Consumer Redressal Forum, Jaunpur as their examination forms were not accepted by the University. According to the petitioner the forms sent by Adarsh Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya for the examination to be held   in the year 1994 were not accepted as the arrears of fee for the year 1993 were not cleared and the examination forms were not approved by the authorized person. The District Consumer Redressal Forum, Jaunpur has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint and has acted without jurisdiction by issuing notice dated 19.8.1994 (Annexure-1 to the writ petition). The petitioner states that subject education does not fall within the ambit of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The petitioner has stated that the University is engaged in pursuit of imparting education to the students and its object is not to gain profits.

We have heard Sri Anil Tiwari, learned counsel for the petitioner, the learned Standing Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent and have perused the record of the writ petition. The opposite parties no. 2, 3 and 5 have not come forward to contest the writ petition despite service of notice through registered post.

The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that education is not covered within the definition of consumer and service as defined under the Consumer Protection Act. The learned counsel urged that relationship between the teachers and students and University is not a service on hire and cannot come within the purview of Section 2 (e) of the said Act. The learned counsel urged that the service of the petitioner was never hired by the respondents. The learned counsel in support of his submission relied upon a decision in the case of  Smt. N. Taneja and another Versus Calcutta District  Forum and others AIR 1992 Calcutta 95.

The learned Standing Counsel argued that a writ under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is not a proper remedy when the challenge is that the authority has no jurisdiction to entertain and try the proceeding, as the subject matter is foreign to it.

The first question for consideration is whether the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, is applicable to education. Under section 2(d) of the Consumer Protection Act ''consumer' means any person who (i) buys any goods for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any user of such goods other than the person who buys such goods for consideration paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment when such use is made with the approval of such person, but does not include a person who  obtains such goods for resale or  for any commercial purpose; or (ii) [hires or avails of] any  services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any beneficiary of such services other than the person who [hires or avails of] the services for consideration paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of  deferred payment, when such services are   availed of  with the approval of the first mentioned person.

Section 2(o) defines ''service' means service of any description which is made available to potential users and includes the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, board or lodging or both [housing construction] entertainment, amusement or the purveying of news or other information, but does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service.

The term service as defined under the Consumer Protection Act means service of any description made available to potential users but does not include a personal service even under the contract. The term consumer extend to person from person who buys any commodity to consume either as eatable or otherwise from a shop business house, corporation, store, fair price shop to use of private or public services. In Oxford dictionary the word consumer is defined as  ''purchaser of goods and service'. In Black's Law dictionary it is explained to means one who consumes, individual who purchase, use, maintain and dispose of products and services. The Apex Court in the case of Morgan Stanely Mutual Fund Versus Kartick Das JT 1994 (3) SC 654 had the Occasion to consider the term consumer as defined under section 2(d) of the Consumer Protection Act and held that   as per the definition consumer is the one who purchase goods for private use or consumption. It was further observed that the meaning of word consumer is broadly stated in the above definition so as to include anyone who consumes goods or services at the end of the chain of production. The comprehensive definition aims or covering every man who pays money as the price or cost of goods and services.

In the case of Smt. N. Taneja (supra) rendered the question where education relationship between the teachers and students of an educational institution and University come within the purview of the definition of consumer and service as defined under section 2(d) and section 2(o) of the Consumer Protection Act came up for consideration and it was held that the education is not only the instructions confined to schools and colleges but education includes moral and intellectual training as well as uplifting of mental and moral faculties. It is not only confined to improvement and cultivation of mind but also of cultivation of ones religion and moral sentiments as well as physical faculties.

It was further held as below:

"Education does not come under the purview of this Act. The service rendered by a teacher is not a kind of service as described in Section 2(o) of the Act. It does not come under the purview of banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electricity or other energy, board or lodging or both, entertainment, amusement or the purveying a news or other information, but does not include the rendering of any service of free of charges or under a contract of personal service. This definition of service is very widely clear and it must be noted that there is not contract of personal service so far as the teaching of a student in an educational institution is not concerned, nor the contract as mentioned in Section 2(o) comes in any way under Section 2 of the Contract Act. In A.I.R. 1988 SC 1700(supra) the Supreme Court has very expressly spelt out "that imparting of education is in the nature of a mission or a noble vocation. A teacher educates children, he moulds their character, builds up their personality and makes them fit to become a responsible citizen. Children grow under the care of teachers the clerical work, if any they may do, is only incidental to their principal work of teaching." The definition of service under Section 2(o) if read with Sections 2(e)(iii) and 2(d)(ii) and relationship of teacher and student of an educational institution is not a service on hire because student is not such a consumer which is linked any way with the buyer of any economic goods and hire has not been linked with education, teacher and student. The contract as referred to in Section 2(g) certainly is not the contract as defined in Section 2(o) because the very conception of the contract cannot be forced into the Consumer Protection Act so far as education, teacher and student are concerned."

Acceptance of examination form and holding of examination is neither selling of goods nor rendering a service of the kind contemplated under section 2(1) (o) of the Consumer Protection Act. The examination forms were not accepted by the petitioner as arrears of fee for the year 1993 were not cleared and forms were not approved by the authorized person. In view of these facts, education does not come within the scope and jurisdiction of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and the District Consumer Redressal Forum, Jaunpur had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint against the petitioner. The order complained of against being illegal and without jurisdiction, the petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for quashing the proceeding is legally maintainable.

In view of the forgoing discussions, allowing the writ petition, we quash the proceeding in case No. nil of 1994-Prabhat Kumar Yadav and others Versus  Registrar, Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi, pending before the  Court of District  Consumer Redressal  Forum, Jaunpur. There will be no orders as to cost.

D/-6.1.2006

Mahmood

           


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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