Recovery of amount which is barred by limitation not allowed under Article 226; application for refund of fees against MCI rejected  

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Vibhu Bhakru, J. dismissed a writ petition filed for recovering the application fee deposited with the Medical Council of India for establishment of a new medical college.

The petitioner had filed an application for establishing a new medical college before the MCI for the academic year commencing from 2014. However, the MCI rejected the application. Thereafter, the petitioner filed an application for refund of the application fee deposited, which application was also rejected. Aggrieved thus, the petitioner filed the instant petition for recovery of Rs 7 lakhs deposited as application fee along with interest thereon.

The High Court referred to Regulation 4 of the Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999. It was apparent on reading the said regulation that the application fee was non-refundable. On this count alone, the instant petition was liable to be dismissed. However, the High Court also noted that the petition was filed after more than four years from the date when the application was rejected by the MCI. Since the petition was filed after the period of limitation (3 years), the action was barred by the limitation, there being no credible explanation for the delay. It was observed that although Limitation Act, 1963 may not strictly apply to proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution, however, it is a settled law that the courts do not extend the discretionary remedy to applicants who have failed to approach the court within time. Furthermore, recourse to proceedings under the Article is not available for recovering any amount where suit for recovery of that amount would be barred by limitation. In view of the aforementioned, the Court dismissed the petition. [Dr R.N. Gupta Technical Educational Society v. Union of India,2018 SCC OnLine Del 10749, dated 17-08-2018]

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