Saturday, Sep 20, 2003
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By J. Venkatesan
A Bench, comprising Justice S. Rajendra Babu and Justice G.P. Mathur, passed the order while dismissing three special leave petitions from dental colleges challenging an interim order of the Madras High Court directing the students of these institutions to pay Rs. 1.50 lakhs for 2003-2004 with an undertaking that they would pay the differential to be determined by a committee.
The Bench agreed with the submission made by the senior counsel, P. Chidambaram, on behalf of the students, that those admitted would give an undertaking to the court that they would pay the difference in fee in the event of the committee fixing a fee over and above Rs. 1.50 lakhs.
Accepting a suggestion from senior counsel, Harish Salve, the Bench said the State should set up the high-power committee expeditiously.
The apex court had directed all the States to set up two committees, one each for medical-dental and engineering to determine the fee structure for unaided private colleges based on the infrastructure provided by them.
In their SLPs filed by advocate, T. Harish Kumar, the Saveetha, Raagas and Meenakshi dental colleges submitted that the High Court was not justified in directing the students to pay Rs. 1.50 lakhs as the fee structure fixed by them was strictly in accordance with the apex court judgment.
They said that by an order dated July 18, the State Government advised the managements of unaided dental colleges to consider fixing Rs. 1.50 lakhs as fee per annum.
On writ petitions from students challenging the fees, a single judge of the High Court asked the students to pay 50 per cent of the fees fixed by the colleges and to execute a bond for the balance 50 per cent.
Aggrieved, both the students and colleges filed appeals and a Division Bench, by an order dated September 10, asked the students to pay only Rs.1.50 lakhs.
The SLPs were directed against this order.
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