Case in mhc affidavit –finalise the Annual Fees from the Academic year 2017-18 onwards for the PG Medical Degree Courses in the Deemed to be University

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
(Special Original Jurisdiction)

W.M.P. No. of 2020

in

W.P. No. 14232 of 2017

 V.B.R. Menon, B.E (Mech), MBA (IIMA), LLB,
 Advocate,
 Flat No: 4B, Brook Dale Apartments,
 No:12, P.T. Rajan Salai,
 K.K. Nagar, Chennai – 600 078                           …. Petitioner/Petitioner

….Vs….

1) The Secretary to Government of Puducherry,
Health and Family Welfare Services Department,
Secretariat,
Beach Road, White Town
Puducherry – 605 001

2) The Director,
Health and Family Welfare Services (DHFWS),
Victor Samuel Street,
Puducherry – 605 001

3) The Convenor,
Centralised Admission Committee(CENTAC),
PEC Campus, ECR Road,
Pillaichavadi,
Puducherry – 605 014

4) The Secretary to Lt. Governor of Puducherry,
Raj Nivas, White Town,
Puducherry – 605 001

5) The Secretary,
Medical Council of India,
Pocket -14, Sector – 8, Dwarka,
New Delhi – 110 077

6) Union of India
Rep.by Secretary,
Ministry of Human Resources Development,
Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi -110 001.

7) University Grants Commission,
Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg,
New Delhi – 110 002.

8) Aarupadai Veedu Medical College,
Cuddalore Main Road,
Kirumanpakkam,
Bahour Commune Panchayat,
Puducherry – 607 402.

9) Vinayaga Missions Medical College,
Keezha-Kasakudi Medu,
Kottucherry, Karaikkal – 609 609.

10) Mahatma Gandhi Medical College ,
Cuddalore Main Road,
Pillayarkuppam,
Puducherry – 607 402.

11) Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of
Medical Sciences,
Ousudu , Agaram Village,
Villianur Commune,
Puducherry – 605 502. .. Respondents / Respondents

(R6 to R11 were Suo Motu Impleaded
as per order dated 09.06.2017 by CJ & MSJ in W.P.
No. 14232 /2017 and WMP No. 15430 / 2017.

AFFIDAVIT BY THE PETITIONER
I, V.B.R. Menon, S/o. K.M.B.Menon, Aged 67 Years and residing at Flat No: 4B, Brook Dale Apartments,No:12, P.T. Rajan Salai, K.K. Nagar, Chennai – 600 078 do hereby solemnly affirm and sincerely state as follows : –

