A bench of Judges, MR Shah and Sudhanshu Dhulia, made the remarks on Monday while upholding the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s order that overturned the state government’s decision to raise tuition fees payable by MBBS students.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh, by its Government Decree dated September 6, 2017, has increased the tuition fees payable by MBBS students.
“We are of the view that the High Court made no error in quashing and setting aside the government order of 6 September 2017 increasing tuition fees for the years 2017-2020,” the court said.
“Raising the fees to Rs 24 lakhs per annum, i.e. seven times more than the previously set fees, was not at all justifiable. Education is not a business. Tuition fees must always be affordable,” the court said.
The court observed that the determination of fees/review of fees must be within the parameters of the fixing rules and must have a direct link with the factors mentioned in rule 4 of the 2006 rules, which include the location of the institution professional ; the nature of the professional course; the cost of available infrastructure; administration and maintenance expenses; a reasonable surplus necessary for the growth and development of the Professional Institution; loss of earnings due to fee waivers, if any, in respect of students belonging to the reserved category and other economically weaker sections of society.
The court noted that these factors must be considered by the Admissions and Fees Regulatory Committee (AFRC) when determining/reviewing tuition fees.
The court also held that the Andhra Pradesh High Court did not err in giving directions to refund the amount of tuition fees collected under the government order dated September 6, 2017. “Therefore, the High Court is absolutely justified in rescinding and setting aside the Government Order dated September 6, 2017,” the court said.
“The management cannot be authorized to withhold the amount recovered/collected under the illegal decree of 06.09.2017. The faculties of medicine are the beneficiaries of the illegal decree of September 6, 2017, rightly annulled by the High Court,” the court said noting that the medical schools used the amount for a number of years and kept it for a number of years, on the other hand, the students paid the cost of exorbitant tuition after obtaining a loan from financial institutions and banks and paying the highest interest rate.
“Therefore, even the instructions issued by the High Court to refund the amount of tuition fees collected in accordance with the government order of September 6, 2017, after adjusting the amount to be paid in accordance with the earlier decision, should not be modified” , the court said. said. With these submissions, the High Court dismissed the appeals filed by the Medical School against the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s order. (ANI)