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Sri Venkateshwara Medical College Hospital & Rresearch Centre, Represented by its Managing Director, Puducherry & Others v/s Government of Puducherry, Represented by its Under Secretary (Health), Health Department, Puducherry & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- C N S HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85191BR2013PTC021246

Company & Directors' Information:- G. K. E. MEDICAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85100WB2009PTC139049

Company & Directors' Information:- A R MEDICAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24232AS2003PTC007179

Company & Directors' Information:- I A A HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110PB2004PTC026705

Company & Directors' Information:- P V S HOSPITAL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U85110KL1976PTC002850

Company & Directors' Information:- G M HOSPITAL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U85110AS1992PTC003759

Company & Directors' Information:- K G M HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110TZ1998PTC008437

Company & Directors' Information:- S B S HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110TZ1998PTC008570

Company & Directors' Information:- K K S HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110TZ1986PTC001841

Company & Directors' Information:- B N V HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110KL1996PTC010576

Company & Directors' Information:- C N K HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110KL2002PTC015280

Company & Directors' Information:- C J MEDICAL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U33110TG2010PTC068126

Company & Directors' Information:- K J HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110TN1973PTC006418

Company & Directors' Information:- S P S MEDICAL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51397BR2007PTC013129

Company & Directors' Information:- P D S HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85191UP2014PTC067161

Company & Directors' Information:- K. B. HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85191UP2009PTC037607

Company & Directors' Information:- G L HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85300PY2020PTC008645

Company & Directors' Information:- S. O. HEALTH CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999TG2017PTC119704

Company & Directors' Information:- P. MEDICAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U85195TG1987PTC008112

Company & Directors' Information:- SRI B L C PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U92111WB1981PTC033844

Company & Directors' Information:- U K HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U85110TN1990PTC018932

Company & Directors' Information:- N M S HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110TZ2009PTC015580

Company & Directors' Information:- V M H HOSPITAL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U85110KL1990PTC005616

Company & Directors' Information:- D S HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110TZ1991PTC003478

Company & Directors' Information:- M AND M MEDICAL CENTRE PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U85110TZ2004PTC010914

Company & Directors' Information:- G M B HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U85110PN2003PTC017840

Company & Directors' Information:- P L MEDICAL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U33130DL2011PTC225068

Company & Directors' Information:- E-HEALTH INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U85110DL2001PTC113461

Company & Directors' Information:- S R HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110DL2000PTC105261

Company & Directors' Information:- P V G HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65992TZ1995PTC006372

Company & Directors' Information:- A V HOSPITAL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U85110PB1990PTC010652

Company & Directors' Information:- D R S MEDICAL CENTRE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85100MH1994PTC080815

Company & Directors' Information:- J AND M HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U85100MH2005PTC155617

Company & Directors' Information:- R H D MEDICAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110DL2021PTC377464

Company & Directors' Information:- P S S HOSPITAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85100BR2021PTC051321

Company & Directors' Information:- S N HOSPITAL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U85110PB1988PTC008922

Company & Directors' Information:- S. S. MEDICAL CENTRE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U85195GJ2007PTC050879

    W.P. Nos. 964, 966, 969, 1813 of 2021 & WMP Nos. 1047, 1048, 1051, 1052, 1055, 1057, 2026 & 2027 of 2021

    Decided On, 03 August 2021

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE N. ANAND VENKATESH

    For the Petitioner: Abishek Jenasenan, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 to R3, C.T. Ramesh, Additional Government Pleader (Puduchery), R4, V.P. Raman, Standing Counsel.



Judgment Text


(Prayer in W.P.No.964 of 2021: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for issuance of a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the records of the 1st respondent in G.O.Ms.No.51 Chief Secretariat (Health) dated 22.12.2020, quash the same and consequently direct the 2nd respondent to issue orders fixing the Free Structure to be paid by students admitted into the MBBS course in the Petitioner Institution for the Academic year 2020-21.

W.P.No.966 of 2021: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for issuance of a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the records of the 1st respondent in G.O.Ms.No.51 Chief Secretariat (Health) dated 22.12.2020, quash the same and consequently direct the 2nd respondent to issue orders fixing the Free Structure to be paid by students admitted into the B.Pharm course in the Petitioner Institution for the Academic year 2020-21.

W.P.No.969 of 2021: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for issuance of a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the records of the 1st respondent in G.O.Ms.No.51 Chief Secretariat (Health) dated 22.12.2020, quash the same and consequently direct the 2nd respondent to issue orders fixing the Free Structure to be paid by students admitted into the BDS course in the Petitioner Institution for the Academic year 2020-21.

