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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dental college renewal of permission = For granting renewal of permission for the aforesaid 2 specialties i.e. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics with three seats each for the academic session 2013-14, the DCI conducted the inspection of the petitioner-college on 8.12.2012 and 9.12.2012. - According to the petitioner, though it was not supplied the copy of the report dated 18.2.2013 but could procure the same and on coming to know of the aforesaid negative recommendation dated 28.2.2013 of the DCI impressing upon Respondent No.1 not to accord permission in these two specialties for the current academic session, the petitioner made a representation to Respondent No.1 and along with the said report it also submitted a comparative statement of the deficiencies. The petitioner also requested for personal hearing. However, without affording any hearing, a decision was taken by the Central Government vide letter dated 30th March 2013, addressed to the petitioner, whereby the permission was declined for renewal of the second year MDS course in the two specialties mentioned above.= Section 10A (4) of the Act, as below: (a) Section 10A applies to the cases of renewal of permission as well; (b) It contemplates grant of opportunity of being heard at two stages. First stage would be at the level of DCI after the scheme is submitted to DCI under sub-section (2) of Section 10A of the Act. Once it is found by the DCI that all the parameters for granting permission are met, it recommends the grant of approval of the scheme to the Central Government. In case Scheme it is found to be deficient, sub-section (3) (a) of Section 10A of the Act casts an obligation on the part of the DCI to give a reasonable opportunity for making a written representation and also to rectify the deficiencies, if any, specified by the DCI. Second stage of adherence to the principles of natural justice is provided at the level of Central Government at the time when it has to take final decision, after the receipt of the recommendation sent by the DCI. This requirement of hearing is stipulated in proviso to sub-section (4) of Section 10A, in the event the Central Government is proposing to disapprove the scheme. (c) The expression “opportunity of being heard” occurring in this proviso would mean that the material that goes against the applicant and is to be taken into consideration, is to be supplied to the applicant within an opportunity to make representation. For this purpose either the report of the DCI itself can be supplied or atleast the deficiencies pointed out in the report have to be communicated by the Central Government to the applicant with an opportunity to furnish its comments thereupon. At that stage while giving its reply, if the applicant claims personal hearing, such a personal heaing should also be accorded. 27. As in the present case, since no such opportunity of being heard the requirement of proviso to sub-section (4) of Section 10A of the Act was not afforded to the petitioner, the decision dated 30th March 2013 of the Central Government warrants to be set aside on this ground alone. 28. Notwithstanding the aforesaid discussion clarifying the position in law on this aspect which goes in favour of the petitioner, other circumstances appearing in this case desist us from giving the relief to the petitioner that is claimed by it in so far academic session 2013-2014 is concerned. The effect of the aforesaid view taken by us would be to set aside the orders dated 30th March 2013 passed by the Central Government rejecting the request of renewal. However, from that it would not automatically follow that direction can be issued to the Central Government to accord such a permission. This Court could only remit the case to the Central Government to pass appropriate orders after giving hearing to the petitioner. However, it is too late for the Central Government to re-examine the issue for the current academic session. Fact remains that as per the report of the DCI, there are deficiencies. Deficiencies are not limited to the number of minor and major surgeries which are required to be performed by a College for second renewal. = we are of the view that in so far as the academic session 2013-14 is concerned, it is not possible to put the clock back. Thus, while setting aside the impugned orders and remitting the case back to the Central Government for taking fresh decision, we make it clear that it would not relate to the academic session 2013-14. However, the case can be considered for renewal of permission for the next academic session on the basis of existing material. For this, hearing should be given to the petitioner to demonstrate that they have overcome the deficiencies and they no longer exist. If the Central Government is satisfied on these aspects it may grant renewal permission for the next academic session 2014-15. In case the renewal of permission is rejected, the petitioner will have to undergo the process of seeking fresh permission for next academic session i.e. 2014-15 by submitting fresh scheme/proposal to the DCI for that year, as per the procedure prescribed in the Act & Regulations. 31. The Special Leave Petition is disposed of in the above terms. No costs.

                                  published in      http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40701             
    [REPORTABLE]

                       IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

            SPECIAL LEAVE PETTIION (Civil) No. 25698 OF 2013

      Swamy Devi Dayal Hospital & Dental College           …Petitioner




                             Vs.

      The Union of India & Ors.                                      …
      .Respondents




                                   J U D G M E N T

      A.K.SIKRI,J.




      1.    The petitioner is a Dental College set up in the year  2004  for
      imparting education in the B.D.S. course (Bachelor of Dental Science).
       The petitioner  is  recognized  and  affiliated  to  Respondent  No.4
      University, viz. Pt. B.D. Sharma University, Rohtak, Haryana.

      2.    The petitioner – college was desirous to start  the  MDS  Course
      (Master  of  Dental  Surgery).   For  starting  the  said  course  the
      petitioner  was  required  to  complete  the  formalities   i.e.   (i)
      Essentiality and No Objection Certificate from the  State  Government;
      (ii) Affiliation from Pt. B.D.Sharma University for  Health  Sciences,
      Rohtak and (iii) Recognition from the Dental Council of India/Union of
      India.

      3.    Respondent No.3 – State of Haryana, vide letter dated 12.1.2010,
      granted ‘No Objection Certificate’ to the petitioner for starting  MDS
      Course. The said ‘No Objection Certificate’ was granted by  the  State
      Government for starting MDS Course in 9 specialties i.e. Oral Surgery,
      Orthodontics, Conservative  Dentistry,  Prosthodontics,  Periodontics,
      Oral  Diagnosis,  Oral  Pathology,  Pedodontics,  Periodontics,   Oral
      Diagnosis, Oral Pathology, Pedodontics & Community  Dentistry  with  3
      seats in each specialty from the session 2010-11.

