Madras:The Madras High Court in a decision has upheld that the Annamalai University is not a government university, therefore the capitation Act 1992 does not apply to it. The court has also dismissed the appeal against a single bench order preferred by 149 students. A division bench comprising of Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh and Justice M.V. Muralidaran, while terming the university beyond the purview of the Fee Fixation Committee stated, that the university will therefore, not be dictated by its terms and is free to fix fee, as decided upon by its syndicate.
The students who preferred filing of a writ petition with regards to fee in contention stated that a government take over of the Annamalai university automatically implied that the Rajamuthiah Medical College become a government college. Therefore, the demand by it that students pay Rs. 5,54,370 and Rs. 3,50, 370 for MBBS and BDS courses, respectively, was an arbitrary act. According to them, government colleges charged Rs. 12,990 and Rs. 10,290 towards MBBS and BDS courses, respectively.
Regarding the contention of the students that the university was state run, the court declared that it was during the days of financial difficulty faced by the university, that the government had given it a helping hand; for it would otherwise, have faced a closure. The court further added, that this did not make it state run. The university, the apex body, declared had the right as per statute to fix its own fee and to ask and receive, the fee structure fixed by the senate.
The court, dismissing the appeals, said:
Thus, the University is empowered by the statute to fix the fees and to demand and receive such fees, as prescribed by the Senate.Accordingly, when the university demanded the students to pay the fees prescribed by the senate for the previous academic year, it cannot be stated that the university is charging the fees with the ulterior motive of profiteering, particularly when the government had not included the university in the Government Order constituting the Fee Fixation Committee.
The court further held that
(i) Annamalai University is not a Government University;
(ii) the Capitation Fee Act, 1992 will not apply to the University;
(iii) Annamalai University will not come under the purview of the Fee Fixation Committee; and
(iv) Annamalai University is empowered to fix the fees as prescribed by the Syndicate.
Following is the judgement