SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh Private Education Institutions Regulatory Commission (HPPERC) on Thursday imposed a fine of Rs 45 lakh on Maharishi Markandeshwar University and Markandeshwar Medical College and Hospital, Kumarhatti in Solan district for having charged additional fees to two students.
The commission ordered private educational institutions to deposit the sanction in its bank account within 3 months. In its order, the commission observed that around Rs 103.96 crore in excess fees were also charged to other MBBS students and they can also contact HPPERC to seek reimbursement of the excess amount.
The final order issued Thursday by HPPERC Chairman Maj. Gen. Atul Kaushik (Ret’d) said that as the respondents – Maharishi Markandeshwar University and Markandeshwar Medical College and Hospital – argued during the legal process that they had the right to charge fees for five years for MBBS courses from the students.
The order stated that the excess amount and other fees of approximately Rs 1.03, 96, 53,000 taken by the sponsors of all MBBS students enrolled from 2012 to 2020 should be refunded immediately.
Two complaints were brought before the commission by Dr. Nividita Rao of Bilaspur and Dr. Yamini of Zirakpur in Punjab regarding the excessive fees charged by the above private institutions. The plaintiffs said they were admitted to the MBBS course in the 2013-2014 academic session at Markandeshwar Medical College and Hospital. The plaintiffs alleged that fees were charged for five years instead of four and a half years by Maharishi Markandeshwar University and Markandeshwar Medical College and Hospital without state government approval. Other allegations of excessive charges under different counts have also been made.
While issuing the instructions, the commission, after reviewing the records submitted by the respondent institutions, said that the above-mentioned institutions overcharged Dr. Nividita by Rs 6,05,500 and Dr. Yamini by Rs 8,95,500. , which is Rs 15.01 lakh as tuition fees, accommodation fees, university fees and development fees.
The commission, in accordance with Section 11 of the Himachal Pradesh Private Educational Institutions (Regulatory Commission) Act 2010, and Rule 6(b), imposed a fine of Rs 45 lakh on the respondents private educational institutions.
During the hearings, the Respondents had denied the allegations of overcharging students and further contended that HPPERC was dropped by the High Court of Himachal Pradesh in the judgment of October 19, 2013, and that the present Complaint n was not admissible before the Commission. The defendants further argued that the plaintiffs did not pass their MBBS course within the four and a half years scheduled and should sit for the exams for the remaining papers in the upcoming 2018-19 session as per MCI rules. .
It has also been argued that the Director of Medical Education and Research is not the responsible authority for the fee structure and in the MBBS Course Admission Prospectus for the 2013-14 batch it was specifically mentioned that the candidate must move from the first professional to the last professional within the prescribed time. duration of the course, failing which additional fees at the prescribed rates will have to be paid.
Despite repeated attempts, no one from the university and medical school could be reached for comment.

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