      4.    Thereafter, Respondent No.4  –  University  granted  provisional
      affiliation to the petitioner-college for 6 out of 9  specialties  for
      academic  session  2011-12.   Respondent  No.1,   i.e.   the   Central
      Government also, on the recommendations  of  Respondent  No.2/  Dental
      Council of India (hereinafter referred to  ‘DCI’),  issued  Letter  of
      Intent to the petitioner for the aforesaid 6 specialties and later  on
      granted permission to the petitioner-college to start MDS Courses in 6
      specialties i.e. (i) Periodontology  wih  3  seats  (ii)  Conservative
      Dentistry  and  Endodontics  with  3  seats  (iii)  Oral  Pathology  &
      Microbiology with 3 seats (iv) Public Health Dentistry with 3 sets (v)
      Prosthodontics and Preventive Dentistry with 3 seats (vi) Paedodontics
      and Preventive Dentistry with 3 seats for the  session  2011-12.   The
      said permission was extended for the academic session 2012-13 and  now
      the same has been extended for the academic session 2013-14.

      5.    In the present case, however, we  are  not  concerned  with  the
      aforesaid six specialties.  As  pointed  out  above,  though  for  the
      session 2011-12, the petitioner was permitted to start courses and six
      specialties out of 9 courses mooted by it, for  the  academic  session
      2012-13, Respondent No.4 University granted provisionally  affiliation
      to the petitioner for two more specialties namely (1) Oral Medicines &
      Radiology and (ii) Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with an intake of  3
      seats each.  This was followed by affiliation for  the  9th  specialty
      also,  viz  the  Orthodontics  and  Dentofacial  Orthopedics  for  the
      academic session 2012-13.   In the instant petition, we are  concerned
      with the two disciplines namely Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery as well
      as Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics.

      6.    As pointed out above,  in  respect  of  these  two  specialties,
      Respondent No.4 University had given the affiliation and students were
      admitted by the petitioner-College in these disciplines  as  well  for
      the academic session 2012-13.  However, for the academic session 2013-
      14, permission  has  not  been  extended  for  these  two  specialties
      although for Oral Medicine and Radiology the  requisite  approval  has
      been accorded.  The events that followed for non-grant  of  permission
      in respect of these specialties for the academic session  2013-14  are
      recapitulated below, briefly:

      7.     For  granting  renewal  of  permission  for  the  aforesaid   2
      specialties i.e. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and  Orthodontics  and
      Dentofacial Orthopedics with three seats each for the academic session
      2013-14, the DCI conducted the inspection of the petitioner-college on
      8.12.2012 and 9.12.2012.  The petitioner was  not  supplied  with  the
      report  of  the  Inspectors  but  vide  letter  dated  26.12.2012  and
      27.12.2012,  the  petitioner  was  informed  by  the  DCI  about   the
      deficiencies in these two specialties.  The  petitioner,  vide  letter
      dated 19.1.2013 and 25.1.2013 submitted  compliance  report  regarding
      the deficiencies in these two specialties.

      8.     Thereafter  DCI  conducted  the  verification   inspection   on
      14.2.2013 and 18.2.2013.  On the  basis  of  this  inspection,  report
      dated 18.2.2013 was prepared by the  DCI  enlisting  the  deficiencies
      which according to DCI remained uncured.

      9.     The  DCI,  accordingly,  vide  its  letter   dated   28.2.2013,
      recommended to the Central Government not to extend the permission  in
      these two specialties and not to allow the petitioner-college to admit
      the students in these two specialties for the academic  session  2013-
      14.  According to the petitioner, though it was not supplied the  copy
      of the report dated 18.2.2013 but could procure the same and on coming
      to know of the aforesaid negative recommendation  dated  28.2.2013  of
      the DCI impressing upon Respondent No.1 not to  accord  permission  in
      these two specialties for the current academic session, the petitioner
      made a representation to Respondent  No.1  and  along  with  the  said
      report it also submitted a comparative statement of the  deficiencies.
      The petitioner also requested for personal hearing.  However,  without
      affording any hearing, a decision was taken by the Central  Government
      vide letter dated  30th  March  2013,  addressed  to  the  petitioner,
      whereby the permission was declined for renewal of the second year MDS
      course in the two specialties mentioned above.

      10.   Aggrieved by this decision, the petitioner  preferred  the  Writ
      Petition in the High Court  of  Punjab  and  Haryana  questioning  the
      validity thereof.  Apart from contending that  the  petitioner-college
      did not suffer from any deficiencies and  the  order  of  the  Central
      Government declining the permission of renewal was  bad  in  law,  the
      petitioner also submitted that before  taking  the  impugned  decision
      Respondent No.1 had not granted personal hearing thereby violating the
      mandatory requirement of the provisions of  Section  10A  (4)  of  the
      Dental Council of India 1948 (hereinafter referred to as the Act).

      11.   Show cause  notice  was  issued  in  the  said  writ  and  after
      completion of the pleadings, the  matter  was  heard  by  the  learned
      Single Judge who  has,  vide  the  impugned  judgment  dated  1.8.2013
      dismissed the Writ Petition filed by the petitioner finding  no  merit
      in both the contentions raised by the petitioner.

