The field of medical education is one of the most expensive in the country. Students go throw immense preparation to crack the entrance examinations, only to be charged exorbitant fees by the private institutions that they get admission into.
The case was filed with respect to the exorbitant fees that were being levied by the private medical colleges in the state of Kerala. The Kerala High Court had ordered the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee that the audited sheets should be examined to see whether the management expenditure was excluded or not. The State was aggrieved by this decision and filed an appeal before the Supreme Court. The main function of the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee is to ensure that the fees that are levied from students are neither exploitative nor excessive. The State contended that the decision of the Kerala High Court was violative of Section 11 of the Kerala Medical Education (Regulation and Control of Admissions to Private Medical Educational Institutions) Act, 2017.
The Division bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat,
“the managements to furnish any information that is required for the purpose of arriving at a decision that the fee proposed by the managements is neither excessive nor exploitative in nature.”
The Court pointed out the error in the High Court’s decision while stating that
“Though we are in agreement with the submission made on behalf of the managements that the fee as proposed by them should be considered by the Committee it is no more res integra that the right conferred on the institutions to fix fee for professional courses is subject to regulation.”
The Court ordered that
“the Committee to expeditiously reconsider the proposals of the private self-financing colleges for fee fixation from 2017-18 onwards. Needless to mention that fee for earlier years also needs to be finalized in case it has not been done in respect of any college. It can direct the managements to furnish any information that is required for the purpose of arriving at a decision that the fee proposed by the managements is neither excessive nor exploitative in nature. A reasonable opportunity should be given to the management of private self-financing colleges in respect of their proposals for fee fixation. The entire exercise shall be completed within a period of three months from today.”
Case: Najiya Neermunda vs. Kunhitharuvai Memorial Charitable Trust [Civil Appeal Nos . 606 – 616 of 2021]
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