Supreme courts Bans capitation Fee by private colleges in India

Category : Editorial

In a significant ruling that is likely to give a major relief to thousands of students across the country, the Supreme Court on Thursday put a complete ban on capitation Fee rampantly charged by all private professional colleges, The Apex Court also put these colleges fee structure to scrutiny in each stale by a committee headed by a retired high court judge. Moving clarification about certain ambiguities in the landmark judgment on Minority Educational Institutions {MEIs) given last year, an Apex Court five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice V N Khare in its 4-1 majority verdict declared that "under no circumstances the educational colleges could charge capitation lee Of indulge in profiteering."

Reiterating that all educational institutions in India were set up for charitable purposes, the bench sold the government should consider framing regulations to cancel the recognition and the affiliation given lo private colleges if these charged capitation fee or indulged in profiteering from the admission fee asked- from the students.

The bench also said the determination of management quota in private colleges and unaided MEls would be done by another four-member committee headed by another retired judge.

The Chief Justice of the respective states would nominate' both the retired judges, it added, But the judges said as very little time was left for completion of the admission process for the current academic year, the court said for the academic year 2003-04, the management quota and the state quota would be 50-50.

However, the some would he determined by the tour-member committee from next year onwards.

The fee-scrutiny committee would include a Chartered Accountant of repute, an eminent doctor or an engineer depending on the nature of The college, secretary as medical education or technical education of the state government and an eminent personality of the state. Holding that each institution could have separate lee structures depending on the facilities, infrastructure, salary paid to its staff and the investments made (or future, the judges said the professional colleges would submit their proposed fee structure to the Committee.

They said that that the committee after scrutinising the details of various aspects could fix a fee structure, which would remain valid for three years and only thereafter the institution could approach the committee again for revision, Taking into account the fact that several institutions were charging fees for the entire four or live year course, the judges said no institution could charge fee {or more than one semester or at the most for a year.

On the fixation of management quota for private and unaided MEIs, the apex court said the four-member committee would determine the some keeping in mind the local needs. "Even for :he management quota a common entrance lest should be held," the judges said.

The bench said even in admitting students under the management quota, the institutions could not ignore 'inter-se merit' of the students and added that seats falling vacant under management quota would go to the candidates passing Common Entrance- Test conducted by the respective stale governments.

However, the judges said that (or this year it was exempting certain colleges like Christian Medical College, Vellore, from the 50.50 quota distribution scheme as they hove been permitted earlier by the Apex Court to go ahead with their previous arrangements.


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