Chennai: Madras HC directs NMC on fixing low fee for privately-run medical colleges

Justice N. Mala and Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari urged the NMC to review the memorandum since various factors, such as the probability that many seats in the other 50% may become empty due to high fees, had not been taken into account.

IANSUpdated: Friday, September 09, 2022, 06:28 PM IST
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Madras HC | Photo: Representative Image

Chennai: The Madras High court on Friday directed the National Medical Commission (NMC) to take a relook into an office memorandum issued by it on February 3 regarding the fee structure for deemed to be universities and self-financing medical colleges.

Notably, on February 3, the NMC published a memo stating that the fee for 50% of seats in self-financing schools and deemed-universities must be equal to that of the fee collected in government medical colleges in the relevant state or union territory.

Justice N. Mala and Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari urged the NMC to review the memorandum since various factors, such as the probability that many seats in the other 50% may become empty due to high fees, had not been taken into account.

The justices mandated that the review be completed as soon as possible, but they added that up until that point, the current pricing structure will remain in place.

The judgment was delivered on a batch of writ petitions filed by a group of deemed to be universities and self-financing medical colleges from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. These colleges have challenged the constitutional validity of Section 10(1)(i) as also the consequential office memorandum issued on February 3.

The bench, however, upheld the constitutional validity of Section 10(1)(i) of the National Medical Commission Act of 2019 under which the office memorandum had been issued.

It may be noted that this provision gives power to the NMC to frame guidelines for the determination of fees and other charges with respect f 50% of seats in private medical colleges deemed to be universities.

The petitioners had contended that it was not possible to run their institutions by collecting the highly subsidized fees charged by government colleges. The colleges argued that they will be forced to charge a very high fee to the other 50% of students which they may not be able afford.

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