Special Correspondent

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday ordered that the collection of fee from students admitted to the management seats in the six self-financing medical colleges that signed an agreement with the government would be subject to the outcome of a writ petition challenging the new fee structure fixed by the Fee Regulatory Committee headed by P.A. Mohammed.

Justice S. Siri Jagan passed the order when a petition came up for hearing.

According to Fathima Haseena and others, the order of the committee was illegal. The committee had convened a meeting to approve of the new fee structure of the colleges on a request by the Principal Secretary, Higher Education, and the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations.

The petitioners said the committee had no power to act on their requests. The action of the committee went against the statutes by which it was constituted.

The petitioners pointed out that the statutes did not empower the committee to revise a fee structure which had already been fixed for three years.

Besides, there was no material before the committee to decide on a new fee structure.

Meanwhile, the court allowed a petition filed by another student, P.A. Fathima, seeking to implead in the case.

She alleged that Ms. Hazeena and others filed the petition to prevent the flow of students from four Christian management colleges to the six self-financing colleges which had signed the pact with the government.

Order set aside

Justice V. Giri on Tuesday set aside the order of the Ernakulam Judicial First Class Magistrate issuing summons to the parents of Sister Abhaya, some newspapers and channels on a defamation complaint filed by Jomon Puthenpurackal.

In his complaint, Jomon had alleged that the statements made by the parents of Sister Abhaya at a press conference held in 2004 were defamatory.

They had alleged that Jomon had collected huge sums from various quarters in the name of conducting the Abhaya case.

Petition dismissed

Justice S. Siri Jagan dismissed a petition filed by two Public Works Department contractors against the Kerala Water Authority’s (KWA) direction for submitting tenders for its works through the KWA web site after downloading the tender form.