W.P.No.1813 of 2021: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for issuance of a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the records of the 1st respondent in G.O.Ms.No.51 Chief Secretariat (Health) dated 22.12.2020, quash the same and consequently direct the 2nd respondent to issue orders fixing the Free Structure to be paid by students admitted into the MBBS course in the Petitioner Institution for the Academic year 2020-21.)

Common Order

1. The issue involved in all these writ petitions are common and hence they are taken up together, heard and disposed of through this common order.

2. The subject matter of challenge in all these Writ Petitions pertains to the Government Order issued by the 1st respondent in G.O.Ms.No.51, dt.22.12.2020 and for a consequential direction to the 2nd respondent to issue fresh orders fixing the Fee Structure to be paid by the students admitted in the MBBS Course for the academic year 2020-2021.

3. The Petitioner Institution offers education in the field of medicine at both the under graduation and post graduation level in various specialities. The 2nd respondent is the Fee Committee that was established by the 1st respondent under the provisions of the Pondicherry Private Professional Educational Institutions (Provisions of Reservation, Admission of Students and Fixation of Fees) Regulations, 2006. These regulations were framed pursuant to the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Islamic Academy case.

4. In an earlier round of litigation, the matter reached the Division Bench of this Court in W.P.Nos.23732 of 2017 etc., batch and the said batch of writ petitions were disposed of by an order dt.18.07.2019 and it was held that the Institutions cannot resort to discrimination in the fees to be charged between the students admitted against the State Quota and Management Quota.

5. The 2nd respondent Fee Committee had fixed the fees for the academic years 2017-2018, 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. For the academic year 2020-2021, a fresh Fee Structure had to be fixed for those students who are admitted during this academic year. Accordingly, the 1st respondent issued a circular dt.17.07.2020, calling upon the Educational Institutions to submit their proposal for fixation of the Fee Structure. This Fixation of Fees will be for a period of three years starting from the academic year 2020-2021 up to 2022-2023.

6. The Petitioner Institution also submitted their representation along with all the supporting documents and sought for fixation of fee for both Management and Government Quota seats. Thereafter, there was no development in the fixation of fees and the petitioner was also making repeated representations.

7. The 3rd respondent issued the common admission prospectus to undergraduate professional courses for academic year 2020-2021. The 3rd respondent gave a fee structure for the Government Quota Seats and Management Quota Seats and informed that it was only a tentative fee subject to revision. The Petitioner Institution was aggrieved by the fee structure fixed by the 3rd respondent since the 3rd respondent did not have the authority and that the fee structure was yet to be finalised by the 2nd respondent.

8. After repeated requests, the 3rd respondent called upon a meeting of all the Private Self-Financing Colleges and requested them to submit their fee proposal. The Petitioner Institution also attended the meeting and submitted the proposal and also made it clear that there should be a uniform fees for all seats except the NRI seats.

9. It is at this point of time, the Impugned Government Order was issued wherein it is stated that the Government of Puducherry had decided that the fee fixed during the earlier period in the year 2018, will be extended for the current year also in view of the Covid pandemic. Aggrieved by this Government Order, all these writ petitions have been filed before this Court.

10. The Under Secretary to Government has filed a counter affidavit. The relevant portions in the counter affidavit are extracted hereunder:

'3. I respectfully submit that, the Fee Committee meeting was held on 04.12.2020 under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Justice N.Authinathan (Retd.) Chairman, Fee Committee to discuss revision and fixation of fee structures for MBBS/BDS/B.Pharm courses. It was noticed by the petitioner in the meeting that a judgment dated 18.07.2019 rendered by a Division Bench of the Hon’ble High Court, madras in N.Naga Harihara Sudan Vs. the Secretary to Government (Health), Puducherry in the matter of fixation of fees in which decision was rendered. The relevant portion of the judgment having a direct hearing on the fixation of fee structure is as follows:

'70. Fees that can be approved by the Fees Committee and charged by the Colleges/Institution and notified by the Government have to be:

(a) A reasonable fee without profit motive while taking care of their reasonable requirement to meet the Administrative expenses and infrastructural need and future development.

(b) Without any discrimination between the candidates/students joining under the State Government quota and Management quota'.

