MBBS fee hike issue in Kerala Medical Colleges: SC to hear plea on February 17
New Delhi: Mentioning that the issue couldn't be delayed any further, the Supreme Court is about to hear the petition filed by the Kerala Government and medical students opposing the High Court order that enabled a huge increase in the fees in the private medical colleges of the State.
The bench consisting of Justices R Nageshwar Rao and Raveendra Bhatt will hear the plea on February 17.
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that the Kerala 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 had stated 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 (FRC), 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 had been 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 needed to be re-evaluated. It also asked to inform students that they might have to pay the maximum fee demanded by the college management.
When the State Government moved the apex court challenging the HC order, the Supreme Court rejected the plea saying that staying in the HC order will result in uncertainty. It further added that after the final verdict would be given by the HC, the government might approach the apex court regarding its objections.
As per the latest media report by the English Mathrubhumi, Senior Advocate Jaydeep Gupta and Standing Counsel, G Prakash, appearing on the behalf of the state, had argued that High Court didn't have the authority to instruct the Fee Regulatory Committee to determine the annual fees as the case is under SC's consideration.
However, the daily adds that the SC made it clear that there had been no interim stay on the verdict. The apex court further asked about the concern of the State Government with the Regulatory Committee deciding the fees based on the HC order.
The State Government in response contended that the verdict of the HC had been in violation of the Islamic Academic case judgment.
Meanwhile, Dushyant Dave, Shyam Divanand, Harris Beeran, and Sulfikkar Ali, the counsels appearing for the management of self-financing medical colleges had alleged that Kerala Government had hidden facts while approaching the apex court. Claiming that even though the chairman of the Regulatory Committee had been a retired judge he acted like one still posted in the HC, Dushyant Dave argued that the chairman acted in a way as if court judgments wouldn't be applicable to him.