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Madras High Court Reserves Order On Plea Challenging Capping Of Fees For 50% Seats In Private Medical Colleges

Upasana Sajeev
17 Aug 2022 11:00 AM GMT
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The Madras High Court on Wednesday reserved order on a plea filed by a group of private medical colleges challenging the fee fixation by the National Medical Council (NMC) with respect to 50% of their seats.

The bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala enquired how the Council could charge more fees from 50% students and less from the other 50%. It also asked how the system would work if the colleges were not able to fill the remaining 50% seats in the high fees category.
Colleges have challenged the constitutional validity of Section 10 of the National Medical Commission Act 2019 and an office memorandum issued pursuant to the Act directing all private medical colleges to charge a fee equivalent to that charged by the Government in 50% seats of these institutions.
Senior Counsel PS Raman appearing for the petitioner-institutions submitted that the impugned order is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution inasmuch as state governments collect different fees in government colleges and consequently, different private colleges will be required to levy different fees.
Raman further contended that it would be difficult for the Private Medical Colleges to manage their expenses without charging such fees. He suggested that the NMC could pay subsidies to the private colleges if it wanted these colleges to collect fees on par with the government institutions.
ASG R Sankaranarayanan, appearing for the respondents, stressed the need for Private institutions to participate in the welfare mechanism. He relied on various Supreme Court judgments to substantiate that States must regulate the fees charged by private institutions. He also emphasized how the state must ensure that the fee should not be collected by the private colleges with a profit motive.
Case Title: Melmaruvathur Adhiparasakthi Institute of Medical Sciences v. Union of India and others
Case No: WP No. 17966 of 2022
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