BAMS fee issue: Contempt petition against Himalayan Ayurvedic Medical College dismissed
Nainital: The ongoing fee hike issue for BAMS course, which had led to more trouble for Himalayan Ayurvedic Medical College; has received a major relief recently after the Uttarakhand High Court dismissing the contempt petition against the institute. A few days ago , the Principal of the Ayurveda college was taken into custody for almost two-and-a-half hours after the court said that it found contradictions in the submissions of the college.
The proceedings are taking the course in view of the petition filed by BAMS students submitting that the college failed to return the increased fee it had charged from students after a Government Order (GO) increased the fee from Rs 80,000 to over Rs 2.15 lakh.
Medical Dialogues had been reporting about the fee hike issue since the order was issued in 2015 for an increase in BAMS fees of the private Ayurveda Colleges of Uttarakhand. However, the order was in gross violation of all norms as it was issued sans necessary recommendation of the fee fixation committee and was implemented from back date.
The GO was anyway revoked in 2018 after the intervention of High Court. Displeased, the private medical colleges challenged the court's order. However, the plea was dismissed and a bench of judges upheld the earlier decision.
As per the court's order, the state government directed to refund the fee but the administrators of these colleges are not following the order.
Thereafter, the state government and the Ayurvedic University on November 2, 2018, and November 17, 2018, respectively had released directions to the private colleges to adhere to the court order. However, the private colleges continued to compel the students to pay the extra fees. Resultantly, a protest was staged by the students stating that they haven't received the refund of additional fees collected from them, even after the High court's directive on the same.
Then, on March 22, 2019, and April 23, 2019, as well the private colleges were asked by the state government to refund the fee. On September 23, 2019, the HC issued orders to 13 private colleges on a contempt petition.
In February this year, the matter once escalated with the BAMS students of Himalayan Ayurvedic Medical College reaching the court citing that they still haven't received the refund of the additional fees. During a hearing on the same, the counsel appearing on behalf of the students highlighted that around 1,000 students are to be issued refund amounting to around Rs 80 crore from 13 colleges in the state that provide the course and alleged violation of the HC order
Deliberating on this, the court ordered the principal to be personally present in the court on March 2 and explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him under the Contempt of Courts Act, according to an earlier report by TOI. Then the HC kept in custody the principal of Himalayan Ayurvedic Medical College for almost two-and-a-half hours after the court said that it found contradictions in the submissions of the college.
However, in its recent hearing, the HC dismissed the contempt petition against the college.
Giving confirmation to TOI about the same, the counsel for the students informed, as the proceedings began on March 3rd, it was pointed out to the single judge bench of Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma that the copy of the order presented with the petition does not belong to the petitioner.
"The court while hearing a bunch of petitions had ordered all the colleges to refund the extra money that they had charged from students. The current petition has been filed by a student named Manish Kumar while the order copy attached here was of someone else. Therefore, the court dismissed the petition," said the advocate adding that the court has given them liberty to file another petition which will be done soon.
"The court didn't say that our grounds were not legitimate. It was a technical matter which will be sorted out soon and a fresh case will be filed before the high court soon," he added.