There is no clause through which the petitioner has agreed that her original certificates could be retained till the amount is paid. In the absence of such a clause, the college is not justified in withholding the certificates- court
Madurai: The Madurai Medical College, Dean has been directed by the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court to return the original documents of a doctor which it had withheld when she decided to discontinue her PG Anatomy course, due to personal reasons.
A student of PG Anatomy at the college since 2016, the medico withdrew from the court due to personal reasons. When at the time of discontinuation, she asked for her certificates which including class 10, 12, MBBS degree certificate, MBBS mark sheet, house surgeon completion certificate, Medical Council registration and community certificate, her application was rejected by the authorities in a letter dated April 17, 2017.
According to the government Madurai Medical college authorities, they withheld the student’s certificates because as per the agreement bond, if any student withdrew from the course he or she was to pay Rs.10 lakh to the medical college. Thus keeping in line with the agreement terms, the college stated that it had demanded the Rs. 10 lakh from petitioner Dr. M Aarthy, and in the absence of payment had retained the student’s certification.
Justice M S Ramesh of the Madurai bench observed that the agreement bond, in this case, did mention that if the candidate withdrew from a course in between, he or she was to pay back the stipend sum As well as a discontinuation fee.
“There is no clause through which the petitioner has agreed that her original certificates could be retained till the amount is paid. In the absence of such a clause, the college is not justified in withholding the certificates,” the court stated. The judiciary further noted that it was unfortunate that the authorities had retained the documents of the petitioner in lieu of non- payment of the penalty.
The court disagreed with the government pleader that the authorities have the right to document detainment by citing a clause in the prospectus. “The said clause is a unilateral clause as the petitioner has no other option to join a PG course without purchasing the prospectus.”
Thereby, the court concluded that the authorities were unjustified in their action of withholding the student’s documents, in the absence of a legal right to do the same.
Justice Ramesh directed the Dean college to handover Arathy’s original certificates and clarified that no views were been expressed by the judiciary with regard to ’ right to claim penalty or discontinuation fee reported TOI.
“If the authorities are of the view that the discontinuation fee has to be paid, it is always open to them to work out their remedies for recovering the amount in accordance with the law.” the court added.