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Petitioner Surrendered His Seat Before Last Counselling & Not Mid-Course, Institute Can't Recover Entire Course Fees: Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber
2 Feb 2022 9:15 AM GMT
Petitioner Surrendered His Seat Before Last Counselling & Not Mid-Course, Institute Cant Recover Entire Course Fees: Karnataka High Court
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The Karnataka High Court has said that educational institutions have only a right to recover the prescribed fee for one semester/year and not recover the entire course fees from a candidate who surrenders his seat. A division bench of Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice M G S Kamal relying on the judgments of the Supreme Court in the case of Islamic Academy Of Education & Anr. v. State...

The Karnataka High Court has said that educational institutions have only a right to recover the prescribed fee for one semester/year and not recover the entire course fees from a candidate who surrenders his seat.

A division bench of Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice M G S Kamal relying on the judgments of the Supreme Court in the case of Islamic Academy Of Education & Anr. v. State Of Karnataka & Ors., (2003) 6 SCC 697 said, "It is evident that the institution has only a right to recover the prescribed fee for one semester / year."

The petitioner, Dr. Vaibhav Khosla, had approached the court seeking directions to the Karnataka Examination Authority and Rajarajeshwari Medical College and Hospital to return the original documents submitted by him at the time of issuance of order of admission dated 16.05.2018. A direction was also sought upon the college not to insist on payment of tuition fee of Rs.25,32,000 for the entire duration of three years of MD Psychiatry course.

Case Background:

The petitioner completed the MBBS course from Government Medical College, Amritsar in the State of Punjab and was conferred the medical degree by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Punjab. He appeared in NEET PG 2018. He was registered with Karnataka Examination Authority which is designated authority for conducting counseling for admission to P.G. Medical Courses in the State of Karnataka.

The petitioner was granted admission in Christian Medical College, Ludhiana in M.S.Orthopedics and was admitted to the course on 24.05.2018.

In the meanwhile he had also participated in the mop up round and counseling conducted by the Karnataka Examination Authority and was allotted a seat in M.D.Psychiatry course in the college run by respondent No.5. The petitioner thereupon deposited a sum of Rs.7,74,500/- as well as all his original documents with Karnataka Examination Authority.

However, subsequently, when the petitioner was admitted in the Christian Medical College, Ludhiana in MS Orthopedics Course, the petitioner immediately informed the Karnataka Examination Authority as well as the respondent No.5-College by an e-mail dated 29.05.2018 that he is surrendering his seat in MD Psychiatry Course in respondent No.5-Medical College. It is pertinent to note that the last date for counseling to the PG Course was 31.05.2018. The petitioner, thereafter, visited Bangalore and submitted a communication to respondent No.2 stating that he is surrendering the seat and requested for handing over the original documents. The petitioner, thereafter, submitted representation on 28.05.2018. The respondent No.5 thereafter on 03.06.2018 sent a communication to the petitioner to deposit a sum of R.25,32,000.

Petitioner submissions:

The respondent No.5 is not entitled to seek the payments of the entire course fee for a period of three years from the petitioner as the petitioner had given up the seat much prior to the last date of counseling and much before the commencement of the course.

College opposed the plea:

It was contended that if the original documents are returned to the petitioner, the right of the management to recover the fee for three years would not be frustrated. Since, the petitioner had not prosecuted the course, therefore, the respondent No.5 was deprived from admitting any person to the Course in question and therefore, is entitled to recover the course fee of the entire three years course from the petitioner.

Court findings:

The bench on going through the records said, "The petitioner has, admittedly, surrendered the seat on 24.05.2018, before the last date of counseling. It is also not in dispute that after the petitioner had surrendered the seat, another round of counseling was held on 30.05.2011 by the Karnataka Examination Authority. It is not the case of the Respondent No.5 that the petitioner has left the course midstream."

It added, "In view of the law laid down in ISLAMIC ACADEMY OF EDUCATION AND ANOTHER supra, the respondent No.5 has no right in law to demand the remaining course fee of three years course from the petitioner."

The bench noted that in compliance with the order dated 24.04.2019, the original documents have been returned to the petitioner. Therefore, the prayer for return or original documents does not survive. The petitioner has already given up the right to seek refund of s.7,74,500 deposited by him as is recorded in the aforesaid order sheet. Therefore, no orders are required to that extent.

Thus, for the aforementioned reasons, the writ petition is disposed of.

Case Title: Dr Vaibhav Khosla v. State of Karnataka

Case No: WP 30619/2018

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 37

Date of Order: January 27, 2022

Appearance: Advocate Ajoy Kumar Patil for petitioner; Advocate Laxmi Narayana for R1,2; Advocate N K Ramesh For R3,4; Advocate Chandrakanth R Goulay for R5; Advocate N Khetty for R6

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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