HC quashes appointment of two retired judges in fee regulatory bodies | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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HC quashes appointment of two retired judges in fee regulatory bodies

The Uttarakhand high court has quashed appointments of two of its retired justices as heads of admission and fee regulatory committee, and appellate authority meant for the state’s un-aided private professional education institutions, citing procedural problems

dehradun Updated: Jun 17, 2018 22:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Nainital
Division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh issued the directions while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Pradeep Datta.(HT Photo)

The Uttarakhand high court has quashed appointments of two of its retired justices as heads of admission and fee regulatory committee, and appellate authority meant for the state’s unaided private professional education institutions, citing procedural problems.

The court has also directed the state government to send a proposal to the chief justice of the high court for nominating retired judges of the high court as chairman of the admission and fee regulatory committee and chairman of the appellate authority within three weeks.

Justice Gurmeet Ram (retd) was appointed as chairman of admission and fee regulatory committee and justice Brijesh Kumar Srivastava (retd) as chairman of appellate authority by the state government on January 31 after amending the existing law.

Division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh issued the directions while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Pradeep Datta. The order was passed on Tuesday but a copy of the order was made available on Saturday.

According to the petitioner, professional un-aided educational institutions are charging exorbitant fees.

The order said: “Students are asked to furnish advance bank guarantees. It is difficult for the parents belonging to the lowest strata to impart education to their children in unaided professional educational institutions.”

The HC bench pointed out that the Uttarakhand government following a Supreme Court judgment as well as per the advisory issued by the ministry of health and family welfare in 2003, had enacted Uttaranchal Un-aided Private Professional Education Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Fixation Fee) Act, 2006 in order to regulate admission and determination of fee and reservation of seats in such institutions.

The high court order stated that according to this act, the state government was mandated to constitute an admission and fee regulatory committee, with a retired high court judge, nominated by the chief justice of high court, as its chairman.

According to the section 12(1) of the Act , the state government is also to appoint an appellate authority, with another retired high court judge, nominated by the chief justice of the HC, as its chairman.

“However, on the basis of the amendment carried out, the state government itself nominated a retired judge as the chairman of the admission and fee regulatory committee and chairman of appellate authority,” the order stated.

“The amendment carried out by the state government... of the Principal Act is contrary to the Supreme Court ruling. The chairman of the admission and fee regulatory committee could only be a retired judge of the high court to be nominated by the chief justice of the respective state. Similarly, chairman of the appellate authority could only be a retired judge of the high court to be nominated by the chief justice of the respective state,” the order said.

The high court also struck down the amendments carried out in the act. “We have been appraised at the bar that Justice Gurmeet Ram has submitted his resignation but no decision has been taken by the state government on the resignation,” the order said.

Other directions of HC

The HC recommended the government to frame a suitable legislation for regulating the admission and fee structure in private unaided schools in Uttarakhand within three months.

The court directed the admission and fee regulatory committee to regulate the fee as per the law laid down by the Supreme Court in 2003 and 2005.

First Published: Jun 17, 2018 22:39 IST