      12.   The present SLP challenges the said order of the learned  Single
      Judge.

      13.   The first and foremost contention of Mr. Patwalia,  the  learned
      senior counsel appearing for the petitioner was that  the  High  Court
      had committed a grave error of law in taking a view that  no  personal
      hearing was required to be given  by  the  Central  Government  before
      passing the order refusing to grant the renewal.  Submission was  that
      Section 10A(4) of the Act categorically provides  for  opportunity  of
      being heard and in the face of such a provision the  decision  of  the
      High Court on this aspect was palpably wrong,

      14.   Section 10A of the Act reads as under:

           “10A  Permission for establishment of new  dental  college,  new
                 courses of study, etc.

           (1)   Notwithstanding anything contained  in  this  Act  or  any
                 other law for the time being in force

                 (a)   no person shall establish an authority or institution
                 for a course  of  study  or  training  (including  a  post-
                 graduate course of study or training) which would enable  a
                 student of such course or training to qualify  himself  for
                 the grant of recognized dental qualification’ or

                 (b)   no authority or institution conducting  a  course  of
                 study or training  (including  a  post-graduate  course  of
                 study  or  training)  for  grant   of   recognized   dental
                 qualification shall

                       (i)   open  a  new  or  higher  course  of  study  or
                       training (including a post-graduate course  of  study
                       or training) which would enable  a  student  of  such
                       course or training to qualify himself for  the  award
                       of any recognized dental qualification; or

                       (ii)  increase its admission capacity in  any  course
                       of  study  or  training  (including  a  post-graduate
                       course  of  study  or  training),  except  with   the
                       previous  permission  of   the   Central   Government
                       obtained in accordance with the  provisions  of  this
                       section.

           Explanation 1. – for the  purposes  of  this  section,  “person”
           includes any University or a trust  but  does  not  include  the
           Central Government.

           Explanation 2. – For the purposes of  this  Section,  “admission
           capacity”, in relation  to  any  course  of  study  or  training
           (includes a post-graduate course of study  or  training)  in  an
           authority   or   institution    granting    recognized    dental
           qualification, means the maximum number of students that  may be
           fixed by the Council from time to time  for  being  admitted  to
           such course or training.

           (2)   (a)   Every  person,  authority  or  institution  granting
                 recognized dental qualification shall, for the  purpose  of
                 obtaining permission under sub-section (1), submit  to  the
                 Central  Government  a  scheme  in  accordance   with   the
                 provision of clause (b) and the  Central  Government  shall
                 refer  the   said   scheme   to   the   Council   for   its
                 recommendations.

                 (b)   The scheme referred to in clause (a) shall be in such
                 form and contain such particulars and be preferred in  such
                 manner  and  be  accompanied  with  such  fee  as  may   be
                 prescribed.

           (3)   On receipt of a scheme by the  Council  under  sub-section
           (2), the Council may obtain such other  particulars  as  may  be
           considered  necessary  by  it  from  the  person,  authority  or
           institution concerned, granting recognized dental  qualification
           and thereafter, it may,

                 (a)   if the scheme is defective and does not  contain  any
                 necessary particulars, give a reasonable opportunity to the
                 person, authority or institution  concerned  for  making  a
                 written representation and it shall be open to such person,
                 authority or institution to rectify the  defects,  if  any,
                 specified by the Council;

                 (b)   consider the scheme, having  regard  to  the  factors
                 referred to in  sub-section  (7),  and  submit  the  scheme
                 together with its recommendations thereon  to  the  Central
                 Government,

           (4)   The Central Government may, after considering  the  scheme
           and the recommendations of the Council under sub-section (3) and
           after obtaining, where necessary, such other particulars as  may
           be considered necessary by it  from  the  person,  authority  or
           institution concerned, and having regard to the factors referred
           to in sub-section (7), either approve (with such conditions,  if
           any, as it may consider necessary) or disapprove the scheme  and
           any such approval shall be a permission under  sub-section  (1):
           Provided that no scheme shall  be  disapproved  by  the  Central
           Government  except  after  giving  the  person,   authority   or
           institution concerned granting recognized dental qualification a
           reasonable opportunity of being heard.”

      15.   A bare reading of sub-section (4) makes it abundantly clear that
      even  the  Central  Government,  before  taking  a  decision  on   the
      recommendation of the DCI is required to give a reasonable opportunity
      of being heard in case it proposes to disapprove the scheme  submitted
      by an educational institution.  It was,  however,  argued  before  the
      High Court that such a hearing is required only when the  question  of
      permission for establishment of new dental college or  new  course  or
      studies comes up for consideration and Section 10A does not deal  with
      the cases of renewal of permission.  The High Court has accepted  this
      contention  of  the  Government.   This  becomes  apparent  from   the
      following discussion contained in the impugned judgment  of  the  High
      Court:

                 “Thus, in my considered opinion, the  proviso  of  section
           10(A)(4) of the Act cannot be read in the  case  of  renewal  of
           permission as it deals with a specific situation.  Had  it  been
           the intention of the Legislature to provide  an  opportunity  of
           hearing in the case of renewal of permission to be given by  the
           Government of Indian on the recommendation of the DCI, it  would
           have been a part of the Act itself but here is a case  in  which
           the petition  had  admittedly  been  given  an  opportunity  for
           rectification of their errors because after first inspection  of
           the  DCI,  the  deficiencies  noted  were  communicated  to  the
           petitioner, who allegedly removed the deficiencies and submitted
           the compliance report and in order  to  verify  the  compliance,
           another    inspection    team    was     sent,     but     still
           shortcomings/deficiencies  were  found  which  cannot  be   even
           condoned as it goes against the regulations.

