Madras HC directs NMC on fixing low fee for Pvt Medical College seats

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, the NMC had on February 3, issued a memorandum insisting that the fee for 50 per cent of seats in deemed to be universities and self-financing colleges must be on par with that of the fee collected in government medical colleges in the respective state or union territory.

Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N. Mala called upon the NMC to revisit the memorandum as some aspects such as the possibility of many seats falling vacant in the other 50 pe cent due to high fees have not been considered.

The judges ordered that the reconsideration has to be done at the earliest but said that till that time the present fee structure would continue.

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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