Vikash Sharma

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has imposed a penalty of Rs 1 lakh on M/s IQRA IAS Institute for allegedly issuing false and misleading advertisement.

The CCPA headed by Chief Commissioner, Nidhi Khare and Commissioner, Anupam Mishra issued an order against M/s IQRA IAS Institute for misleading advertisement and unfair trade practice by allegedly advertising misleading testimonials of top-rank holders of the years 2015-2017 in the UPSC Civil Services Exam.

As per a PIB report,the issue came to the notice of CCPA through the website of IQRA IAS Institute established in 2018 deliberately and falsely claimed through the testimonials of top-rank holders of UPSC CSE in 2015 and 2017 as their students which is factually deceiving.

“CCPA took suo-moto cognizance and found that along with the aforesaid false claim the institute claimed itself as the only coaching academy to have the best faculty from all around India for providing the best UPSC online prelims test series 2020, thus making it the top UPSC coaching within a year in Pune. Accordingly, notice was issued to IQRA IAS Institute,” the report said.

In its response, the institute submitted that the faculty members of Pune and Kanpur are highly qualified as well as reputed and have a Google rating of 4.6 out of 5. The test series for the year 2020 was prepared with their high skills and research quality which was an academic success.

The advertisement has been removed from its website at present. CCPA is entrusted to protect, promote, and enforce the rights of a class of consumers and therefore requested DG (Investigation) CCPA for detailed investigation in the present matter.

“It was found in the investigation report that the testimonials of All India Rank holders Tina Dabi AIR-1, (2015); Athar Amir Ul Safi Khan AIR-2, (2015); Himanshu Kaushik AIR-77, (2015); Saifin AIR-570, (2017) were hosted by IQRA IAS Institute which itself was set up in 2018, thereby deceiving consumers into believing that such successful candidates owe their success to said institution,” the PIB report read.

IQRA IAS Institute by making such exaggerated claims not only falsely represented its service by deliberately concealing important information but also conveyed express and implied representation to mislead the class of consumers for deceptively promoting their services.

On the other hand, the IQRA IAS Institute nowhere showcased any disclaimer and failed to substantiate other claims made by them.

“CCPA is working to safeguard the rights of a class of consumers in every nook and corner of the Country and therefore issued an Order to IQRA IAS Institute to discontinue the false claims under the garb of misleading testimonials as well as imposed the penalty of Rs 1,00,000 for misleading advertisement and unfair trade practice,” the report added.

The Institute could not be contacted over the development.