                 Hence, in the absence  of  any  statutory  provision  with
           regard to an opportunity of hearing by the Government  of  India
           while with negative  recommendations  of  DCI  in  the  case  of
           renewal of permission, the impugned order dated 30.3.2013 cannot
           be held to be illegal.”




      16.   With respect to the High Court, we are unable  to  subscribe  to
      the aforesaid interpretation given to the provision of Section 10A  of
      the Act.  No doubt, heading of this section  suggests  that  it  deals
      with “permission for establishment of new dental college, new  courses
      of study, etc.”  However, holistic reading of the provisions  of  this
      section  prescribing  the  scheme   containing   the   procedure   for
      establishment of new dental college and  new  courses  of  study  etc.
      would clearly demonstrate that this  provision  applies  even  to  the
      cases of renewal of such permission as well.

      17.   In the present case, as already noticed above, the  two  courses
      in question were the new courses, along with other courses, for  which
      permission was given by Respondent No.1 for the academic session 2012-
      13.  It is a common case that the procedure contained in  section  10A
      for seeking permission, applies to new courses  of  studies  as  well.
      Section 10A(1)(b) deals with opening of new or higher course of  study
      or training as well as increasing its admission capacity in any course
      of study or training.   In both the eventualities prior permission  of
      Central Government is to be obtained.   Explanation  2  clarifies  the
      meaning of “admission capacity” in relation to any course of study  or
      training to mean “the maximum number of students that may be fixed  by
      the Council from time to time for being admitted  to  such  course  or
      training.”

      18.   When the permission to  start  courses  in  two  specialties  in
      question was granted for the academic session 2012-13 intake of  three
      students, for seeking renewal for the next academic session 2013-14 it
      was to seek fresh permission to have the same admission  capacity  for
      this year as well.  We are, therefore, of the opinion that  the  cases
      of renewal cannot be excluded from the provisions of  Section  10A  of
      the Act. It was not disputed  before  us  that  when  the  petitioner-
      college applied for renewal of the  permission,  the  application  was
      processed in accordance with the procedure laid down in  section  10A.
      As per this procedure, when a request is received in  the  form  of  a
      requisite scheme, as required in sub-section (2) of Section 10A of the
      Act, the same is to be processed in the  manner  provided  under  sub-
      section (3) thereof.  Once it  is  found  by  the  DCI  that  all  the
      parameters for granting permission are met, it recommends the grant of
      approval of the scheme to the Central Government. In case Scheme it is
      found to be deficient, sub-section (3) (a) of Section 10A of  the  Act
      casts an obligation on the part  of  the  DCI  to  give  a  reasonable
      opportunity for making a written representation and  also  to  rectify
      the deficiencies, any, specified by the DCI. After the  recommendation
      is sent by the DCI to the Central Government,  Central  Government  is
      required  to  process  the  same  in  accordance  with  the  procedure
      contained in sub-section (4) of Section 10A. It can either approve  or
      disapprove the Scheme.  However, in case  the  Central  Government  is
      proposing to disapprove the Scheme, a final decision  in  this  behalf
      can be taken only after giving  the  concerned  person,  authority  or
      institution, a reasonable opportunity of  being  heard.  This  is  the
      mandate of the proviso to Section 10A (4) of the Act.

      19.   Thus, the procedure  prescribed  in  Section  10A  contains  the
      requirement of following this principle  of  natural  justice  at  two
      stages. In the first place, by the  DCI  when  it  finds  deficiencies
      while examining the school in the second stage at  the  level  of  the
      Central Government before it passes away adverse orders, as it is  the
      final administrative authority vested with  powers  to  pass  such  an
      order. The law, thus specifically requires that  at  the  stage  of  a
      decision by the Central Government,  again  an  opportunity  of  being
      heard is to be provided.  This proviso, thus, acknowledges the need of
      and confers a very valuable right in favour of the petitioner.

      20.   In the present case, the petitioner had been accorded permission
      in these two specialties  for  the  previous  academic  session.  Non-
      renewal thereof in the present academic session has an adverse affect.
       It has visited the petitioner with civil and/  or  evil  consequences
      barring the petitioner to enroll fresh  students  in  this  year.   We
      would like to reproduce the following discussion from the judgment  in
      the case of Sahara India (Firm), Lucknow vs.  Commissioner  of  Income
      Tax, Central-1 and Anr. (2008) 14 SCC 151

           “15.Rules of "natural justice" are not embodied rules. The phrase
           "natural justice" is also not capable of a  precise  definition.
           The underlying principle of natural justice, evolved  under  the
           common law, is to check arbitrary exercise of power by the State
           or its functionaries. therefore, the principle implies a duty to
           act fairly, i.e. fair play in action. As observed by this  Court
           in A.K.   Kraipak   and   Ors. v.    Union    of    India    and
           Ors.[1970]1SCR457 , the aim of rules of natural  justice  is  to
           secure justice or to put it negatively to prevent miscarriage of
           justice. These rules can operate only in areas  not  covered  by
           any  law  validly  made.  They  do  not  supplant  the  law  but
           supplement it. (Also see: Income Tax Officer and Ors.v.  Madnani
           Engineering Works Ltd., Calcutta [1979]118ITR1(SC) )




           16.In Swadeshi Cotton  Mills v.   Union  of  India [1981]2SCR533
           R.S. Sarkaria, J., speaking for the majority  in  a  three-Judge
           Bench, lucidly explained the meaning and scope of the concept of
           "natural justice". Referring to several decisions, his  Lordship
           observed thus (SCC p.666):