  1. I am the Petitioner in the above Writ Petition No. 14232 of 2017 and as such I am well acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case and competent to swear this Affidavit.
  2. The Petitioner states that he had filed the above Writ Petition seeking issuance of a writ, order or direction in the nature of a Writ of declaration or any other appropriate writ, order or direction in the nature of a Writ of declaration to declare that the fees payable for admission into Post Graduate Medical / Dental courses in Self-financing and Deemed Universities in Puducherry shall be as fixed/ to be fixed by the Puducherry Fee Committee , as the case may be, and consequently to direct the Respondents to finally fix the fees for the above admissions in accordance with the law and procedures laid by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India .
  3. The Petitioner further states that this Hon’ble Court had passed an Interim Order on 16.06.2017 in the above Writ Petition directing the Respondents 8 to 11:
    “ to admit the students provisionally selected and successful in the admission tests / counseling to the vacancies in order of their merit, subject to the condition that the students shall each deposit Rs.10 Lakhs at the time of admission towards the Annual fee for the 1st year with the 3rd Respondent and subject to the further condition that in the event of the fees determined by the Fee committee that may be constituted by the 6th and 7th Respondents to study the fee structure of the Deemed Universities is higher, they shall pay the differential amount ”.
  4. The Petitioner further states that the 10th Respondent had challenged the above Interim order dated 16.06.2017 before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in SLP(C) No. 19315 of 2017 wherein the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide the order dated 04.08.2017 had issued the following directions :
    “ In the meantime, the students be extended the benefit of the order passed by the High Court subject to further directions by this Court. It is further directed that the High Court shall not proceed with W.P.(C) No. 14232 /2017 as this Court is going to dwell upon the entire controversy. That apart , the Committee constituted by the High Court shall also not proceed with the matter ”.
  5. The Petitioner further states that the above SLP(C) No. 19315 of 2017 was finally dismissed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide Final order and Judgement dated 16.04.2018 wherein it is held that :
    “ 1. Heard learned counsel for the parties.
    2. We are not inclined to interfere. The special leave petition is
    dismissed . Pending applications stand disposed of.
    1. However, we request the High Court to decide the matter
      within a period of six months.
      1. At the same time, it is stated that some Committee is undertaking
        the fee fixation in accordance. It is open to submit the report of
        the Committee before the High Court.
      2. With respect to fee structure, the fees which is realized as per
        impugned order, will hold good till such time the High Court
        decides the Matter.
    2. All the questions are kept open to be agitated before the High
      Court ”( emphasis supplied).
  6. The Petitioner further states that , pursuant to the dismissal of the SLP (C) No.19315 of 2017 filed by the 10th Respondent College, this Hon’ble Court had passed the second Interim order on 26.04.2018 directing the Respondents 6 and 7 to constitute a Fee Committee within 3 weeks and to submit a Report within 4 months thereafter .Para No.4 of the above Order dated 26.04.2018 is extracted below ;
    “ 4. No Committee has yet to be constituted, in view of the Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court. We direct the University Grants Commission and the Ministry of Human Resources Development to forthwith constitute a Committee, to regulate the fees chargeable by self-financed deemed universities, as directed by the order of this Court dated 16.06.2017 , after giving all stakeholders including the deemed universities adequate opportunity of representation. The Fee committee should be constituted within three (3) weeks from date and the Fee Committee shall take a decision within four (4) months from the date of its constitution , which will abide by the result of the writ petition”
  7. The Petitioner further states that the Respondents 6 and 7 have accordingly constituted a 11 -member Fee Committee vide Notification D.No. No. F. 1-6/2016(CPP-I/DU) dated 21.06.2018 and had invited suggestions / proposals from all the Stakeholders for submitting the fee Report before this Hon’ble Court pursuant to the above direction dated 26.04.2018.
  8. The Petitioner further states that , having found themselves getting cornered from further collections of prohibitive and exorbitant Annual Fees from the Medical Students due to the constitution of the above Fee Committee to scrutinize and approve the Annual Fee amounts , the Respondents 8, 9 and 10

have challenged the authority of the above Fee Committee under the UGC ( Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2016 to determine the Annual Fees for Private Deemed to be University Medical Colleges by filing a batch of Writ Petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution of India bearing W.P.(C) Nos. 949, 973 and 1004 of 2018. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India had initially passed an ex – parte order of status quo in the above matter vide order dated 07.09.2018 which was subsequently modified vide the order dated 15.04.2019 as under;

