Collecting five-year tuition fee for MBBS illegal: HC

Collection of tuition fee for five years from students pursuing M.B.B.S. course in private medical colleges despite the course duration being four-and-a-half years is illegal, the Telangana High Court declared.

Under the A.P. Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Prohibition of Capitation Fee) Act-1983, action can be initiated against private medical colleges collecting fees for five years for M.B.B.S. course, the HC said in a judgment. A division bench of Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice K. Lakshman delivered this verdict after hearing a writ petition filed by a student Dundigalla Padmateja of Hanamkonda in Warangal district.

While the M.B.B.S. course was of four-and-a-half year duration, private medical colleges were collecting fee for five years and this was illegal, the student said in the petition. After hearing contentions of the government, private medical colleges and the petitioner, the bench held even the action of Telangana Admission and Fee Regulation Committee (TAFRC) recommending collection of five years fee for M.B.B.S. course was illegal.

The bench made it clear that private colleges should collect year-wise fee for four years. For the remaining six months period, half the yearly fee only should be collected, the verdict said. “It was unfortunate that rules framed under GO MS No. 6 of Higher Education did not provide an opportunity either to students or parents association before the TAFRC decides upon the contentions of private medical colleges association”, the bench observed.

This deprives students and parents of any scope to protect their interests over fee fixation. “Neither the State government nor TAFRC seem to be bothered about this serious omission in the rules”, the bench noted.

The TAFRC contended that, in the combined state of A.P. and new state of Telangana, fee was being collected for five years. Supporting the TAFRC’s recommendation for collection of fee for five years, the government filed an affidavit stating that medical colleges would not charge extra for medicos who have to undergo classes for six more months due to securing less than 35% marks in internal assessment or those failing in final examination.

“It appears the government is assuming that all students are likely to fail and would require an additional six months of study. This presumption is wholly without any basis..”, the bench said in the verdict.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 5:49:15 pm |