           Rules of natural justice are not embodied rules. Being means  to
           an end and not an end in themselves, it is not possible to  make
           an exhaustive  catalogue  of  such  rules.  But  there  are  two
           fundamental maxims of  natural  justice  viz. (i)  audi  alteram
           partem and (ii) nemo judex in re sua. The  audi  alteram  partem
           rule has many facets, two of them being (a) notice of  the  case
           to be met; and (b) opportunity to explain. This rule  cannot  be
           sacrificed  at  the  altar  of  administrative  convenience   or
           celerity. The general  principle  -  as  distinguished  from  an
           absolute rule of uniform application - seems to be that where  a
           statute does not, in terms, exclude this rule of  prior  hearing
           but contemplates a post- decisional hearing amounting to a  full
           review of the original order on  merits,  then  such  a  statute
           would be construed as excluding the audi alteram partem rule  at
           the pre-decisional stage. Conversely if the  statute  conferring
           the power is  silent  with  regard  to  the  giving  of  a  pre-
           decisional hearing to the person affected and the administrative
           decision taken by the authority involves civil consequences of a
           grave nature, and no full review or  appeal  on  merits  against
           that decision is provided, courts will be extremely reluctant to
           construe such a statute as excluding the duty of affording  even
           a minimal  hearing,  shorn  of  all  its  formal  trappings  and
           dilatory features at the pre-decisional  stage,  unless,  viewed
           pragmatically, it would paralyse the administrative  process  or
           frustrate the need for utmost promptitude. In short,  this  rule
           of fair play must not be jettisoned  save  in  very  exceptional
           circumstances where compulsive necessity so demands.  The  court
           must make every effort to salvage  this  cardinal  rule  to  the
           maximum extent possible, with  situational  modifications.  But,
           the core of it must, however, remain, namely,  that  the  person
           affected must have reasonable opportunity of being heard and the
           hearing must be a  genuine  hearing  and  not  an  empty  public
           relations exercise.




           17.   xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

           18,.  Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx




           19.Thus, it is trite that unless a  statutory  provision  either
           specifically  or   by   necessary   implication   excludes   the
           application of principles of natural justice,  because  in  that
           event the Court would not ignore the  legislative  mandate,  the
           requirement of giving  reasonable  opportunity  of  being  heard
           before an order is made, is generally read into  the  provisions
           of a statute, particularly when  the  order  has  adverse  civil
           consequences for the party affected.  The  principle  will  hold
           good irrespective of whether the power conferred on a  statutory
           body or tribunal is administrative or quasi-judicial.

            20.We may, however, hasten to  add  that  no  general  rule  of
           universal application can be laid down as to  the  applicability
           of  the  principle audi  alteram  partem, in  addition  to   the
           language of the provision. Undoubtedly, there can be  exceptions
           to the said doctrine.  therefore,  we  refrain  from  giving  an
           exhaustive catalogue of  the  cases  where  the  said  principle
           should be applied. The question whether the principle has to  be
           applied or not is to be considered bearing in mind  the  express
           language and the basic scheme of the  provision  conferring  the
           power; the nature of the power conferred  and  the  purpose  for
           which the power  is  conferred  and  the  final  effect  of  the
           exercise of that power. It is only upon a consideration  of  all
           these matters that the  question  of  application  of  the  said
           principle   can   be   properly   determined.   (See: Union   of
           India v. Col. J.N. Sinha and Ors. (1970)IILLJ284SC )”










      21.   It is trite that even in the absence of  specific  provision  of
      giving  hearing,  the  hearing  is  required  in  such  cases   unless
      specifically excluded by a statutory provision. In  such  a  situation
      the proviso to sub-section (4) of Section 10 A  has  to  be  liberally
      construed to encompass the cases of renewal of permission as well.

      22.   In fact, this case itself provides an excellent example  of  the
      importance of such a hearing and adhering to the principle of  natural
      justice viz. audi alteram partem.  According to the  DCI,  even  after
      second inspection some deficiencies were found.   On  that  basis  and
      without confronting the petitioner and further, it sent its report  to
      the Central Government recommending denial of permission.  However, as
      per the petitioner, there were no such deficiencies.  It had filed the
      additional affidavit dated 2.7.2013 in the High Court in  its  attempt
      to refute the stand of the DCI regarding deficiencies. To demonstrate,
      one of the deficiencies pointed out by the DCI was that  total  number
      of surgeries/ major as well as minor,  conducted  by  the  petitioner-
      college were far less than the benchmark stated in the Regulations  to
      enable the petitioner to seek renewal  of  permission.   The  DCI  had
      stated that there is requirement of one (1) major  Surgery  and  Eight
      (8) Minor Surgeries per week as per Performa.  However, the  surgeries
      performed by the petitioner-college, as per the Performa  attached  by
      the college itself was much less then the aforesaid requirements.  The
      petitioner-college sought to clarify and explain this position in  its
      aforesaid  affidavit  dated  2.7.2013  by  pointing  out  that   while
      calculating the figure,  the  DCI  had  taken  into  consideration  PG
      surgeries only and ignored  the  figure  pertaining  to  UG  surgeries
      whereas the inspection Performa  supplied  by  the  DCI  categorically
      mentioned “both UG and PG together”.  It  was  sought  to  demonstrate
      that if figures of  UG  and  PG  surgeries  are  taken  together,  the
      petitioner-college had satisfied the stipulated requirements.  At this
      juncture, we are not commenting as to whether the aforesaid  stand  of
      the petitioner-college is correct or not.   We  are  highlighting  the
      importance, necessity and justification of granting an opportunity  of
      being heard by the Central Government as  well,  before  taking  final
      decision after the report of the DCI is sent to the Central Government
      which is against the applicant seeking permission for renewal. In that
      event, if the opportunity of being heard is given, the applicant would
      get a chance to point out mistakes if any, factual  or  otherwise,  in
      the report of the DCI and the Central Government would have version of
      the applicant also before it at the time of taking final  decision  on
      the report. In the given case itself on such an opportunity of   being
      heard  given  by  the  Central  Government  to  the  petitioner,   the
      petitioner  could  have  explained  its  stand  before   the   Central
      Government to enable the Central Government  to  take  a  view  as  to
      whether it should accept the report of DCI or discard the same finding
      the explanation of the petitioner thereto, as satisfactory.

