Bombay HC directs State to Reimburse First Year Fees of Open Category MBBS Students within 2 Months
Mumbai: The long wait of open category MBBS students is about to come to an end as the Bombay High Court has recently directed the State Government for completing the reimbursement of the first year fees of students within a period of two months.
Although the State informed the Court about releasing an amount of Rs 6.25 Crore for this purpose, they also sought an additional time period of four months for disbursing the amount. However, denying the request, the High Court has granted the State a time period of two months instead.
All these students despite securing good marks had failed to get admission to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) due to the implementation of Maratha and EWS quota. Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that on November 30, 2019, the legislature had passed to a bill proposing reservation in education and government jobs for Maratha.
Finally, 12% of seats for the Maratha quota were reserved and 74% reservation was implemented in Maharashtra education field in total after the addition of 10% EWS quota. Considering the problem of the open category students in gaining admission in government colleges, the former Chief Minister Fadnavis suggested the students who belong to the open category and could not secure admission due to the reservation should seek admission in private colleges and said that the government will reimburse their current tuition fees.
Giving the GMCH the charge, the then Government supposedly allocated Rs 32 crore towards the reimbursement of fees. After getting the assurance from the Government, the students accordingly had paid the first-year fees from their own pockets.
However, not receiving the reimbursement of fees as promised the medicos had approached the High Court. Taking cognizance of the issue, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court had provided an ultimatum to the Maharashtra government in November last year to immediately initiate the process of providing reimbursement fee to the open category MBBS students who were admitted into private colleges.
The Bombay High Court had instructed the government to immediately complete all the necessary formalities which are prerequisite for initiating the reimbursement process within 3 weeks.
However, there was no progress regarding the matter and not a penny was paid for this purpose.
As per the latest media report by Mid Day, while listening to the grievances of the petitioners related to the case, the Bombay High Court on July 28 had directed the State to complete the reimbursement of the first-year fee of these students within the next two months.
While commenting on this development, Anand Kandoi, the lawyer representing the student petitioners told Mid Day, "The state government informed the court that a sum of Rs 6.25 crore has been released for the first-year fee reimbursement and deposited under the head of 'Directorate, Medical Education and Research', but they requested for four months' time to disburse it. However, the court denied it and gave them two months."
"We are now focusing on resolving the fee issue of the remaining years," he added.
"Considering that the reimbursement decision had already been made, we were waiting for the government to take action accordingly. But when our wards' names started appearing in the list of students whose fees were pending, we got worried and moved court. The amount that will be disbursed now is only for the first year fees, which we have already paid in full. But for the second year we have only paid the government college fee because the state is supposed to pay the remaining," the mother of one of the student petitioners told the daily.
The order of the Court would be applicable for all the open category students eligible for the reimbursement.