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Monday, January 5, 2015

WRIT PETITION (Civil) NO. 853 OF 2014 VARUN SAINI & ORS. ... PETITIONERS VERSUS GURU GOBIND SINGH INDRAPRASTHA UNIVERSITY ... RESPONDENT

                                                                  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                         CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION


                    WRIT PETITION (Civil) NO. 853 OF 2014



VARUN SAINI & ORS.                      ...  PETITIONERS

                                   VERSUS

GURU GOBIND SINGH INDRAPRASTHA
UNIVERSITY                              ...        RESPONDENT



                                    WITH

                        WRIT PETITION(C) NO. 854/2014
                        WRIT PETITION(C) NO. 855/2014
                        WRIT PETITION(C) NO. 857/2014
                        WRIT PETITION(C) NO. 883/2014
                        WRIT PETITION(C) NO. 867/2014
                        WRIT PETITION(C) NO. 884/2014


                               J U D G M E N T

Dipak Misra, J


            Education  is  the  spine  of  any  civilised  society.   Formal
education has its own significance, for it depends upon  systemic  imparting
of learning regard being had to the syllabus prescribed for the  course  and
further allowing  space  for  cultivation  by  individual  endeavour.    The
sacrosanctity of formal education gains more  importance  in  the  field  of
technical studies because theory, practical training and application in  the
field cumulatively operate to make a student an asset to  the  country  and,
in a way, enables him to achieve excellence as  contemplated  under  Article
51A of the Constitution.  The natural corollary, in the ultimate  eventuate,
is the acceleration of the growth of the nation.  But, a pregnant one,  when
an  attitude  of  apathy  or  lackadaisical  propensity  or  proclivity   of
procrastination of the statutory authorities creeps in as a  consequence  of
which the time schedule meant for approval of the  educational  institutions
and commencement of the courses is not adhered to, a  feeling  of  devouring
darkness seems to reign supreme as if  “things  fall  apart”.   There  is  a
feeling of discomfiture - how to find  out  a  solvation  to  the  agonizing
problem  in  exercise  of  the  jurisdiction  under  Article   32   of   the
Constitution of India, for there are some compelling reasons  to  do  so  to
protect the national interest as well as not to scuttle the  aspirations  of
young students or to comatose their hopes stating that all  cannot  be  well
in the State of Denmark and there should not be a Sisyphean  endeavour.   We
are constrained to commence with such a prologue as  the  present  batch  of
writ petitions pertains to counselling and admission in  certain  categories
of courses which are approved and controlled from  many  a  spectrum  regard
being had to the sustenance of  standard  in  education  by  the  All  India
Council for Technical  Education  (for  brevity,  “AICTE”),  and  also  some
categories of courses which  are  directly  governed  by  the  statutes  and
regulations of  the  University,  namely,  Guru  Gobind  Singh  Indraprastha
University (hereinafter referred to as “the University”) in the backdrop  of
extension of time schedule fixed by  this  Court  in  respect  of  technical
courses.
The controversy involved in this batch of cases has a past,  which  requires
to be exposited with requisite respect  for  chronology.   We  have  already
indicated at the beginning that in all these cases, we  are  concerned  with
the adherence to schedule pertaining to approval by AICTE,  counselling  and
admission by the authorities of the University.  That being the  centripodal
issue, our advertence shall remain restricted to the said  arena.   At  this
juncture, we may state that at the appropriate  stage,  we  shall  refer  to
some necessitous facts from W.P.(C) No. 853/2014.
We are obligated to sit in a time machine to  appreciate  how  the  schedule
was fixed by the AICTE under the All India Council for  Technical  Education
Act,  1987  (for  brevity,  “the  1987  Act)  and  the  Regulations   framed
thereunder and how the said schedule was appositely re-fixed by  this  Court
in  Parshvanath  Charitable  Trust  Vs.  All  India  Council  for  Technical
Education[1].  In the said decision, a two-Judge Bench scanning the  anatomy
of the 1987 Act, observed thus:

 “17. The provisions of the All India Council for Technical  Education  Act,
1987 (for short ‘the AICTE Act’)  are  intended  to  improve  the  technical
education system throughout the country. The various authorities  under  the
AICTE Act  have  been  given  exclusive  responsibility  to  coordinate  and
determine the standards of higher education. It is a general power given  to
evaluate, harmonise  and  secure  proper  relationship  to  any  project  of
national importance.  Such  coordinated  action  in  higher  education  with
proper standard is of paramount importance to the national progress.

