15 Nov 2022 10:15 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court recently suggested the State government to issue general directions to Medical colleges against collection of excess fees from students over and above what is fixed by the government and the Karnataka Examinations Authority. A division bench of Justices B. Veerappa and KS Hemalekha said,"It is the duty of the State Government to protect the students...
The Karnataka High Court recently suggested the State government to issue general directions to Medical colleges against collection of excess fees from students over and above what is fixed by the government and the Karnataka Examinations Authority.
A division bench of Justices B. Veerappa and KS Hemalekha said,
"It is the duty of the State Government to protect the students and issue directions to all the colleges including respondent No.6, who collected excess amount over and above fee fixed by the State Government, if the State is really interested in the welfare of the citizens of the State."
The remarks were made while directing the Raja Rajeshwari Medical College not to collect excess amount over and above fee fixed by the Government for the academic year 2017-2018 and 2018- 2019 as per Medical Seat Fee Structure. Further, it directed the college to refund the amount collected from the petitioners for the academic years 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 over and above fee prescribed by the State Government and the KEA within a period of two months with interest @ 6% as per the recommendation made by the Admission Overseeing Committee.
Students Harish G and others, all medical students, had approached the court stating in the month of September and October 2017, the college demanded excess fee for I year MBBS over and above that fixed by the Government and the KEA. The petitioners paid the excess fee since they were told by the college that it was a one-time payment.
In July 2018, petitioners completed the I year MBBS course and in August 2018, II year MBBS classes commenced. All students/petitioners paid the fees fixed by the Government. The college however once again demanded excess fees over and above that fixed by the Government.
In September 2018, the parents of the students complained to the Admission Overseeing Committee regarding the collection of excess fees. The Admission Overseeing Committee passed a detailed order determining medical seat fee structures for private seats and government seats. This order was challenged by the respondent-college.
Through the instant petition, the students sought refund of the excess fee and positive directions restraining the college from repeating the impugned actions in the future.
Then bench noted that a Co-ordinate Bench of the High Court had dismissed the petition preferred by the college against the order of Admission Overseeing Committee and the same had attained finality.
The bench then referred to provisions of Sections 6(4) and 7(2) of the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, 2006 and said,
"The aforesaid provisions clearly indicate that no professional Educational institution shall collect excess fee over and above determined by the Fee Regulatory Committee. Admittedly, the Fee Regulatory Committee has fixed the admission fee for both the Government and Private Colleges and fee fixation for the academic year 2017-18 and 2018-19 made by the Fee Regulatory Committee was not challenged. Thereby, the petitioners and the institutions of respondent No.5 are bound by fee structures fixed by the Fee Regulations Committee notified."
It added, "Any excess amount collected by respondent No.6 or any other institution is in utter violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India."
Refusing to accept the contention of the college that the students voluntarily paid the amount, the bench said,
"If the institution is running for the education of the students with good intention, in all fairness, they should have directed the students not to pay the excess fee. If they really maintain transparency, they should not have accepted the excess fee and, being the educational institution, should act like a "Guru"."
Further it remarked, "They (college) are running the institution for the purpose of marketing education to the students, as a money making machine, which is impermissible."
Finally, the Court added, "In order to curb the institution respondent No.6 from collecting the excess amount, it is high time for the State Government and Rajiv Gandhi University to take action against respondent No.6 and ensure the refund of the amount collected from the students for the academic year 2017-2018 and second year MBBS Course and the same be refunded with interest @ 6% within the stipulated period."
Accordingly, it allowed the petitions.
Case Title: HARISH .G & Others v. THE STATE OF KARNATAKA & others
Case NO: WRIT PETITION No.52425/2019
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 459
Date of Order: 28TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2022
Appearance: AJOY KUMAR PATIL, ADVOCATE for petitioners; LAXMINARAYAN, AGA FOR R-1 & R-2; N. KHETTY, ADVOCATE FOR R-3; N.K. RAMESH, ADVOCATE FOR R-4; ASHOK S. NAYAK, ADVOCATE FOR R-5; C.R. GOULAY, ADVOCATE FOR R-6
Click Here To Read/Download Order