In a ruling with tremendous implications for the future of education in the country, that will act as a check against misleading advertising by unethical institutes, a two judge bench of the Delhi High court, responding to a public interest litigation (PIL) application has restrained the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) from using the word “MBA, BBA, Management Course, Management School, Business School or B-School” in relation to the courses / programmes being conducted by them.
The court was responding to a PIL which contended that the respondents, the Union of India (UOI), the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had not taken any action and thereby allowed the IIPM through its Dean Arindam Chaudhuri to fraudulently use “MBA / BBA” in relation to the Courses offered by it, thereby misleading, cheating and exploiting students attracted to the said Institute under the belief that they will acquire the qualification of MBA / BBA.
The two judge bench has pronounced as follows:
18. In the face of the admission of the senior counsel for the respondent No.4 IIPM today that the respondent No.4 IIPM is not entitled to confer any Degree, the prospectus issued by the respondent No.4 IIPM showing itself as conferring a Degree, is evidently false and misleading. The respondent No.4 IIPM is not entitled to represent so in any manner directly or indirectly. Further in view of the admission that the respondent No.4 IIPM is not recognized by any statutory body / authority, the respondent No.4 IIPM also is not entitled to directly or indirectly in any manner convey that it is so recognized. Similarly, with respect to foreign Degrees / Institutions also, the respondent No.4 IIPM is required to make a clean breast of the status and to vividly and clearly inform its prospective customers / clients / students thereof, including the status of the said foreign Institutions and/or its Degree or Certificate in the country of its origin and/or to which it belongs.
19. We accordingly dispose of this petition, besides the aforesaid directions in paras No.15,17 and 18, with the following directions:
- The respondent No.4 IIPM and its management / officials including its Dean Mr. Arindam Chaudhuri are restrained with immediate effect from using the word “MBA, BBA, Management Course, Management School, Business School or B-School” in relation to the Courses / programmes being conducted by them or in relation to the representations if any made to the public at large and/or to their prospective clients, customers or students;
- The respondent No.4 IIPM and its management / officials including its Dean Mr. Arindam Chaudhuri are directed to prominently display on the website of IIPM that they are not recognized by any statutory body / authority and the status of the Foreign University / Institution and/or its Degree or Certificate in the country of its origin and whose Degree or certificate the students enrolling in the Course / Programme offered by the respondent No.4 IIPM would be entitled to;
- The respondent No.4 IIPM and its management / officials including its Dean Mr. Arindam Chaudhuri to within one week hereof, upload and display prominently on the website of the respondent No.4 IIPM this judgment to ensure that attention of anyone visiting the said website is drawn thereto (we clarify that the short time of one week is given since this is admission time, when students not admitted to Institutes / Colleges of their first choice, would be queuing for other Institutes).
20. We again clarify that the aforesaid would not relieve the respondent No.4 IIPM from the liability, if any in any action taken by any other person for having been misled in the past.
21. We also impose costs of Rs.25,000/- on the respondent No.4 IIPM, to be paid to Delhi Legal Services Authority within four weeks of today.
Full text of the court's judgement:
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