Supreme Court junks plea on MBBS fee hike in Kerala Medical Colleges
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government's plea challenging the High Court's (HC) interim order allowing private medical colleges to levy exorbitant MBBS fee was recently rejected by the Supreme Court.
The apex court further denied removing statements made by the HC against the fees committee and clarified that HC has pronounced an interim verdict and once the final verdict is announced, the government can approach the apex court if it has any objections.
With this, the MBBS aspirants seeking admission in the private medical colleges for the academic year of 2020-2021 will have to submit an affidavit mentioning that they will pay the fees according to the final verdict of the Supreme Court.
The State Government moved the apex court demanding to put a stay on the interim order pronounced by the high court, where it stated that in the absence of the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act that came into effect in 2019, the private medical colleges should accept a fee stipulated by a state fee committee on the basis of an SC order that states that the fees should be fixed on the basis of the financial capacity of the students.
Based on the order pronounced by the High Court, the fee regulatory committee, led by a retired HC judge, had fixed the fee ranging from Rs 6.32 lakh to Rs 7.65 lakh for MBBS courses in various self-financing colleges for the academic year. However, some of the self-financing medical colleges were demanding fees of more than Rs 20 lakh and filed a case in the High Court.
The Kerala HC, in its interim order, also instructed that the fee structure fixed by the fee regulatory committee needs to be re-evaluated. It also asked to inform students that they may have to pay the maximum fee demanded by the college management.
HC further added that this year's fees would be based on the final order of the court or any other Court-entrusted authority. In case of a hike, the students would have to pay the amount. Kerala Government moved the SC challenging the verdict of the HC.
As per a recent media report by English Mathrubhumi, the SC bench led by L. Nageswara Rao said that staying the HC order will result in uncertainty. It further added, that after the final verdict is given by the HC, the government might approach the apex court regarding its objections.
The daily further added that the Government also demanded to remove some of the statements against the committee in the interim order. However, the SC has dismissed the demand saying that the statements were not personal.
After the SC order, the students and parents will have to wait for the final verdict of HC mentioning the fees.
Keralakaumudi adds, in case of a hike in the fees, talented students with higher ranks will not participate in the allotment, that is likely to result in bribery for the vacant seats.