HC denies interfering with order directing Rajarajeshwari Medical College to Refund Extra MBBS Fees
Bengaluru: A division bench of Karnataka High Court recently denied interfering with an order passed by the Admission Overseeing Committee, which had directed Rajarajeshwari Medical College and Hospital to refund the extra fees that had been collected from MBBS students.
Such a decision was taken by the High Court bench comprising of Justices Alok Aradhe and S Vishwajith Shetty after it took note of the fact that the committee had taken the decision on the basis of the admitted facts and the complaints lodged by the students.
In fact, the HC bench also noted that as per the agreement executed in 2017, the college could not charge extra fees over the amount fixed by the fee fixation committee.
"The Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, in the Islamic Academy of Education case, held that once fees are fixed by the fee fixation committee, an institute cannot charge either directly or indirectly any other amount over and above the fixed fees. This, in view of aforesaid enunciation of the law, it is evident the petitioner is not entitled to recover any amount over and above the fee fixed by the committee," noted the bench.
Medical Dialogues had reported back in 2018 that two medical colleges- East Point College of Medical Sciences and Rajarajeswari Medical College- had been directed by the Admission Overseeing Committee (AOC) to refund the excess fees that they had collected from the MBBS students.
The stern action by the committee had been taken after taking into consideration all the complaints lodged by around 58 MBBS students stating that those two medical colleges were charging an excess fee over the stipulated amount declared by the government and the Fee Regulatory Committee on the MBBS course.
AOC had directed the colleges to refund the excess fees that they had collected along with 6% interest. In addition, the Committee had also clarified that if the medical colleges' management somehow failed to do so, the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), to which the medical colleges were affiliated with, could charge twice the amount of fine and make necessary recommendations to the Medical Council of India (MCI) for withdrawal of recognition and affiliation.
MBBS students had alleged that the private quota and government quota students had to pay Rs 80,900 and Rs 91,800 additionally apart from the Rs 77,500 and Rs 6.33 lakh tuition fees collected for government and private quota seats.
Thus claiming that they had to pay Rs 1.48 lakh extra, the MBBS students had approached the committee. "Some of the sub-heads under which the management had reportedly sought money include a cricket ground, gym, air conditioners, and a swimming pool fund," the students had alleged.
However, the college had challenged the verdict given by the Committee on October 31, 2018 and had approached the High Court.
The college contended that the order of the Committee was without jurisdiction as there was no power under section 5(8) of the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act-2006 for determining whether excess fees had been charged from students.
Apart from this, the college also claimed that the students had paid the amount voluntarily and there were no extra charges. Whatever extra amount had been recovered from students was to provide them with facilities.
The bench noted that the Association of Minority Professional Colleges in Karnataka, of which the petitioner college is a member, had entered into an agreement with the government on July 25, 2017 that they would charge Rs 6.3 lakh for private quota seats and Rs 77,000 for government quota seats.
The Government also submitted before the bench that the college was not entitled for collecting extra fees than the amount prescribed under the agreement. In fact, the government pointed out that the request for charging fee under other heads had already been rejected by an order dated July 21, 2017.
Taking note of the submissions, a division bench of Justices Alok Aradhe and S Vishwajith Shetty had dismissed the petition and declined to interfere with a recommendation made by the Admission Overseeing Committee, adds New Indian Express.
The bench also noted that the committee had recommended for refund of excess fees after taking into account admitted facts and the complaints lodged by the students.
Apart from this, TOI adds that the bench also clarified that mere quoting of wrong provision does not invalidate an order as the recommendation has been made by the committee on the basis of admitted facts.
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.