Relief to Telangana PG Medicos, HC Implements Older Fee Structure
Hyderabad: In a major relief to Postgraduate medical and dental students pursuing their education in private institutes of the state, the Telangana High Court has set aside increased Government's 2017 orders on the increased fee structure. Further, the High Court bench has also directed the colleges to collect fees in terms of an older G.O issued back in 2016 which was passed with...
Hyderabad: In a major relief to Postgraduate medical and dental students pursuing their education in private institutes of the state, the Telangana High Court has set aside increased Government's 2017 orders on the increased fee structure.
Further, the High Court bench has also directed the colleges to collect fees in terms of an older G.O issued back in 2016 which was passed with the recommendation of the Telangana Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee (TAFRC).
The colleges have also been directed to return the original education and course completion certificates to the PG doctors and give back the excess fees collected from the students within a period of 30 days.
The matter concerned G.O.Ms. No. 41 and G.O.Ms. No. 43, which were issued back in 2017. Through these two order, the Government had fixed the fee structure for the students admitted into Professional Post Graduate Medical and Dental courses in Telangana Un-aided Non-Minority and Minority medical and dental institutes in the State. These orders came into force from the academic years 2017-2018 and fixed the fees for the block period of 2017-2020.
There was a major hike in the fees especially in the management quota seats in the private medical colleges. For instance, the fee in Management quota clinical degree seats was Rs 5,80,000 back in 2016. This was increased in 2017 to Rs 24,20,000.
Dental courses were no exception as well. The 2017 G.O had increased the fees in private dental institutes to Rs 10 to Rs 15 lakh for management quota clinical degree courses.
Challenging this revised fee structure, the Health Care Reform Doctors Association (HRDA) had filed Public Interest Litigations before the High Court back in 2017.
"We had approached the court in the Public interest. If the fee is hiked it would have a major impact on the public health in the near future. If a student needs to pay 25 lakhs for a seat, he or she will have to earn that money back from the public. So, there will be a future burden on the general public," added Dr K. Mahesh Kumar, president of HRDA.
"Of course, we also had in mind the interest of the students as well. The issue also concerns the commercialization of education because we are making common students coming from middle-class background to pay heavy fees for pursuing medical education," he added.
The G.Os were challenged on the ground that they were issued without the recommendation of the TAFRC. "As per the law laid down by the constitutional benches of the Hon'ble Supreme court in Islamic Academic of Education versus State of Karnataka (5 Judges Bench) and P.A. Inamdar versus State of Maharashtra (7 Judges bench) and the various division bench judgments of this High court, the government cannot unilaterally fix the fee and has to only issue the fee fixed by the TAFRC which is a body led by a retired High court judge," mentioned the Press Note issued by the Advocate of the case, Sandeep Reddy Sama.
"It is continuing from 2017. After we approached the High Court, the Private colleges had approached the Supreme Court to get stay on the HC proceedings but the Supreme Court didn't allow that. Meanwhile, in the interim order, the HC directed the students to pay 50% of the fees mentioned in the 2017 G.O." mentioned Dr K. Mahesh Kumar.
"Almost two batches have passed. However, the colleges were withholding the certificates of the students. We mentioned in the court that this was of utmost importance and Court has directed the institutes to immediately give the certificates back to the students," he explained.
The High Court bench set aside those two G.Os yesterday and also directed the colleges to collect fee in terms of G.O.Ms. No. 29 dated 02.05.2016 which was issued pursuant to the recommendation TAFRC for the period of 2016-2019. Further, the bench has directed all the medical and dental colleges to return all the original education and course completion certificates to the PG Doctors. These certificates were put on hold by the colleges citing the pendency of the cases. Apart from these, the colleges have also been directed to return the excess fees paid by the students within a period of 30 days.
There was a huge hike from around 200% to 1000%. So, even when the students paid 50% of the 2017 fees, they paid excess amount. Now, the bench has directed the colleges to follow 2016 G.O. and make a refund of the excess fees collected by them," added Dr. Kumar.
"It is a heartily welcome judgment of the Hon'ble High court as thousands of PostGraduate Medical and Dental doctors were sitting idle as all their original education and course completion certificates were being illegally withheld by the Medical & Dental colleges in the state. Now, all these Post-Graduate Medical and Dental doctors will come and start practicing on the government and private side, thereby strengthening the Medical-Health Infrastructure in the state especially during these pandemic times," Advocate Sandeeep Reddy Sama mentioned in Press Note.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.