The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, or NCPCR, claims that the renowned educational technology company, Byju’s, is accused of hard selling its educational packages to children and their parents.
After taking phone numbers from students, Byju’s is pressurizing and threatening parents to purchase its courses, saying the future of their children is in danger if they don’t.
Incident In Detail
The NCPCR asserts that the multinational edtech institution, Byju’s, allegedly harassed parents to admit their children into its courses and programs after taking their phone numbers, and saying that their children’s future is in ruins if they do not join Byju’s.
The board of commissioners has called for Byju Raveendran, the CEO of Byju’s, to discuss the allegations of aggressive salesmanship and hard selling that his company is charged with. Mr. Raveendran is expected to be present before the NCPCR on December 23, 2022.
If Byju Raveendran is unable to act in compliance with the law without any legitimate explanation, the NCPCR team claimed that he “will be subjected to the consequences of the non-attendance as provided in Rule 10 and Rule l2 of Order XVI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908”.
Statements Given By NCPCR
Priyank Kanoongo, the chairperson of NCPCR, reported to the news agency ANI about Byju’s malpractice of hard selling and said, “We came to know how Byju’s buying phone numbers of children & their parents, rigorously following them & threatening them that their future will be ruined. They’re targeting first-generation learners. We’ll initiate action & if need be will make a report & write to the government.”
The NCPCR claimed in a statement, “As the Commission has come across a news article wherein it has been pointed out that the sales team of BYJU’S is indulging in malpractices to lure parents to buy their courses for their children.
lt has also been mentioned in the news report that some customers have also claimed that they were exploited and deceived, and had put their savings and futures in jeopardy.”
The NCPCR also stated, “The Commission is in observance that indulging into malpractices to lure the parents/children into entering loan-based agreements and then causing exploitation is against the welfare of children and in pursuance of the functions and powers under Section 13 and 14 of CPCR Act, 2005, the Commission requires you to appear in person before it along with the details of all the courses run by BYJU’S for children, the structure of these courses and the fee details, the number of students currently enrolled in each course, the refund policy of BYJU’S, the legal documents regarding the recognition of BYJU’S as a valid ed-tech company and all other relevant documents regarding the claims made in the news report at 1400 hours on 23.12.2022 to explain the discrepancies in relation to the said matter.”
Byju’s Accused Of Scamming Customers
Various news reports claim that Byju’s has not only threatened customers to purchase their courses, but they have also tricked people into joining loan-based programs where the advance deposit amount may not be reimbursed even if the customers wanted a refund.
The child rights panel stated, “Under Section 14 of CPCR Act,2005, the Commission has all the powers of a Civil Court trying a suit under the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 and particular, in respect of the following matters-
(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) discovery and production of any document;
(c) receiving evidence on affidavits;
(d) requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office; and
(e) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents.”
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