Hyderabad: The Telangana high court on Wednesday rejected two Government Orders (GOs) dated 2017, which allowed un-aided non-minority medical institutions to increase their fee by up to 990 percent, for their Post Graduate medical courses.
In its judgment, the court stated that the government had overstepped its boundaries in seeking a fee hike for the PG medical courses in private colleges. While striking down GO 41 and 43, the high court directed private medical colleges to refund the excess amount of fee collected from the students, within 30 days.
The Times of India quoted the bench, comprising of Chief Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Shamim Akhtar saying, “Colleges cannot insist that students clear dues related to the excess fee,” while disposing of the PILs filed by the Healthcare Reforms Doctors Association and a few others, challenging the state’s action.
The bench agreed with the petitioner that the fee amount must be decided by the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee (AFRC) and not the state. The bench also questioned the state counsel, advocate general J Ramachandra Rao regarding the state’s authority to issue GOs 41 and 43 on May 9, 2017.
The court further questioned the state as to why it had fixed the fee for minority and non-minority colleges, even after the AFRC had decided the fee for all medical colleges. It is to be noted that the Supreme Court specified that no state shall interfere with the decisions made by the AFRC.
In a statement, counsel for the petitioners, Sama Sandeep Reddy, said, “All these doctors will now be available for service in both government and private sectors. This would strengthen the medical and health infrastructure in the state, especially during the pandemic.”