Hold talks with engineering colleges on fee: HC to govt

 The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday adjourned for a week the hearing on a petition by private engineering colleges on fee fixation and directed the State government to hold talks with the managements to arrive at a fee structure.

During the hearing of the petition filed by APS Educational Trust and 12 other institutions, a division bench comprising Justices K Manjunath and Ravi Malimath directed the principal secretary

to higher education department, Rajneesh Goel, to inform the court about the government’s decision, in the next hearing.

Goel submitted that the government was not in a position to take an immediate decision as the model code of conduct was in force ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The petitioners have contended that the State government was asking them to continue with the existing consensual agreement on fee structure in spite of it constituting a Fee Regulatory Committee under the chairmanship of former High Court judge Justice Ajit J Gunjal.

The colleges have demanded that the government allow the committee to decide fees considering the expenses incurred by individual colleges. “Instead of fixing the fees, the government is arbitrarily forcing the colleges to carry forward fee structure of the previous year,” the petition stated.

Institutions that have moved the court include R V College of Engineering, Acharya Institute of Technology, National Institute of Engineering, GSSS Institute of Engineering and Technology for Women, among a list of 13 institutions.

Engineering colleges have refused to sign the fee and seat sharing agreement with the State government unless the government permitted a increase in the course fee.

Three acquitted

The High Court has acquitted three persons of the charge of assaulting a man allegedly at the instigation of the Pejawar mutt seer Vishweshatheertha swami.

In 2006, Venkatesh had lodged a complaint with Hanumanthanagar police alleging that Gangavani and others had assaulted him at the instigation of the seer. The three had approached the High Court after the trial court refused to allow their petition against the complaint.

Justice S N Satyanarayana acquitted the three stating that they had been booked on the basis of a false complaint.

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