MUMBAI: In what could be a precedence for all students from the socially and economically backward classes studying professional courses in deemed universities and are beneficiaries of the post-matriculation scheme (PMS), the Bombay high court has directed the state government to reimburse the entire fees of a student for the four-and-a-half year MBBS course by February 6.The student, belonging to the scheduled caste, took admission in a deemed college in 2016-17, and had to manage the fees on his own from multiple sources.Giving relief to the petitioner, the court cited an earlier HC order of 2015, upheld by the Supreme Court in 2019, where the government was asked to extend the benefits of the post-matric scholarship scheme to eligible students from deemed universities too. The state currently gives the benefit of the scheme to socially and economically backward class students from unaided private institutions only. While the state is in the process of modifying the policy to include beneficiaries from deemed universities, there is a delay and it is already facing a contempt case in the matter."The order in the petitioner Pramod Galinde's son Yash's case read with the earlier judgement (Bapu Sapdu Thorat judgement of 2015 and later upheld by the SC in 2019) can now be used by other beneficiaries of the post-matriculation scheme currently studying in deemed universities, to appeal before the court. It will also give hope to aspiring students who give up on their medical education dreams in fear of higher fees in deemed universities," said Advocate Vijaya Ingule, who represented the petitioner along with advocate Siddharth Ingule. Galinde had taken admission to Bhartiya Vidyapeeth Deemed University Medical College and has been somehow managing the annual tuition fee of Rs 11.25 lakh for four and a half years for the course, totalling to Rs 50.6 lakh.A division bench of the court said 'they are not concerned with any department procedures and no more documents will be sought from the student'. The petition was disposed of on January 20, and the matter has been listed for February 10 for reporting compliance.The state government's only response in the court was that the centrally-sponsored PMS does not extend to deemed universities. The division bench of Justice SG Dige and GS Patel mentioned that it is hardly an argument as the same question was raised before the bench of 2015 and it was negated. 'The division bench specifically directed that there cannot be a discrimination between various kinds of colleges. The government was to make the necessary modifications and there, above all, was a declaration that this very scheme could not be denied to students of deemed universities who are otherwise eligible... We fail to understand how the government can deny the applicability of this law", observed the bench.