      23.   The significance of principle of natural justice was highlighted
      in the case of Managing Director, ECIL, Hyderabad, Etc. vs. Karunakar,
      etc. (1993) 4 SCC 727.  Though, it was a case of disciplinary  enquiry
      against an employee, the rationale given justifying the furnishing  of
      enquiry  report  and  giving  an  opportunity  to  meet,  explain  and
      controvert the same would apply here as well, as would be  clear  from
      the following passage in that judgment.

                 “The reason why the right to receive  the  report  of  the
             Inquiry  Officer  is  considered  an  essential  part  of  the
             reasonable opportunity at the first stage and  also  principle
             of natural justice  is  that  the  findings  recorded  by  the
             Inquiry  Officer  form  an  important  material   before   the
             disciplinary authority which along with the evidence is  taken
             into consideration by it to come  to  its  conclusion.  It  is
             difficult to say in advance, to what extent the said  findings
             including the punishment, if any, recommended  in  the  report
             would influence the disciplinary authority while  drawing  its
             conclusions. The findings further  might  have  been  recorded
             without considering the relevant evidence  on  record,  or  by
             misconstruing it or unsupported by it. If such a finding is to
             be one of the documents to be considered by  the  disciplinary
             authority, the principles of natural justice require that  the
             employee should have a fair opportunity to meet,  explain  and
             controvert it before he is condemned. It is  the  negation  of
             the tenets of justice and a denial of fair opportunity to  the
             employee to consider the findings recorded by  a  third  party
             like the  Inquiry  Officer  without  giving  the  employee  an
             opportunity to reply to it.  Although  it  is  true  that  the
             disciplinary authority  is  supposed  to  arrive  at  its  own
             findings on the basis of the evidence recorded in the inquiry,
             it is also equally true that the disciplinary authority  takes
             into  consideration  the  findings  recorded  by  the  Inquiry
             Officer  along  with  the   evidence   on   record.   In   the
             circumstances,  the  findings  of  the  Inquiry   Officer   do
             constitute  an  important  material  before  the  disciplinary
             authority which is likely to influence its conclusions. If the
             Inquiry Officer were only to record the evidence  and  forward
             the  same  to  the  disciplinary  authority,  that  would  not
             constitute any additional  material  before  the  disciplinary
             authority of which the delinquent employee has  no  knowledge.
             However, when the Inquiry Officer goes further and records his
             findings, as stated above, which may or may not  be  based  on
             the evidence on record or are  contrary  to  the  same  or  in
             ignorance of it, such  findings  are  an  additional  material
             unknown to the employee but are taken  into  consideration  by
             the disciplinary authority while arriving at its  conclusions.
             Both the dictates of the reasonable opportunity as well as the
             principles of natural justice, therefore, require that  before
             the disciplinary authority comes to its  own  conclusion,  the
             delinquent employee should have an opportunity to reply to the
             Inquiry Officer's findings. The disciplinary authority is then
             required to consider the evidence, the report of  the  Inquiry
             Officer and the representation of the employee against it.”




      24.   In fact, judgment of this Court in Priyadarshini Dental  College
      & Hospital Vs. Union of India (2011) 4 SCC 623 throws  some  light  on
      the issue at hand, though this issue did not   come  up  directly  for
      discussion.  That was also a case of renewal of permission.   DCI  had
      sent  negative  recommendation  to  refuse  permission.   On   receipt
      thereof, though the Central Government  constituted  a  committee  for
      giving personal hearing and letter in this behalf was also dispatched,
      such a  hearing  was  not  granted  and  the  renewal  permission  was
      declined.  The petitioner in that  case  approached  the  Madras  High
      Court by filing the Writ Petition which was allowed by the High  Court
      on the ground that mandatory requirement of reasonable opportunity  of
      being heard contained in the proviso  to Section 10A(4) of the Act was
      not complied with.  The  matter  was  remitted  back  to  the  Central
      Government to take a  decision  after  giving  hearing.   Hearing  was
      accorded by the committee constituted by the Central Government  which
      recommended the renewal.  However, since the last date  of  15th  July
      fixed by this Court had expired, while  granting  the  permission  the
      appellant Institute was asked  to  approach  this  Court  for  seeking
      Court’s approval to  get  the  permission  after  the  expiry  of  the
      stipulated  period.   It  was  held  that  in  view  of  the  specific
      provisions contained in Dental Council of India (Establishment of  New
      Dental College, Opening of New or Higher Course of Study  or  Training
      and Increase of Admission Capacity in  Dental  Colleges)  Regulations,
      2006 empowering the Central Government to modify the time schedule for
      reasons to be recorded in writing, there was no  need  to  direct  the
      appellant to approach this Court for seeking extension and the Central
      Government could have itself  extended  the  time  schedule.   In  the
      process, the Bench made certain observations which reflect  that  even
      in the case of renewals proviso to sub-section (4) of Section  10A  of
      the Act would be applicable.  We reproduce herein below those portions
      from the judgment:

