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Supreme Court Grants One Month's Time To Fee Regulatory Committee To Fix Fee Of Private Self Financing Medical Colleges In Kerala

Shruti Kakkar
25 Oct 2021 12:53 PM GMT
Supreme Court Grants One Months Time To Fee Regulatory Committee To Fix Fee Of Private Self Financing Medical Colleges In Kerala
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The Supreme Court today granted 4 weeks time for the Fee Regulatory Committee for Medical Education in Kerala to consult college managements of private self-financing medical colleges for fixing "non-exploitative and reasonable" fee from 2017-18 onwards for MBBS studies. Taking note of the fact that the earlier direction could not be complied due to non-cooperation and CoVID, bench...

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The Supreme Court today granted 4 weeks time for the Fee Regulatory Committee for Medical Education in Kerala to consult college managements of private self-financing medical colleges for fixing "non-exploitative and reasonable" fee from 2017-18 onwards for MBBS studies.

Taking note of the fact that the earlier direction could not be complied due to non-cooperation and CoVID,  bench of Justices LN Rao and BR Gavai in their order said,

"The Court on February 25, 2021 had directed the Fee Regulatory Committee for Medical Education in Kerala to consider self financing of medical colleges. Exercise had to be completed within a period of 3 months from that date. The Fee Regulatory Committee for Medical Education in Kerala is seeking extension of time. The direction issued on 25 February 2021 could not be complied with view of non cooperation. In addition covid has also been the reason for tasks not being completed in the time.

In particular facts & circumstances of the case we grant 4 weeks from today to the committee to complete the exercise. Till then extension shall be granted."

The Top Court on June 4, 2021, had also granted 4 months time to the Committee.

"Having regard to the circumstances pleaded, four months time as prayed for is granted to the applicant­ Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee for Medical Education in Kerala for fixation of fees of the respondent private medical colleges for the MBBS Course from the academic year 2017­18 onwards. The Miscellaneous Application is disposed of accordingly," bench in their order had noted.

The Supreme Court on February 25, 2021, had observed that the regulation of fees for MBBS students in private self-financing medical colleges is within the domain of the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee which has to ensure that the fee is non-exploitative and reasonable.

"Therefore, we direct the Committee to expeditiously reconsider the proposals of the private self-financing colleges for fee fixation from 2017-18 onwards. Needless to mention that fee for earlier years also needs to be finalized in case it has not been done in respect of any college. It can direct the management to furnish any information that is required for the purpose of arriving at a decision that the fee proposed by the management is neither excessive nor exploitative in nature. A reasonable opportunity should be given to the management of private self-financing colleges in respect of their proposals for fee fixation. The entire exercise shall be completed within a period of three months from today."

It can direct the managements to furnish any information that is required for the purpose of arriving at a decision that the fee proposed by the managements is neither excessive nor exploitative in nature, the bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat had observed.

The Court had also observed that the High Court committed an error in directing the Committee to take into account only audited balance sheets, and provisional profit and loss accounts in the absence of audited balance sheets, to fix the fee.

"Though we are in agreement with the submission made on behalf of the managements that the fee as proposed by them should be considered by the Committee, it is no more res integra that the right conferred on the institutions to fix fee for professional courses is subject to regulation," the bench said.

The State had approached the Apex Court aggrieved with the Kerala High Court direction to the Committee to examine the audited balance sheets only for the purpose of considering whether the expenditure that is shown by the managements should be excluded or not. It contended that the directions given by the High Court are contrary to Section 11 of the 2017 Act, which refers to factors that have to be taken into account by the Committee for fee fixation.

Case Title: Najiya Neermunda and Ors v Kunhitharuvai Memorial Charitable Trust and Ors| MA 1615-1625/2021 in CA No 606-616/2021

Click Here To Read/ Download Order



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