New Delhi, Aug. 14: The Supreme Court today prohibited capitation fee by any other name in all professional colleges, private, aided and/or unaided minority as well as majority educational institutions.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice V.. Khare interpreted an earlier judgment on the subject by an 11-judge Constitution bench on October 31, 2002.
It said “donations”, “development charges” or any amount charged in any other name would amount to “capitation fee” and the governments/appropriate authorities would frame regulations to “penalise” institutions charging such a fee.
“State governments shall set up in each state a committee headed by a retired high court judge who shall be nominated by the chief justice of that state” to fix the fee structure in all colleges.
The retired judge, who will be chairman of the fees committee, will nominate a chartered accountant of repute and a representative each from the Medical Council of India and the All India Council for Technical Education as members. The secretary of the state’s medical education or technical education department will also be a member and function as the committee secretary.
The committee should be free to nominate/co-opt another independent person of repute so that the number of members of the committee does not exceed five.
Each educational institution “must place before this committee, well in advance of the academic year, its proposed fee structure”, the judges said. The institutions should also submit all relevant documents and books of accounts for scrutiny.
“The committee shall, then, decide whether the fees proposed by that institute are justified and are not profiteering or charging capitation fee. The committee will be at liberty to approve the fee structure or to propose some other fee which can be charged by the institute.”
As an interim relief for the current academic session, the court said states and educational institutions should admit students on a 50:50 basis and they should be exempt from the new rules in institutions where admissions are already over.
If a student leaves an institution mid-stream, the student should pay the full fee for the entire course for which a bond could be taken from every student by an institution.