 “  List the matters for final disposal on 09.07.2019.
  In the meantime, we consider it appropriate to direct the Committee to determine the fee structure for the current year.  The recommendations of the Committee shall , however, not be implemented till further orders of this Hon'ble Court.
  The colleges shall provide necessary details to the Committee ".
  1. The Petitioner further states that it is relevant to note that what is under challenge in the above batch of Writ Petitions is the authority of UGC under the UGC ( Deemed to be Universities ) Regulations, 2016 to determine the Annual Fees for all the Private Deemed to be University Medical Colleges across India and not the Interim Order passed by this Hon’ble Court on 26.04.2018 to submit a report in respect of only the 4 Deemed to be Medical Colleges of R-8 to R-11 situated in Puducherry alone.
  2. The Petitioner further states that after the Judgment dated 16.04.2018 in SLP(C) No. 19315 of 2017 has become final and binding and all the questions were kept open for challenge before this Hon’ble Court , the Respondents 8 to 10 have committed a fraud on this Hon’ble Court and the Hon’ble Supreme Court through filing of the above batch of Writ Petitions under Article 32 . The Hon’ble Apex Court has given liberty to all the Parties in the above Judgement dated 16.04.20178 in SLP(C) No.19315 of 2017 by directing that “ All the questions are kept open to be agitated before the High Court”.
  3. The Petitioner further states that the issue whether the 5th Respondent College can fix the fees arbitrarily by themselves is no more res-integra in view of the decision of the 7 – Judge Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme
    Court in Para Nos.145 and 155 of the Judgement in P.A. Inamdar Vs.. State of Maharashtra [ (2005) 6 SCC 537] which are extracted below.
    “145. The suggestion made on behalf of minorities and non-minorities that the same purpose for which Committees have been set up can be achieved by post-audit or checks after the institutions have adopted their own admission procedure and fee structure, is unacceptable for the reasons shown by experience of the educational authorities of various States. Unless the admission procedure and fixation of fees is regulated and controlled at the initial stage, the evil of unfair practice of granting admission on available seats guided by the paying capacity of the candidates would be impossible to curb.
  4. It is for the Central Government, or for the State Governments, in the absence of a Central legislation, to come out with a detailed well-thought out legislation on the subject. Such a legislation is long awaited. The States must act towards this direction. The judicial wing of the State is called upon to act when the other two wings, the legislature and the executive, do not act. The earlier the Union of India and the State Governments act, the better it would be. The Committees regulating admission procedure and fee structure shall continue to exist, but only as a temporary measure and an inevitable passing phase until the Central Government or the State Governments are able to devise a suitable mechanism and appoint a competent authority in consonance with the observations made hereinabove. Needless to say, any decision taken by such Committees and by the Central or the State Governments, shall be open to judicial review in accordance with the settled parameters for the exercise of such jurisdiction”( emphasis supplied).
  5. The Petitioner further states that in a recent Judgement in WP(C) No. 1361 of 2018 dated 10.12.2018 , the Hon’ble Supreme Court has passed an Interim order directing Raja Muthiah Medical College , a Deemed to be University Medical
    College in Tamilnadu , to collect only the Annual fees as fixed by the State Fee Committee and to refund the excess amounts collected from the Students therein . This decision shall squarely apply to the present case .
  6. In another Final order dated 08.08.2017 in WP No. 12882 of 2017 , the Hon’ble First Bench had reiterated Rs.10 Lakhs as provisional fees for P.G. Medical courses and had recorded the attitude and conduct of the 8th Respondent College as contemptuous and in defiance of the various orders of this Hon’ble Court .
  7. The Petitioner further states that in spite of the fact that the matter had reached finality vide the Final Order and Judgement dated 16.04.2018 and the Hon’ble Supreme Court had not stayed the Interim order dated 16.06.2017 passed by this Hon’ble Court and had allowed the students the benefit of the order passed by this Hon’ble Court , the Respondents 8 to 11 have continued collections of exorbitant Annual fee amounts to the tune of Rs.45 to 55 Lakhs till now from the 2017 batch of PG Medical students and have therefore committed open defiance and contempt of the above cited orders of this Hon’ble Court and Hon’ble Apex Court dated 16.06.2017 and 16.04.2018 respectively.
  8. The Petitioner further states that the Respondents 8 to 11 have notified and collected Annual fees ranging from Rs.45 to 60 Lakhs from the subsequent batches of P.G. Medical students also in violation to the above cited orders which shall constitute continuing Contempt of the orders of this Hon’ble Court and Hon’ble Apex Court dated 16.06.2017 and 16.04.2018 , respectively.
  9. The Petitioner further states that he has filed a Contempt Petition No.1266 of 2019 against the Respondents 6 and 7 in which they have filed their Counter Affidavits and have expressed their inability to comply with the interim directions issued by this Hon’ble Court on 16.06.2017 and 26.04.2018 by citing the
    pendency of the batch of Writ Petitions , W.P.(C) Nos. 949,973 and 1004 of 2018 before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The order passed in the above Contempt Petition

No.1266 of 2019 is submitted in the typed set annexed to this Petition wherein the difficulties faced by the Students due to the non-fixation of Annual Fees has been recorded.