            “The Central Government, sent a general Circular dated 21.6.2010
           to all dental colleges in whole cases DCI  had  recommended  that
           permission should not be renewed, including the  Chairmanship  of
           the Director General of Health  Services  will  give  a  personal
           hearing to them, as required under the first proviso  to  Section
           10-A(4) of the Act  to  consider  the  proposal  for  renewal  of
           permission for the BDS course for the academic year  2010-11,  on
           23.6.2010,  24.6.2010  and  25.6.2010.   The  said   letter   was
           dispatached on 22.6.2010 and reached the  petitioner  College  on
           25.6.2010,  making  it  impossible  for  the  petitioner  College
           situated   at     Chennai    (Tamil    Nadu)    to    send    its
           Principal/representative  for  the  personal  hearing.   In   the
           circumstances, the petitioner College by letter dated  25.6.2010,
           requested  for  such  hearing.  However,  such  hearing  was  not
           granted. By communication dated 15.7.2010, the Central Government
           communicated its decision not to grant renewal permission to  the
           Dental College for the academic year 2010-2011.  A  consequential
           direction was issued to the College not to admit students for the
           academic year 2010-2011.

            Feeling aggrieved, the petitioner  approached  the  Madras  High
           Court by filing a writ petition on  19.7.2010  praying  that  the
           order of rejection dated  15.7.2010  be  quashed  and  seeking  a
           direction to the Central Government  to  permit  the  College  to
           admit fresh students for the BDS course  for  the  academic  year
           2010-2011 and also seeking a direction to the Central  Government
           to grant renewal permission to conduct the fourth year of the BDS
           course during the academic year 2010-2011. The said writ petition
           was allowed by the Madras High Court by  order  dated  29.7.2010.
           The High Court held that dispatch of the Letter  dated  21.6.2010
           on 22.6.2010 fixing the personal hearing on 23.6.2010,  24.6.2010
           and 25.6.2010, did not amount to grant of a hearing  at  all,  if
           the letter reached the College on 25.6.2010, after the time fixed
           for hearing. It, therefore, held that the  mandatory  requirement
           of reasonable opportunity of  being  heard,  required  under  the
           proviso to Section 10-A(4) of the Act was not complied with. As a
           consequence, the High Court remitted the petitioner’s application
           for renewal of permission for 2010-2011, for  reconsideration  by
           the  Central  Government,  by  giving  a  due  hearing   to   the
           petitioner.  The  High  Court  also  directed  the   three-member
           Committee constituted by  the  Central  Government  to  hear  the
           petitioner on 6.8.2010, consider the documents  furnished  by  it
           and pass final orders.  It  also  reserved  liberty  to  DCI,  if
           necessary, to make further inspection to verify  the  correctness
           of the compliance report submitted by the petitioner  College and
           send a further report so as to reach the  three-member  Committee
           of the Central Government before 6.8.2010.”




      25.   We are, therefore, of the considered opinion that the High Court
      has not correctly interpreted the provisions of Section 10A of the Act
      by holding that the cases  of  renewal  of  permission  would  not  be
      covered by this Section and therefore it was  not  necessary  for  the
      Central  Government  to  give  opportunity  of  being  heard  to   the
      petitioner before rejecting the renewal permission.

      26.   We, accordingly, sum up the legal position,  touching  upon  the
      issue, on the interpretation of
Section 10A (4) of the Act, as below:

           (a)   Section 10A applies to the cases of renewal of  permission
           as well;

           (b)    It contemplates grant of opportunity of  being  heard  at
           two stages.  First stage would be at the level of DCI after  the
           scheme is submitted to DCI under sub-section (2) of Section  10A
           of the Act.  Once it is found by the DCI that all the parameters
           for granting permission are met,  it  recommends  the  grant  of
           approval of the scheme to the Central Government. In case Scheme
           it is found to be deficient, sub-section (3) (a) of Section  10A
           of the Act casts  an   obligation on the part of the DCI to give
           a reasonable opportunity for  making  a  written  representation
           and also to rectify the deficiencies, if any, specified  by  the
           DCI.  Second stage of adherence to  the  principles  of  natural
           justice is provided at the level of Central  Government  at  the
           time when it has to take final decision, after  the  receipt  of
           the recommendation sent by the DCI.  This requirement of hearing
           is stipulated in proviso to sub-section (4) of Section  10A,  in
           the event the Central Government is proposing to disapprove  the
           scheme.

           (c)   The expression “opportunity of being heard”  occurring  in
           this proviso would mean that the material that goes against  the
           applicant and is to  be  taken  into  consideration,  is  to  be
           supplied  to  the  applicant  within  an  opportunity  to   make
           representation.  For this purpose either the report of  the  DCI
           itself can be supplied or atleast the deficiencies  pointed  out
           in the report have to be communicated by the Central  Government
           to the applicant with an opportunity  to  furnish  its  comments
           thereupon.  At  that  stage  while  giving  its  reply,  if  the
           applicant claims personal hearing, such a personal heaing should
           also be accorded.

