The Madhya Pradesh high court on Tuesday stayed the recovery of R13.10 crore fine slapped on six private medical colleges by the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee (AFRC) for alleged irregularities in admissions.
The order is significant as private medical and dental colleges are currently under the scanner for alleged racket that sold seats for lakhs of rupees through the Dental and Medical Admission Test (DMAT).
A division bench of justice Rajendra Menon and Vandana Kasrekar on Tuesday held the imposition of the fine by the AFRC against the provisions of the MP Private Professional Institutes Act, 2007 and issued notices to the state government, the AFRC and its appellate authority seeking a reply within four weeks, said advocate Siddharth R Gupta, who is counsel of petitioner LN Medical College.
The college had challenged the AFRC’s decision in high court after failing to get any reprieve from the appellate authority, which upheld the committee's decision in an order on May 21. The regulatory body had in July 2014 charged the six colleges with carrying out irregular admissions on the last date for the 2013-14 session.
Counsel Gupta argued in the court that the AFRC did not have any authority to impose a fine of more than R10 lakh on any institution and said that the matter relating to college level counselling and admissions on the last date (September 30, 2013) against the vacant state quota seats was pending before the Supreme Court of India, with the state government being a party in the case. Therefore, the AFRC had no authority to pass the fine order, he argued.