Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday in response to a PIL filed impleaded the Union HRD Ministry, five medical colleges in Karaikkal and Puducherry and the UGC- as party-respondents in the PIL to declare that the fees payable for admission in PG medical courses in self-financing and deemed-to-be universities in the Union Territory shall be as fixed/to be fixed by the fee committee.The bench also furnished a notice to S Srinivasan, Assistant Solicitor General and to the five colleges, including Aarupadai Veedu Medical College, Kirumanpakkam, Puducherry, returnable by June 13.
The two member bench comprising of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar was responding to a PIL petition filed by V.B.R. Menon, a Chennai based lawyer pleading that it make a declaration that the fee structure for self financing medical and dental colleges for post graduation courses shall be fixed by the Puducherry Fee Committee.
Advocate Menon, who filed the petition brought to the attention of the court that there are 7 Medical colleges and a Dental college, under self-finance and Deemed University categories, in the Union Territory of Puducherry. It stated that admissions to these colleges are supervised by the “ Centralized Admission Committee”(CENTAC). The fee to these colleges is fixed by the Fee Committee the petitoner further infromed.He alleged that the committee has so far only fixed the fee for 3 of the colleges. This lacunae has resulted in the managements of the remaining colleges demanding exorbitant fee from students in accordance to their will.
The petitioner further alleged that of the affiliated colleges, some of them were accepting the fee of Rs 5.5 lakh fixed by the Puducherry Fee Committee, but were also demanding to execute ‘post-course’ service bonds and undertakings from the candidates.
Speaking about deemed universities the petitioner claimed that they were not accepting the fees fixed by the fee committee and were demanding inflated sums amounting to Rs 40-50 lakh. Besides which he added, they were also demanding execution of post-education service bonds and undertakings.
“The Petitioner also states that as the Puducherry Fee Committee has already fixed the fee in its wisdom for the 3 self – financing Colleges, any dispute over fixation of fees for the 4 Deemed University Colleges may not be allowed to stand in the way of student admissions into those colleges out of State Quota which were allotted on the basis of NEET merit and in accordance with the law/ rules prescribed by the Medical Council of India and the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. The Deemed University managements are attempting to circumvent the settled law through devious claims and to sell the seats to less meritorious students through private auction,”Menon’s petition contended.
Mr. Menon in his petition mentioned that these colleges be directed to fix the fee in accordance with the directions given by the Supreme Court in the case of the Islamic Academy of Education and Ors. v. State of Karnataka, (2003) 6 SCC 697; A direction given by the court “so that professional institutions do not become auction houses for the purpose of selling seats.”
The petition also urged for a quick hearing, as Post Graduate Medical Courses in Puducherry are already on since June 7. However, the petition continues to remain restrictive in nature, as it only addresses- state quota admissions.