New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday censured the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) and its dean Arindam Chaudhuri for misleading students into believing that it possessed the approvals to offer Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programmes.

The ruling came on a public interest litigation filed by petitioner B. Mahesh Sharma, who alleged that IIPM was misleading, cheating and exploiting students by making them believe they will acquire an MBA or BBA qualification after studying at the institute. Chaudhuri said IIPM would challenge the ruling.

A division bench comprising chief justice G. Rohini and justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw restrained IIPM and its management with immediate effect from using the words “MBA, BBA, management course, management school, business school or b-school" in relation to the courses offered by it as well as in representations made to the public. The institute was also “directed to prominently display on the website of IIPM that they are not recognized by any statutory body/authority" and clarify the status of the foreign institutions from which students enrolling in IIPM would be getting a degree or certification.

IIPM was given a week’s time to upload and display the court’s judgement prominently on its website to ensure that the attention of anyone visiting the website is drawn to it. The court also imposed costs of 25,000 on IIPM, which has to be paid to Delhi Legal Services Authority.

The court noted that IIPM was promoting an impression that it had recognition from a foreign management institute--International Management Institute (IMI), Belgium.

The court found that in fact IMI had been set up by Arindam Chaudhuri and his father Malay Chaudhuri and was not even recognized by the laws of Belgium. Calling this arrangement a “maze...to entrap students" the court said that such “advertisements have the potential of misguiding young minds who have a craze for foreign education in the hope it will open doors for international placements/employments and cleverly concealing from them that IMI, Belgium is nothing but an alter ego or another face of IIPM."

The court said that it was a settled position that “no institution should run MBA/Management course, without the approval of the AICTE," or All India Council for Technical Education. IIPM, lacking such recognition, was not entitled to run or advertise such management courses.

“Any course that has anything to do with technical education, including business management, requires approval of the AICTE and this is important because it concerns the future of children", AICTE chairman S.S. Mantha said.

The court had earlier restrained IIPM from advertising in any form without the prior permission of the court. It observed that IIPM “on its website continues to display advertisements including for admissions for the year 2014".

“I am surprised by this judgement since we never issued any advertisement. We have never said that we offer MBA or BBA. In fact we always say ‘dare to think beyond MBA and BBA’. Our website clearly states that anybody interested in statutory recognition should not apply to IIPM." Chaudhuri, the dean of IIPM, said. “As far as IMI is concerned, we have ourselves claimed that it is our group institution. So, there is no misleading people. We will file a review petition in the high court or appeal to the Supreme Court against the costs imposed on us."

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