A division bench headed by Justice B Veerappa made the observation, coming to the rescue of 29 MBBS students of Rajarajeshwari Medical College and Hospital (RRMCH), Bengaluru. It issued a directive to the college to refund the excess fee collected from the petitioners – all private-quota students — from 2017-18 to 2020-21 with 6% interest.
As per Medical Seat Fee Structure fixed by the state government and KEA, the fee for government seat was fixed at Rs 77,000 and private seat at Rs 6.32 lakh for RRMCH for the academic year 2017-18.
The petitioners, who moved the court during 2019-20, had said Rs 1.48 lakh each was collected in excess of the fee determined by the Fee Regulatory Committee. RRMCH did not refund the fee despite a directive issued by the committee in this regard, they alleged.
The bench noted that RRMCH, which contended that students have paid the fee voluntarily, should have directed students not to pay the excess fee if it was an institution providing education with “good intention”. “If they really maintain transparency, they should not have accepted the excess fee. Being an educational institution, they should act like a ‘Guru’,” the bench added.
The bench said it cannot accept RRMCH’s argument that petitioners paid the fee voluntarily. “The institution is being run like machine, marketing education to the students and making money, which is impermissible,” it has said.
Allowing the petition filed by G Harish and other students and affirming the recommendation made by Admission Overseeing Committee on October 31, 2018, the bench barred RRMCH from collecting excess amount over and above the fee fixed by the government for 2017-18 and 2018-19 as per Medical Seat Fee Structure.
However, the bench declined to grant relief sought by the petitioners for directing the state government or RGUHS or MCI for imposing Rs 10 lakh fine on RRMCH for demanding excess fee and Rs 5 lakh each as damages to the petitioners.