Partial relief for MBBS, BDS students of Medical college

Chennnai: In a partial relief to 142 first-year MBBS and BDS students of Raja Muthiah Medical College, the Madras High Court, in in an interim order, halved the fees the former have to pay and considerably reduced it for dental students, pending finalization of their appeals and petitions.

Justice M M Sundresh, before whom the petitions filed by 142 students came up today, reduced 50 per cent of fees for the MBBS students, which the college had fixed at Rs 5.54 lakh.

BDS students need to pay Rs 1.25 lakh as against Rs three lakh as demanded by the college.

The second batch of 142 students submitted that the fees fixed by the college was ‘exorbitant’ despite government having taken over Annamalai University under which it falls.

They submitted they were admitted after an entrance exam and reservation as per community roster. The fee in government medical colleges was just Rs 12,290, including Rs 4,000 as tuition fee. Even for self-financing colleges, the statutory committee had fixed fee ranging from Rs 2.3 lakh per annum to Rs 2.8 lakh, the petitioners said.

Justice Sundresh said there would be an interim injunction on the university from collecting the full amount “subject to the condition that the students pay Rs 2.5 lakh as fee for this academic year. In the case of BDS students, as against the government-fixed fee of Rs three lakh, students would pay only Rs 1.25 lakh within a period of two weeks from today.”

Making it clear that the interim order was subject to the final outcome of the cases before the Court, he directed the students to pay the above amount.

Earlier, a single Judge had refused relief in December, 2014, saying the college was “financially in intensive care unit” and any attempt at reducing the fee structure would destroy the institution and may result in either its closure on the ground of unavailability or return of the university by the government to the founder’s family.

The petitioners contended that the government had taken over Annamalai University in 2013 after prolonged campus unrest over salaries and administration and that it was at present a state university.

The college is a government college for all practical purposes and hence there cannot be two different fee structures for government colleges – one affiliated to Dr MGR Medical University and the other affiliated to the unitary Annamalai University, they said.