Puducherry: A “contempt of court” notice has been sent to the Chairman of the self-financing Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute (MGMCRI) by 8 of the Post-Graduate (PG) medicos studying at the medical college.
According to a recent report by TOI, these PG medical students alleged that the Chairman of the MGMCRI had been pressurizing them to pay fees over and above the fee prescribed by a committee constituted by the Puducherry government.
In May last year, the medical college was issued directives by the Madras High Court not to compel the students to pay the fees over and above the fee fixed by the committee.
The order came into course after a petition was filed by advocate V B R Menon seeking a probe into the Under-Graduate (UG) and PG medical admissions in private medical colleges and deemed universities in the Union territory of Puducherry. As a result of this petition, the HC had issued notices to the Puducherry and Union governments, private medical institutions.
At that time, widespread complaints had been doing the rounds about deemed universities charging exorbitant fees (more than Rs 45 lakh per annum) for PG medical courses. Only those who could afford to pay the exorbitant fee rates were given admission.
Later, on 19th May, four deemed universities of Puducherry received a directive from the General Health Sciences (DGHS), Director asking that they accommodate the 28 students who were ‘illegally denied admission’ into the PG medical courses. The students had been denied admission due to their inability to pay ‘exorbitant fees’ being demanded by the universities.
The DGHS’ directive comes following an order by the Madras High Court in favour of the 28 student petitioners.
MGMCRI, along with aforementioned medical institutes; was directed not to impose a fee higher than 10 lakh on PG medical students. The High Court had also declared that the medical students who had already taken admission by paying fees more than Rs 10 lakh would be entitled to refund/adjustment of the differences in fees if so decided.
Now, 8 PG medical students attached with the medical college have come forward alleging that the MGMCRI Chairman is pressurizing them to pay more than Rs 10 lakh. Hence, the counsel acting on behalf of the medicos, V B R Menon, served a notice dated January 22 to the Chairman and Institute’s Dean on account of committing contempt to the court’s order.
The medical college management was allegedly not letting these students attend their classes until they pay the demanded annual fees of Rs 48 lakh.
“Even though the writ petition was listed on various dates thereafter, it had to be adjourned each time due to the inability by the fees committee to fix the annual fees from the academic year 2017-18 onwards because of the legal hurdles created by you (Rajagopalan) through various devious and mischievous means for which the petitioners are in no way responsible,” Menon shared the notice contents with TOI.
He pointed out that the Madras high court on September 20 extended the interim order until further orders.
The counsel further stated that the medical college management prevented the eight students from attending the classes from January 21 and the management’s action clearly amounts to “pressurising and coercing” the medical students to meet their “unjust and illegal” demands for immediate payments of annual fees of Rs 48 lakh, which was arbitrarily fixed by the management.
Menon said the students proposed to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Rajagopalan and Ravishankar for the “wilful and deliberate disobedience” of the Madras high court’s order unless the two immediately withdraw their contemptuous actions and allow the students to the classes and clinics.