Practice of Colleges Recovering Penalties Imposed on them through Students, Fraudulent: Allahabad HC
Allahabad High Court in Ram Avatar Kalyani Devi Kanya Mahavidyalay Thru Manager & Ors Vs. State Of U.P. Thru Prin.Secy.Higher Education Lucknow & Ors.– Misc. Single No. – 14258 of 2021 and two other related cases called out and sought immediate action by the State Government on the fraudulent practice adopted by colleges wherein they recover penalties imposed by the affiliated University on them through students.
A Single-judge bench of Justice Vivek Chaudhary held:
The Court would like to point out the fraud being played by large number of colleges. The colleges collect fee from their students for the entire year, including the examination fee required to be deposited by them with the University. However, the examination fee is not deposited by them with the University in time. The amount is retained by the colleges in their bank accounts. This act amounts to playing fraud both upon the students as well as upon the University concerned. Such activity should be immediately stopped.
The matter before the Court was of the petitioner colleges seeking to quash the order dated 04.07.2021 issued by the Lucknow University. As per the said order, the University had, owing to the expiration of the last date and delayed deposit by the colleges, imposed on the petitioner colleges a fine of Rs. 500/- per student for the late deposit of fees.
12.07.2021, the Court granting the petitioner colleges interim relief reduced the penalty to Rs. 250/- per student as a late fee. Further to such a deposit, the students were permitted to appear for the examinations. Likewise, the University too had recalled its order permitting all colleges who had defaulted on the deposit to pay Rs. 250/- student as late fees. The Court observed that the interim relief was complied with by the petitioner colleges and also the Universities revoking the earlier order settled the matter.
The Court said:
The Court in the given circumstances, the colleges have already complied and deposited the required late fee, as per the amended order of the University, direct the University to declare their result within ten days from today.
Nevertheless, the Court called out the fraudulent practices carried out by colleges wherein the penalty imposed on them is recovered through additional fees levied from their students.
The Court said:
It has come before this Court that Universities charge late fee from the erring colleges. In absence of any specific provisions, the colleges transfer the said late fee upon the students, while there is no fault of the students.
The court sought for the framing of provisions wherein in instances as these the colleges are debarred from recovering the penalty from the students. The court also urged that in the absence of such provision fraudulent practices as these would continue and therefore need to be formulated and issued before the start of the academic session.
Concluding the Court disposed of the petition and directed the Universities and the State Government to curb such practices.
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL