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Byju's accused of buying phone numbers and threatening kids

Byjus accused of buying phone numbers and threatening kids

New Delhi: The ed-tech company Byju's is accused of purchasing phone numbers of kids and their parents. The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) also alleged that the company threatened kids and parents that their future will be ruined if they do not buy courses from Byjus.

NCPCR Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo told ANI that Byjus is targeting first-generation learners and rigorously following them. The company is also accused of hard selling and mis-selling courses. She added that the organisation will make a report and write to the government.

The commission took action based on a news report that Byju's sales team was engaging in malpractices. "As the Commission has come across a news article wherein it has been pointed out that some customers have also claimed that they were exploited and deceived, and had put their savings and futures in jeopardy."

The news report also alleged that the ed-tech firm has been actively tricking customers to enter into loan-based agreements for non-refundable courses. The child rights panel said Byju's has been receiving several complaints from parents but did not do anything to address them.

Byju's denied the claims about student databases and said it expects the media to refrain from making such a "baseless and unsubstantiated allegation."

"With more than 150 million registered students and with the top-of-the-mind recall that the BYJU'S brand has in India, we do not need to buy or use external databases. We emphasise that our lead pipeline comprises exclusively of our app users, walk-ins, and incoming requests for consultation. BYJU'S is ranked No. 19 in the coveted Kantar list of India's most trusted brands. We do not need to and we never make cold calls or unscheduled walk-in visits. We strongly refute any allegation that indicates otherwise," said the statement issued by the company.

The commission last Friday issued a summons to CEO Byju Raveendran and asked him to appear in person On December 23. If he fails to comply without a lawful excuse, 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."

"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 added.

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TAGS:byjys edtech child rights panel 
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