      27.   As in the present case, since no such opportunity of being heard
      the requirement of proviso to sub-section (4) of Section  10A  of  the
      Act was not afforded to the petitioner, the decision dated 30th  March
      2013 of the Central Government warrants to be set aside on this ground
      alone.

      28.   Notwithstanding the aforesaid discussion clarifying the position
      in law on this aspect which goes in favour of  the  petitioner,  other
      circumstances appearing in this case desist us from giving the  relief
      to the petitioner that is claimed by it in  so  far  academic  session
      2013-2014 is concerned.  
The effect of the aforesaid view taken by  us
      would be to set aside the orders dated 30th March 2013 passed  by  the
      Central Government rejecting the request of  renewal.   However,  from
      that it would not automatically follow that direction can be issued to
      the Central Government to accord such a permission.  
This Court  could
      only remit the case to the  Central  Government  to  pass  appropriate
      orders after giving hearing to the petitioner.   
However,  it  is  too
      late for the Central  Government  to  re-examine  the  issue  for  the
      current academic session.   
Fact remains that as per the report of the
      DCI, there are deficiencies.  Deficiencies  are  not  limited  to  the
      number of minor and major surgeries which are required to be performed
      by a College for second renewal.  The argument of the petitioner  that
      while calculating the number of surgeries, both PG  and  UG  surgeries
      are to be taken into consideration was countered by Mr. Rakesh Khanna,
      learned  ASG.  
This  is,  therefore,  an  aspect  which  the  Central
      Government  is  supposed  to  examine.   However,  there   are   other
      deficiencies mentioned by the DCI also in its report.
With respect to
      Oral Scheme the DCI found the following deficiencies:-

                  “(i) Clinical training is not upto the mark.

                  (ii) Back volumes are not available for last ten years.

                  (vi) No. of cases operated in GA and LA are inadequate.




           As far as Ortho Scheme is concerned, the deficiencies  noted  in
      the report of DCI are as follows:

                 “(i) University affiliation letter dated 27.3.2013 from Pt.
                 B.D. Sharma University states that  the  college  does  not
                 comply for the removal of deficiencies.

                  (ii) There is deficiency of number of journals.

                  (iii) Irregular supply of journals.

                  (iv) Back volumes are available only from 2011.

                  (v) There is deficiency of clinical material.

                 (vi) Inspectors have pointed out that the clinical material
                 in the specialty and the OPB are not tallying.”




      29.   As per DCI report, deficiency in the  Laboratory  maintained  by
      the petitioner was also found in respect of the  specialties  of  Oral
      scheme.
It is stated by the DCI  that  the  Dental  Institutions  are
      supposed to maintain the Library  at  two  levels.  
One  is  called  a
      Central Library which is mainly maintained by UG level  and  
other  is
      maintained by PG in each and  every  specialty  department.   
The  DCI
      inspected each specialty and report is submitted by the  Inspector  in
      respect of each specialty.  
The deficiency has  been  pointed  out  in
      respect of the specialty of Oral stream that the petitioner  does  not
      have the back volumes of journals for the last 10  years.   
Thus,  DCI
      reported that despite repeated inspections, the deficiencies have been
      found.  
In respect of Ortho scheme as well  similar  deficiencies  are
      pointed  out.    
Therefore,  this  Court  cannot  issue  any  mandamus
      straightaway and the petitioner is required to give  its  satisfactory
      explanation qua the aforesaid deficiencies to the Central  Government.
      
However, the time has run out in so far  current  year  is  concerned.
      The session in respect of PG streams started on 15th July 2013.    The
      necessary admissions have  already  been  given  to  the  students  in
      different colleges.   
On remitting the matter, some time will have  to
      be given to  the  Central  Government  as  well  for  taking  a  fresh
      decision.  
If  that is also taken into account,  by the time  decision
      is  taken,  the  present  academic  session  would   have   progressed
      significantly.   
This  Court  in  number  of  cases  highlighted   the
      importance of the cut off date for starting of courses impressing upon
      that such deadline should not be extended.
  (See: Priya Gupta vs. State
      of  Chhattisgarh  (2012)  7  SCC  433  and  Maa  Vaishno  Devi  Mahila
      Mahavidyalaya vs. State of U.P. (2013) 2 SCC 617)

      30.   For the aforesaid reasons,
we are of the view that in so far  as
      the academic session 2013-14 is concerned,  it is not possible to  put
      the clock back.   
Thus, while setting aside the  impugned  orders  and
      remitting the case back to the Central  Government  for  taking  fresh
      decision, we make it clear that it would not relate  to  the  academic
      session 2013-14.  
However, the case can be considered for  renewal  of
      permission for the next academic session  on  the  basis  of  existing
      material.  
For this, hearing should be  given  to  the  petitioner  to
      demonstrate that they have  overcome  the  deficiencies  and  they  no
      longer exist.   
If  the  Central  Government  is  satisfied  on  these
      aspects it may grant renewal permission for the next academic  session
      2014-15.   
In  case  the  renewal  of  permission  is  rejected,   the
      petitioner  will  have  to  undergo  the  process  of  seeking   fresh
      permission for next academic session i.e. 2014-15 by submitting  fresh
      scheme/proposal to the  DCI  for  that  year,  as  per  the  procedure
      prescribed in the Act & Regulations.

      31.   The Special Leave Petition is disposed of in the above terms. No
      costs.




                                                              …………………………….J.
                                                  (K.S.Radhakrishnan)






                                                               ……………………………J.
                                                   (A.K.Sikri)


      New Delhi
      27th August , 2013

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