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Management Of Private Medical Colleges Prohibited From Accepting Payment Of Fees In Cash: SC Issues Directions To Curb Capitation Fee Menace

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
19 May 2022 4:06 PM GMT
Management Of Private Medical Colleges Prohibited From Accepting Payment Of Fees In Cash: SC Issues Directions To Curb Capitation Fee Menace
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The Supreme Court, in an order passed on Thursday, has prohibited managements of private medical colleges from accepting payment of fees in cash.

This is to avoid charging of capitation fee. The bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai also agreed to the suggestion for setting up web-portal under the aegis of Supreme Court wherein any information about the private medical colleges charging capitation fees can be furnished by the students.

While fixing fee, the Fee Fixation Committees of the States should take into account all the components of fee, leaving no scope for managements to charge any additional amounts apart from what has been prescribed by the fee fixation committee from time to time, the bench directed.

The court was considering Special Leave Petitions in which orders passed by Fee Fixation Committee for undergraduate medical courses for the academic years 2004-2005, 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 were under challenge. Noticing that in spite of repeated directions to stop the menace of capitation fee, hard reality of charging exorbitant capitation fee was very much prevalent, the court had appointed Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid as Amicus Curiae to make a detailed analysis of the problem and suggest an appropriate mechanism by which the charging of capitation fee can be stalled.

In its order passed today in these petitions while considering the suggestions made by the Amicus Curiae, the bench observed:

In spite of the State Governments enacting legislations prohibiting the practice of charging capitation fee and making it an offence, the stark reality which cannot be ignored is that capitation fee being charged for admission to medical colleges is prevalent even today.

The court also accepted the following suggestions made by the Amicus Curiae and Counsel for the States and National Medical Council and issued following directions:

(a) A web-portal under the aegis of Supreme Court has to be set-up wherein any information about the private medical colleges charging capitation fees can be furnished by the students. The webportal has to be maintained and regulated by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology;

(b) The Chief Secretaries of the States and Union Territories are directed to publish the details about the web-portal in the English as well as vernacular newspapers at the time of admission. In addition, a pamphlet should be compulsorily given to the students and their parents at the time of counselling informing them about the availability of the web-portal;

(c) While fixing the schedule for the admission process, the National Medical Commission and the Dental Council of India have to make sure that the counselling for all the rounds, including the stray vacancy round, is completed at least two weeks before the last date of admission;

(d) The names of students who are recommended by the authority for admission in the stray round vacancy have to be made public along with rank allotted to them in the NEET exam. The admissions should be made strictly on the basis of merit and in the event of any admission to the contrary, suitable action shall be taken against the private medical colleges;

(e) While fixing fee, the Fee Fixation Committees of the States should take into account all the components of fee, leaving no scope for managements to charge any additional amounts apart from what has been prescribed by the fee fixation committee from time to time. In the event that the management intends to charge additional amounts over and above the price band fixed by the Fee Fixation Committee, or for any component not included in the structure fixed by the Fee Fixation Committee, the same can only be done with the concurrence of the Fee Fixation Committee;

(f) The management of private medical colleges are strictly prohibited from accepting payment of fees in cash, in order to avoid charging of capitation fee. The students or any other aggrieved persons are at liberty to report on the web-portal regarding collection of fees in cash by any medical colleges;

(g) The Director General of Health Services and other concerned authorities to the State Governments should ensure that the All-India Quota and State Quota rounds of counselling are completed strictly in accordance with the time schedule that is fixed.

Case details

Rashtreeya Sikshana Samithi Trust vs Committee For Fixation of Fee Structure Of Private Professional Colleges | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 501 | CA 3978-3995 of 2017 | 19 May 2022

Coram: Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai

Headnotes

Education - Private Medical Colleges - Capitation Fee - The management of private medical colleges are strictly prohibited from accepting payment of fees in cash, in order to avoid charging of capitation fee - Directions to curb capitation fee menace issued - A web-portal under the aegis of Supreme Court has to be set-up wherein any information about the private medical colleges charging capitation fees can be furnished by the students - While fixing fee, the Fee Fixation Committees of the States should take into account all the components of fee, leaving no scope for managements to charge any additional amounts apart from what has been prescribed by the fee fixation committee from time to time. (Para 13-15)

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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