MP consumer panel fines Byju’s staffer, Shah Rukh Khan for fraud

The order was passed on the complaint of an IAS aspirant.

| Updated: 29 April, 2023 8:37 pm IST
Actor Shah Rukh Khan is the brand ambassador of Byju's.

Bhopal: A district consumer commission in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, has issued an order against ed-tech firm Byju’s and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan for their alleged “fraudulent behavior” and “unfair trade practice”.

The order was made in response to a complaint filed by a woman named Priyanka Dixit, who enrolled in Byju’s coaching course in 2021 to prepare for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) exam.

On her complaint, the commission ordered Byju’s and Khan to pay Dixit Rs 1.08 lakh in fees along with 12 per cent annual interest, Rs 5,000 as litigation cost, and Rs 50,000 as compensation for financial and mental agony.

According to the commission’s order, Dixit was encouraged to take admission in Byju’s coaching course by false and misleading online advertisements. The firm had assured her of coaching by good teachers and that her classes would start from January 14, 2021, which did not happen.

Dixit alleged that the coaching facility was not provided even after she had paid the fee, and despite the assurance of a refund, the fee was not refunded. She had named the actor as one of the respondents after claiming that she had enrolled in the course because of the advertisement issued by him on January 13, 2021.

The commission took action against Byju’s and Khan since they remained absent even after notices were served in the case, and no reply was submitted on their behalf.

It ordered the local manager of Byju’s and actor Khan to pay the amount “jointly or severally” to Dixit. The term ‘jointly and severally’ refers to a partnership in which each party involved is equally liable with respect to a liability.

The order comes at a time when the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has launched a mega investigation against the edutech firm for allegedly violating foreign funding rules. On Saturday, ED sleuths carried out searches at properties of Byju’s founder Byju Raveendran in Bengaluru.

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