Byju’s intends to appeal the order.
The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), as per a Mint report, has imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on edtech major Byju’s for publishing allegedly false and misleading advertisements for its Indian Administrative Service (IAS) coaching.
The government body took suo moto cognisance of the issue in 2022 and sent a show-cause notice to Byju’s on 24 August that year.
Its order on November 23 said Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd (parent company of Byju’s) failed to produce evidence to prove its claims of an increase in the selection of candidates in UPSC civil services examinations (CSE), from 62 in 2013 to 295 in 2020.
The CCPA has directed the company to submit Rs 10 lakh as a penalty and a compliance report within 15 days of the order, and it has also been directed to halt the advertisements.
“We note that CCPA has levied fines on numerous education/ed-tech institutions in this matter. We respectfully disagree with the findings in the order and intend to appeal the same as we believe that the advertisements are not misleading. We will look to substantiate this with relevant evidence before the appellate authority,” a Byju’s spokesperson told Mint.
The appellate authority in this case is the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
The CCPA said in its order that the institute didn’t provide any data to substantiate the claim that of the 1,228 civil services vacancies filled up in 2013, 62 were students of Byju’s. The order said Byju’s IAS failed to submit any consent form and fee receipts of the selected candidates.
As per the CCPA order, the institute claimed 82 successes out of 1,364 civil services hirings in 2014 and provided the data of 24 students who had enrolled with the coaching institute for mock interview tests.
In the order, the CCPA stated that Byju’s IAS violated Section-2(28) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 as it deliberately concealed important information with respect to specific courses attended by the successful candidates, to deceive and mislead consumers and make huge commercial gains. As per the order, Section-2 (28) of the Act defines misleading advertisement in relation to any product or service.