The Supreme Court announced that the government and private universities cannot increase their fees until they get the approval regarding the same from the Fixation Committee.
The court gave its final decision after 150 students filed a petition against Tamil Nadu’s Annamalai University's decision to increase fees for the MBBS course in 2013-14 academic session.
A bench of Justices UU Lalit and Arun Misra said the varsity’s decision was against the 2003 Supreme Court constitution. As per the 2003 Supreme Court constitution, it is mandatory for every state to have a committee on fee fixation which is to be headed by a retired high court judge. Also, the Supreme Court made it mandatory for institutes to seek the approval of the panel before increasing their fees.
The petitioners filed the petition first in Madras High Court against Annamalai University's decision to increase fees to Rs.5.54 lakh per annum. The students protested against the same stating that the varsity has increased the fees without the fee fixation panel’s approval. However, the High Court rejected their plea.
As a second step, students moved the Supreme Court, stating that the annual fees fixed for the BDS course are Rs 10,920 and for MBBS programme in state’s government colleges is Rs. 12,290.
The Supreme Court has finally directed the university to present the fee Fixation Committee with their balance sheets and accounts to review this matter.