Interim relief came for private technical and professional colleges of the state on Tuesday as the MP high court issued an order restraining the state government from 'taking any coercive action for recovery of 1% tax' from these private colleges.
The high court also directed the state government to file a detailed reply giving justification for making provisions for such recovery of 1% 'tax' (part of tuition fees collected by the colleges).
The interim order was issued by a division bench of the HC inclusive of Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice SK Gangele, while hearing a petition filed by Association of Technical and Professional Institutions of Madhya Pradesh (ATPI).
The counsel for ATPI, Siddharth R Gupta, told HT that the state government in June 2014 had directed the managements of all the private colleges for depositing 1% of the total tuition fees received by them (during a particular academic year) with government.
The provision for this was made under the Higher Education Fund Rules 2013. The fund was created for reimbursing the education costs of students coming from lower income group families. The ATPI consisting of around 230 members institutions had approached the High Court in this matter in August 2014.
The order of government was challenged on the main ground that the 1% 'tax' has been imposed without any provisions in the parent Act governing the colleges - that is the MP Niji Vyavsayik Shikshan Sansthan Ka Sanchalan Adhiniyam 2007, Gupta said.
The petition further contended that state government does not have any powers for any such recovery of 1% tuition fee from the management of private colleges, as it is the domain of Central Government under List 1 Schedule 7 of the Constitution of India. In the above backdrop matter came up for hearing before the division bench on Tuesday, the counsel said.
During the hearing, Gupta contended that the Supreme Court in 2007 has settled the point that without any provisions in the parent Act applicable to the concerned managements, no tax / fee/ cess can be charged from any person and thus the order of state government was unconstitutional.