CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday reserved orders on a bunch of petitions filed by several private medical colleges and universities challenging the February 3 memorandum of the National Medical Commission to collect the government fees for 50 per cent of the government quota seats in the private medical institutions.
The first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala reserved the orders after hearing a battery of senior advocates including PS Raman, Vijay Narayan and ARL Sundaresan.
When the matter was taken up for hearing, CJ MN Bhandari wanted the senior counsels to make it clear how fair it is to collect additional fees from 50 per cent of students and subsidised fees on par with the government colleges for the remaining 50 per cent of the students.
Senior Counsel Raman, appearing for Sri Ramachandra Medical and Research Institute informed the court that the memorandum sent by the NMC is in violation of Article 14 as the private institutions cannot spend out of their pocket by collecting the fees which are collected in a government medical institution.
Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) R Sankaranarayanan pointed out several judgments of the Supreme Court that were against commercializing education. He further argued that the government is bringing up the scheme to make medical education affordable to the marginalized and poor section.
Earlier, senior advocate Vijay Narayan representing a private medical institute submitted that government colleges are collecting Rs 18,000 per year for a student and if a private medical college collects Rs 18,000 per seat for a year, then the private medical institutions will be in a position to collect Rs 50 lakh to 60 lakh from the remaining 50 per cent of students so as to ensure the operation of the colleges.
He further submitted that the fees should be fixed after consulting with the fees fixation committee.
Recording the submissions, the judges reserved the orders.