4. I most respectfully submit that, the Committee in its Proceeding dated 04.12.2020 has stated as follows:

To fix fee separately for management quota and State quota is manifestly in conflict with the judgment of the Hon’ble High Court which does not provide for separate fee structure for management quota and State quota. It has also been expressed quite explicitly in the said judgment that, there should be no discrimination between the two categories of students in fixation of fee structure. In other words, a uniform fee structure would appear to have been contemplated for the two categories of students. This portion has to be clarified by the Government so as to enable the Committee to proceed further in the matter. Until the Government clarifies the issues, the exercise of the fixation could not be undertaken by the Committee.

5. I respectfully submit that the observation of the Committee was discussed with the Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor, the Lieutenant Governor has stated as follows:

'Since the recommendation of the Fee Committee for the current year is awaited and in view of the COVID situation, the fee for the year 2020-21 for Medical and Paramedical courses be fixed on par with that of the academic year 2019-20'.

6. I most respectfully submit that, consequent to the direction of the Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor G.O.No.51, dated 22.12.2020 was issued and uploaded in the Government/CENTAC Website so that the student community cannot be left clueless as to the fee payable by them.

7. I respectfully submit that, the Chief Justice of the Hon’ble High Court, Madras, has recommended Thiru. T.Sudanthram Judge (Retd.) as the new Chairman for the Fee Committee. Based on the recommendation, Hon’ble Justice T.Sudanthiram, Judge (Retd.), Hon’ble High Court, Madras was appointed as Chairman for the Fee Committee vide G.O.Ms.No.13 dated 07.06.2021, for a period of three years from the date of assumption of charge. The Chairman has assumed charge for fixation/determination of fee structure in unaided private professional College on 16th June 2021. Now the Government of Puducherry has taken action to fix the fee for the MBBS/BDS/Paramedical courses for the next three years starting from the academic year 2021-22.

11. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondents.

12. When the Fee Committee was appointed under the Chairmanship of the retired judge of this Court and the Committee also discussed the revision and fixation of the fee structure for MBBS/BDS/B.Pharm course, it was found that there was a conflict between the stand taken by the Government and the judgment of the Division Bench of this Court. Therefore, the Committee through proceedings dt.04.12.2020, informed the Government that the Division Bench of this Court has categorically held that uniform fee structure should be followed both for the Management Quota and State Quota and unless the same is clarified by the Government, the Fee Fixation Committee cannot undertake the exercise of fixation of fees.

13. When the above clarification was sought for by the Fee Fixation Committee, the Impugned Government Order came to be passed. As per the Impugned Government Order, taking into consideration the Covid situation, the fee for the academic year 2020-2021 for Medical and Paramedical courses was directed to be fixed on par with the fees that was determined for the academic year 2019-2020. Pursuant to the issuance of the Impugned Government Order, the Petitioner Institution has also collected the fees from the students in the same manner as stated in the Government Order. However, a specific stand has been taken to the effect that the fees was collected without prejudice to the rights of the Petitioner Institution to question the validity of the Government Order.

14. A specific stand has been taken in the counter affidavit to the effect that a new Chairman has been appointed for the Fee Committee through G.O.Ms.No.13, dt.07.06.2021, for a period of three years. Accordingly, the new Chairman has assumed charge and the Committee is now in the process of fixing the fees for the MBBS/BDS/Paramedical courses for the next three years starting from the academic year 2021-2022.

15. In the considered view of this Court, the Impugned Government Order that was issued, directed the Fees to be collected on par with the fees that was fixed for the academic year 2019-2020. This was in conflict with the Division Bench judgment of this Court since the fees that was fixed for the academic year 2019-2020 did not have an uniform fee structure for the Management Quota and State Quota and there was variation. It is only because of this reason, the Committee had sought for a clarification. Till the judgment of the Division Bench of this Court is in force, there can be only one uni

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form fee structure and the same ought to have been followed during the academic year 2020-2021. On this ground alone, the Impugned Government Order of the 1st respondent is liable to be interfered by this Court. 16. Accordingly, the Impugned Government Order in G.O.Ms.No.51 Chief Secretariat (Health) dated 22.12.2020 is hereby quashed. The Petitioner Institution had already collected the fees from the students in line with the Impugned Government Order. Therefore, as a consequence of quashing the Government Order, a right will enure in favour of the Petitioner Association to collect the difference in fees from the students. However, taking into consideration the interest of the students and also considering the pandemic situation, what ever fees has already been collected by the Petitioner Institution shall remain final and no further fees shall be collected from the students for the academic year 2020-2021, by virtue of quashing the Impugned Government Order. This direction is given by taking into account the interest of the students who have already joined the course during the academic year 2020-2021. 17. In the result, all the writ petitions are allowed with the above directions. No costs. Consequently, all the connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.
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