New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said private medical colleges have the autonomy to decide on the fee to be charged, but it is essential to ensure this is reasonable and non-exploitative.
A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat said though it is an agreement with the submissions of private medical college management that the fee, as proposed by them, should be considered by the admission and fee regulatory committee, it is no more res integra that the right conferred on the institutions to fix fee for professional courses is subject to regulation.
The bench noted that fixation of fee payable by students pursing their medical courses in Kerala since 2017-18 has not been finalised till date. One college complained of non-finalisation of fee from 2016-17 and the students are continuing their education after remitting a provisional fee.
“It need not be reiterated that unaided professional institutions have the autonomy to decide on the fee to be charged, subject to the fee not resulting in profiteering or collection of capitation fee. Regulation of fee is within the domain of the Committee which shall ensure that the fee is non-exploitative and reasonable,” it said.
The Kerala High Court had directed the committee to take into account only audited balance sheets, and provisional profit and loss accounts in the absence of audited balance sheets, to fix the fee.