A woman who enrolled in coaching with Byju’s, an ed-tech firm, to become an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, filed a complaint against one of its employees and Shah Rukh Khan, a film superstar, alleging “fraudulent behavior” and “unfair trade practices.” As a result, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, issued an order against them.
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, issued an order on Wednesday stating that Priyanka Dixit, the complainant who paid Rs 1.08 lakh in fees to Byju’s for admission in 2021, should be refunded with 12% annual interest. In addition, she is entitled to receive Rs 5,000 as litigation costs and Rs 50,000 as compensation for the financial and mental stress she endured.
According to the order, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Indore has held the local manager of Byju’s and actor Shah Rukh Khan jointly and severally responsible for paying the awarded amount to Priyanka Dixit. The term “jointly and severally” implies that each party involved is equally responsible for fulfilling the liability.
The commission further stated that since Byju’s manager and Shah Rukh Khan did not respond to the notices and failed to appear in the case, ex parte action was taken against them.
The commission’s order stated that the woman complainant, Priyanka Dixit, was induced to enroll in Byju’s coaching course through false and misleading online advertisements by the opposition parties.
The order further stated that despite paying the fees, no coaching facilities were provided, and even after assurances of a refund, the amount was not returned, which is considered fraudulent behavior and unfair trade practices.
Priyanka Dixit had named Shah Rukh Khan as one of the respondents in her complaint, stating that she enrolled in Byju’s coaching course on January 13, 2021, after being influenced by the firm’s advertisements to prepare for the Union Public Service Commission’s civil services exams.
Dixit’s complaint alleged that the firm assured her of coaching by good teachers and that her classes would commence from January 14, 2021, which did not happen. As a result, on January 27, 2021, she requested that the firm refund her fees and cancel her admission.
According to Dixit’s complaint, despite several requests, the firm did not refund her fees.
As per the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, an individual can file a complaint against a company for errors in services, as well as against those advertising it, explained Dixit’s lawyer Suresh Kanga to PTI.
“We filed a complaint against Byju’s and Khan under these provisions as Khan featured in the advertisement of the company, which prompted my client to take admission in the said coaching course,” Kanga said.