“The Constitutional Panel of the Supreme Court, in the Islamic Education Academy case, held that once fees are set by the Fee Setting Committee, an institute cannot directly or indirectly charge any other amount above the fixed costs. Thus, in view of the aforementioned enunciation of the law, it is obvious that the petitioner is not entitled to recover an amount beyond the costs fixed by the committee”, observed a division bench led by the judge Alok Aradhe.
The bench also noted that the committee made a recommendation for reimbursement of the excess fees charged by the petitioner, based on the admitted facts and in consideration of the students’ complaint. He added that the mere citation of a wrong provision does not invalidate an order because the recommendation was made by the committee on the basis of accepted facts.
The bench noted that the petitioner fetched Rs 1.48 lakh and Rs 48,800 from students admitted under private quota seats and government seats, respectively. It was recovered in various ways in addition to the amount fixed by the fee setting commission.
The bench said that the Association of Minority Vocational Colleges of Karnataka, of which the petitioner is a member, reached an agreement with the government on July 25, 2017. It provides that a fee of Rs 6,32,500 should be charged to students under private. quota seats and Rs 77,000 government quota seats.
The college had challenged the October 31, 2018 order passed by the Admissions Oversight Committee, recommending that the government direct the RGUHS to order the reimbursement of the excess fees collected by the petitioner from each of the students for the academic year 2017-18 and second year MBBS. 2018-19 students with 6% interest within 30 days.
If the instruction is not complied with, the RGUHS may impose double the amount of the fine and recommend to the Medical Council of India the withdrawal of the recognition and affiliation granted to the applicant. The petitioner claimed that the Ordinance of October 31, 2018 is in itself incompetent because Section 5(8) of the Vocational Institutions of Karnataka (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fees) Act 2006 n is not empowered to determine whether excess fees have been charged to students. He also claimed that the students paid the amount voluntarily and that no excess fees were charged, but the amount was recovered as an additional fee to make the facilities available to them.
The government argued that the establishment was not entitled to collect more fees than what was provided for in the agreement and such a request for fees under other counts has already been rejected by order dated July 21 2017.