M A I N   N E W S

SC recalls orders on IIM fee cut
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 19
The tough stance by the Centre before the Supreme Court to fight it out rather than give an undertaking that it would not interfere in the autonomy of the six Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) resulted in the apex court calling for a fresh look into the autonomy question of the institutions.

A three-Judge Bench, comprising Chief Justice V.N. Khare, Mr Justice S.B. Sinha and Mr Justice S. H. Kapadia, which had given a quietus to the entire controversy on February 27 by disposing of a writ petition filed by Advocate Sandeep Parekh and two others, recalled its order and issued notice to the Centre on the main petition challenging the fee reduction from Rs 1.50 lakh to Rs 30,000 per student per year as well as on their application seeking recording of an undertaking by the Centre relating to the autonomy.

Additional Solicitor General Mukul Rohtagi said the government still stood by the statement it made on February 27 that reduction in the annual fee would not amount to its interference in the functioning of the business schools of excellence.

He indicated that the government was ready to make a promise not to interfere in the functioning of the institutions but had reservations over the use of word “autonomy” in place of “functioning” as it had very wide connotation.

The Chief Justice held: “In view of this statement we have to go into the question of the autonomy of IIMs and hence we are recalling our order dated February 27.”

Consequently, the Chief Justice noted that the earlier directions of the court to petitioners to furnish copies of balance sheets of the IIMs for the past 10 years would revive.

The Chief Justice also said the court order directing the petitioners to file an affidavit indicating how much of the Central grants were being used towards capital expenditure and towards revenue expenditure would also revive.

The court also permitted the petitioners to implead the six IIMs as necessary parties so that they could also be heard on the question of autonomy.

The court directed listing of the matter for hearing on April 8.

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