Karnataka

Plea questions fixation of college fees via consensual agreements

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday ordered issue of notice to the State government on a PIL petition questioning the legality of the government’s action of fixing fees for medical, dental, and engineering courses in private professional colleges through consensual agreements with associations of private colleges.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty passed the order on the petition, filed by city-based advocate Ajoy Kumar Patil.

The petitioner had questioned the validity of certain provisions of the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, saying they were in violation of constitutional provisions and an apex court judgment.

He contended that the private professional colleges in Karnataka were “mostly managed by politicians and religious/caste groups who have formed a cartel” and that the admission policy and fee fixation had been framed and formulated in such a manner as to “encourage profiteering and exploitation by such colleges”. The petitioner alleged that the government was “aiding and abetting profiteering by private professional colleges in the name of regulating the procedure for admission and fixation of fees”.

The petitioner also contended that the separate category of management quota admissions under the heading of “other seats” by earmarking of 5% for it at exorbitant fees was illegal and arbitrary, besides being contrary to the verdict of the apex court.

Pointing out that the fees for professional colleges could be fixed by the Fee Fixation Committee, as directed by the apex court, the petitioner contended that the fees fixed through consensual agreement every year were illegal. The procedure of entering into consensual agreements with associations of private colleges is also contrary to the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, he stated.

The Bench also ordered issue of notice to the Karnataka Professional Colleges Foundation, the Karnataka Religious and Linguistic Minority Professional Colleges Association, and the Association of Minority Professional Colleges in Karnataka.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 9:01:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/plea-questions-fixation-of-college-fees-via-consensual-agreements/article33225048.ece

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