  1. The Petitioner further states that the Puducherry Fee Committee , constituted by the Union Territory of Puducherry, has fixed and notified the Annual Fee amounts payable for the PG Medical Courses payable to the 3 Private Self-financing Affiliated Medical Colleges situated in Puducherry G.O.Ms.No.8 dated 22.03.2018. This fact was considered by this Hon’ble Court while fixing a provisional Annual Fee of Rs.10 Lakhs in the Interim Order dated 16.06.2017. As there are no differences in the Course contents or Curriculum prescribed by MCI for the PG Medical Courses offered by the Deemed to be University Colleges and Self-financing Affiliated Medical Colleges, it shall be totally unreasonable to allow the Respondents 8 to 11 to collect Capitation Fee and profiteering in the pretext of exorbitant and prohibitive Annual Tuition fees from the PG Medical Students.
  2. The Petitioner further states that Several Interim Orders passed in various Writ Petitions by this Hon’ble Court , copies of which are submitted in the Additional Typed Set , shall reveal that the affected Students had to repeatedly approach the State Authorities and this Hon’ble Court by seeking protection against the illegal threats and coercion by the Respondents 8 and 10 demanding payments of excessive amounts from them towards Annual Fees. A copy of the Communication sent by the 1st Respondent in this regard to the Respondents 6 and 7 seeking action against the 10th Respondent College has been submitted in the Addl.Typed Set of Papers No.2.
    1. The Petitioner further states that in view of the above facts and (i) the inability expressed by the UGC Fee Committee to comply with the interim order dated 26.04.2018 until the Hon’ble Supreme Court decides on the challenges raised by the Respondents 8 to 10 against the powers and the constitution of the above Fee Committee , (ii) the continuing collections of exorbitant Annual Fees by the Respondents 8 to 11 , even after it has been held to be arbitrary and prohibitive in
      para 13 of the order dated 16.06.2017 and (iii) the Students admitted during the Academic year are going to write their Final Exams and complete their 3 -year PG

Medical Degree Course in June/ July, 2020, this Hon’ble Court may direct the Respondents 8 to 11 to allow all the 2017-18 batch of PG Medical Degree Students to complete their PG Degree Courses and to write their Final Course Examinations to be held in June / July,2020 without demanding any amount in excess of the provisional Annual Fee amount of Rs. 10 Lakhs as fixed by the Interim Order dated 16.06.2018 .

  1. The Petitioner further states that In the above extracted para no.155 of the 7 – Judge Bench Judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in P.A. Inamdar Vs.. State of Maharashtra [ (2005) 6 SCC 537 ] , the judicial wing of the state has been called upon to act when the other two wings, the legislature and the executive , do not act . Hence, this Hon’ble Court may finalise the Annual Fees from the Academic year 2017-18 onwards for the PG Medical Degree Courses in the Deemed to be University Medical Colleges of Respondents 8 to 11 by adopting same Annual Fees as determined by the Puducherry Fee Committee under G.O.Ms.No.8 dated 22.03.2018 for the PG Medical Degree Courses in the 3 Private Self-financing Affiliated Medical Colleges situated in Puducherry. For the reasons stated above , it is prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to direct the Respondents 8 to 11 to allow all the PG Medical Students , admitted during the Academic year 2017-18 , to complete their PG Degree Medical courses and to write their Final theory, practical and clinical Examinations scheduled to be held in June/ July, 2020 without demanding any further payments in excess of the previously fixed provisional Annual Fee amount of Rs. 10 Lakhs per year for the entire 3 -year course , pending disposal of this Writ Petition and thus render justice. Solemnly affirmed at Chennai
    on this the 09th day of May, 2020
    and signed his name in my presence. BEFORE ME ADVOCATE : CHENNAI In The High Court of Judicature
    at Madras
    (Special Original Jurisdiction) WMP No. of 2020 in W.P No.14232 of 2017 V.B.R. Menon B.E (Mech), MBA(IIMA), LLB, Advocate, Flat No:4B, Brook Dale Apartments,, No:12, P.T. Rajan Salai, K.K. Nagar, Chennai – 600 078 …. Petitioner .... Vs…. 1) The Secretary to Government of Puducherry. Health and Family Welfare Services Department, Secretariat, Beach Road, White Town, Puducherry – 605 001 and 10 others … Respondents DIRECTION PETITION AFFIDAVIT V.B.R Menon, B.E, MBA(IIMA), LLB. (MS . 23 / 2012) Petitioner-in-Person</code></pre>Ph: 9384762930

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