National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chief has confirmed bullying tactics by edtech giant BYJU’S. In a media brief issued Tuesday, the commission chairman stated that BYJU’s stands guilty of “buying phone numbers of children and their parents, and threatening them that their future will be ruined if they don’t buy its courses.”
It may be recalled that BYJU’s CEO, Raveendran, was earlier summoned by NCPCR over alleged malpractice in “hard selling and mis-selling of its courses for students.”
The latest allegation is based on news reports. “We learnt how BYJU’s has been buying phone numbers of children and their parents, rigorously following and threatening them that their future will be ruined. The platform is targeting first-generation learners. We are planning on initiating action,” read the brief.
The Commission took action based on a news report that the sales team of BYJU’S was indulging in malpractices to lure parents to buy their courses for their children.
The news report also mentioned some customers who claimed that they stood “exploited and deceived.”
The Commission further said that the news report further alleged that BYJU’S has been actively tricking customers to enter into loan-based agreements for courses which may not be refunded if customers wished to do so, the statement read.
The news article further claimed that despite complaints from parents, the edtech paid no heed.
“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,” it said.
The NCPCR brief also informs of an in-person appearance for Raveendran, failing which, he stands subject to “consequences of non-attendance as provided in Rule 10 and Rule l2 of Order XVI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.”