KOCHI: The High Court has criticised the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee for medical courses for the delay in re-fixing the fee structure of the MBBS courses of self-financing medical colleges for academic years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19, after reconsidering the management’s claims.
The committee had fixed the tuition fees at `4.15 lakh per student for the 2016-17 academic year, `4.8 lakh for 2017-18 and `5.54 lakh for 2018-19 for MBBS courses. When the managements challenged this, the court had set aside the committee’s order and referred the issue to the committee for its reconsideration. The managements argued that even after the matter was referred back to the committee and a directive issued to pass fresh orders, the committee did not consider it afresh.
They also said an independent agency should be formed to consider the claims of each college and the fee structure has to be fixed in accordance with the procedure fixed.
While criticising the committee, the bench observed that it had failed to comply with the court order in its proper perspective. There was no application of mind by the committee and it was only making a clerical exercise in the matter. Once the order passed by the committee was set aside by the court and it was directed to consider the matter afresh, it should have independently arrived at the fee structure.
The court also observed that when medical colleges are functioning on self-financing mode, the fee has to be fixed on the basis of investment and income they may derive. The committee ought to have taken note of the actual income derived by the college through the fee and the expenditure they may incur during a particular year and the fee ought to have been fixed after providing for a reasonable surplus.
Counsel for the students said they got admission in colleges based on the fee structure fixed by the committee and if there was a considerable increase in the fee structure, it would be to their disadvantage.
The court directed the managements to file statements containing the particulars regarding the cost of land and building, list and value of infrastructure, salary and allowances being paid to teaching and non-teaching staff, among other details.