Stop Collection of Illegal Fee at Top Institutes of Nation

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Dear all,

We (Vikrant Singh, Himanchal Singh, and six others) are research scholars of IIT Guwahati. We were surprised to know that IIT Guwahati was taking an illegal fee in the form of Alumni Fee. We filed a writ petition against illegal fee collection in the Hon'ble Gauhati High Court. Our aim through the petition was to get relief for all the students. We wanted that illegally collected Alumni Fee to be returned to all the students. The Hon’ble Gauhati High Court in its interim order observed that:

“The matter pertains to charging of Rs.1500/- from the students as alumni fee, who are yet to pass out from IIT. The very concept of charging an alumni fee is meant for past students and hence at best can be imposed on those students who are about to complete the course in IIT and is also a voluntary in nature. There cannot be any compulsion by the Institute as the Mentor Student relationship ceases after a student successfully completes his course. This Court is of prima facie of the view that the IIT authorities would have no authority or competency to levy any fee in the nature of alumni fee without the consent of the student, that too before he completes the course. On 30.08.2019 this Court had granted 3 (three) weeks time to learned Standing Counsel, IIT, to take instructions, but nothing is forthcoming. This Court is of the view that this is a matter which ought not to consume precious judicial time of this Court. Accordingly, if the IIT authorities fail to give satisfactory reply on the next date, the matter will be disposed of at this stage on the basis of the available records.”

For the full interim order, please refer the link:  https://bit.ly/31xOWzq

We got the relief in the final order of the Hon'ble Gauhati High Court. The most relevant excerpts of the final order are as follows:

"Learned Senior Standing Counsel, IIT has submitted that the said decision was taken on the basis of a resolution taken by IIT Council of India, which governs the Management of the IITs’ all over the country and this alumni fee has not been charged specifically and only from the students of IIT, Guwahati. Learned Senior Standing Counsel further submits that if the petitioners are so aggrieved, the aforesaid fees taken from the petitioners can be refunded. However, the IIT, Guwahati will abide by the decision taken by the IIT Council.

Accordingly, since, the IIT authorities in the present case have agreed to refund the aforesaid amount of Rs.1500/- in respect of the each of the petitioners, this Court is of the view that nothing survives for further consideration. Accordingly, the present petition is closed directing the IIT, Guwahati authorities to refund the aforesaid amount of Rs.1500/- to each of the petitioners, who would be at liberty to submit the same as and when they pass out from the Institute. This order is confined to only to the petitioners in the present case without deciding on the issue raised by the petitioners.

Accordingly, the present petition is closed with the above observations and directions. The petitioners will submit an individual application before the IIT, Guwahati authorities for a refund of the aforesaid amount of Rs.1500/- each already paid by them.

To read the full final order, please refer the final order at the link:  https://bit.ly/3bmbKXC

IIT Guwahati, in the apprehension that Hon’ble Gauhati High Court might pass a general order, offered to return the Alumni fee of all the eight petitioners. We partially achieved our goal. However, Hon’ble Gauhati High Court did not look further into the prayers. We wanted the Hon'ble court to address the issue of illegal fee connection itself, not just for us but for all the students.  However, we believe that the illegal Alumni Fee should be returned to all the students, not just in IIT Guwahati but in all such Institutes. In the light of Article 14, all the students who have given money in the name of Alumni Fee must be returned their money and such illegal collection must be immediately stopped. Our success story also got published in the national media such as The Print and The Economic Times.

Links: The Print: shorturl.at/fgsyG, The Economic Times: shorturl.at/uyGW4

In the process, we also got to know that there are other institutions such as IIT Delhi, IIIT Bhagalpur, NIT Silchar, IIT Kharagpur and possibly many other Institutions unknown to us, which are also taking illegal/unconstitutional fee in the name of Alumni Fee. Ironically, IIIT Bhagalpur is collecting Rs. 8000/- illegal Alumni Fee from all the students. In fact, so far no student from IIIT Bhagalpur has been graduated! We would like these Institutions to stop collecting such illegal fees.

I am starting this petition to make students, academicians, and people of India in general, aware of the Institutions collecting illegal Alumni Fee. We want to send this petition to Hon’ble President of India (who is the visitor of all the IITs, NITs, and IIITs), MHRD Minister Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Directors, Board of Governors of all these Institutions who are taking an illegal fee. We want the higher authorities to intervene so that illegal fee collection is stopped. Please sign this petition if you think that Institutions should not charge the Alumni fee from the students.

Please share this petition through your Facebook, WhatsApp and another medium to the maximum people so that more and more people sign the petition and we achieve our goal to get authorities to pass orders to stop the illegal collection of Alumni Fees and return already illegally collected Alumni Fee.

PS: There might be many more institutions collecting illegal "Alumni Fee/Alumni Subscription Fee". If you know such institutions, please inform us with proof in the comment box.