Kerala

MBBS fee: HC raps fee committee

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Panel fails to reconsider fee structure as per the court directive

The Kerala High Court has slammed the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee for not refixing the fee structure of MBBS courses of self-financing medical colleges for academic years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19, after reconsidering the claims of the managements on a High Court directive.

The committee had earlier fixed the tuition fee at ₹4.15 lakh a student for the 2016-17 academic year, ₹4.80 lakh for 2017-18 and ₹5.54 lakh for 2018-19 for the MBBS course. When the managements had challenged the free structure, the court had set aside the committee's order and remitted the issue to the committee for its reconsideration.

Justice A.M. Shaffique, while criticising the committee, directed the managements to file statements containing the particulars regarding the cost of land and building, list and value of infrastructure, list of equipment, its value and life span, salary and allowances being paid to teaching and non-teaching staff, expenditure for the administration and maintenance of the institutions, surplus for the future development and other expenditure.

The court felt that if these figures were available and ascertained, the actual expenditure during the academic year concerned could be ascertained and would give a clear idea of the total expenditure the college may have to incur and when it is divided by the number of students, it should be the fee that could be fixed. The court directed the managements to file the statements in three weeks.

The managements in their petition pointed out that even after the matter was remitted to the committee and directed it to pass fresh orders, the committee did not consider their claims afresh. The committee had, in fact, confirmed its earlier fee structure.

The court observed that once an order passed by the committee was set aside by the court and the committee had been directed to consider the matter afresh in accordance with the law, the committee had to independently arrive at the free structure. There was no re-determination of the fee. The committee was expected to fix the fee based on the available materials and it could not have rejected the claims, stating that the material produced was insufficient.

The court said there was no application of mind by the committee while fixing the fee afresh.

Counsel for the students pointed out that they got admission in the colleges based on the fee structure fixed by the committee and if there was considerable increase in the free structure it would affect them.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 4:34:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/mbbs-fee-hc-raps-fee-committee/article30577445.ece

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