Educational Activities as Service Under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986
Volume 8 Issue 1-2 (2015)
The amenability of educational activities to the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is one of the quintessentially tumultuous areas of Indian consumer law, falling in the penumbral area thereof. The Indian Supreme Court has through a series of three decisions gradually decreased the amenability of educational institutes and the educational activities per- formed thereby from the purview of the 1986 Act, with its most recent order – P.T. Koshy v. Ellen Charitable Trust – ostensibly excluded them altogether from the purview of the Act. In light of these developments, this article shall evaluate the tenability of the Supreme Court’s position, by undertaking a critical analysis of the legal correctness of the exclusion of educational activities from the purview of the 1986 Act, and determine the practical implications that are bound to ensue therefrom. Further, it shall rebut the multifarious lines of reasoning that have been advanced, in support of such exclusion, and establish conclusively, why educational institutions (of every class) and the activities rendered by them should, to the extent that they are otherwise classifiable as ‘services’ as defined in §2(1)(o) of the 1986 Act, not be excluded from the purview thereof, and thus demonstrate the fallaciousness of the Supreme Court’s position in this respect.