18.   The provisions of the AICTE  Act,  including  its  Preamble,  make  it
abundantly  clear  that  AICTE  has  been  established  under  the  Act  for
coordinated and integrated development of the technical education system  at
all levels throughout the country and is  enjoined  to  promote  qualitative
improvement of such education in relation to  planned  quantitative  growth.
The AICTE is required to regulate and ensure  proper  maintenance  of  norms
and standards in technical education system.  AICTE  is  to  further  evolve
suitable  performance  appraisal  system  for  technical  institutions   and
universities  incorporating  norms  and  mechanisms   in   enforcing   their
accountability.  It is required  to  provide  guidelines  for  admission  of
students and has the  power  to  withhold  or  discontinue  grants  to  such
technical institutions where  norms  and  standards  laid  down  by  it  and
directions given by it from time to time are  not  followed.  The  duty  and
responsibility cast on AICTE implies that the norms and standards to be  set
should be such as would prevent isolated development  of  education  in  the
country.

19.   Section 10 of the AICTE Act enumerates various  powers  and  functions
of  AICTE  as  also  its  duties  and  obligations  to  take  steps  towards
fulfilment of the same. One such power as envisaged in Section 10(k) is to

“grant  approval  for  starting   new   technical   institutions   and   for
introduction of new courses or programmes in consultation with the  agencies
concerned”.

It is important to see that AICTE  is  empowered  to  inspect  or  cause  to
inspect any technical institution in clause (p)) of Section 10  without  any
reservation  whatsoever.  However,  when  it  comes  to  the   question   of
universities, it is confined  and  limited  to  ascertaining  the  financial
needs  or  its  standards  of  teaching,  examination  and   research.   The
inspection  may  be  made  or  caused  to  be  made  of  any  department  or
departments only and that too, in such  manner  as  may  be  prescribed,  as
envisaged in Section 11 of the AICTE Act.

20.   All these vitally important  aspects  go  to  show  that  the  Council
(AICTE) created under the AICTE Act is  not  intended  to  be  an  authority
either superior to or to supervise and control the universities and  thereby
superimpose itself upon such universities merely for the  reason  that  they
are imparting teaching in technical education or programmes in any of  their
departments or units. A careful scanning of the provisions of the AICTE  Act
and the  provisions  of  the  University  Grants  Commission  Act,  1956  in
juxtaposition, will show that the role of AICTE vis-à-vis  the  universities
is only advisory, recommendatory and  one  of  providing  guidance,  thereby
subserving the cause of maintaining appropriate  standards  and  qualitative
norms and not as an authority empowered to issue and enforce  any  sanctions
by itself. Reference can be made to the judgments of this Court in the  case
of Adarsh Shiksha Mahavidyalaya v. Subhash Rahangdale [(2012)  2  SCC  425],
State of Tamil Nadu v. Adhiyaman Educational & Research Institute [(1995)  4
SCC 104] and Bharathidasan University v. All  India  Council  for  Technical
Education [(2001) 8 SCC 676].”

The Court referred to  various  other  facets  and  adverted  to  All  India
Council  For  Technical  Education  (Grant  of  Approval  for  Starting  New
Technical Institutions, Introduction of Courses or Programmes  and  Approval
of Intake Capacity of Seats for  the  Courses  or  Programmes)  Regulations,
1994 and noted the Schedule to said Regulations which read as under:-

|Sl.  No. |Stage of processing application        |Last date by     |
|         |                                       |which the        |
|         |                                       |processing should|
|         |                                       |be completed.    |
|(1)      |(2)                                    |(3)              |
|1.       |For receiving proposals by Bureau RC   |31st December    |
|2.       |For Bureau RC to screen the application|                 |
|         |and (a) to return the incomplete       |                 |
|         |applications to the applicants, and (b)|                 |
|         |to forward the applications to (i)     |                 |
|         |State Government concerned (ii)        |                 |
|         |University or State Board concerned,   |                 |
|         |for their comments (iii) Regional      |                 |
|         |Officer to arrange visits by Expert    |                 |
|         |Committees, and (iv) Bureaus MPCD, BOS |                 |
|         |and RA for their comments              |                 |
|3.       |For receiving the comments from (I) the|15th March       |
|         |State Government (ii) the University or|                 |
|         |the State Board, and (iii) the Regional|                 |
|         |committee based on the Expert          |                 |
|         |Committee's report, and (iv) from the  |                 |
|         |Bureaus MPCD, BOS and RA               |                 |
|4.       |For consideration of the comments from |31st March       |
|         |the State Governments, Universities or |                 |
|         |State Boards, Regional Committees, and |                 |
|         |Bureaus of the Council by the State    |                 |
|         |level Committee                        |                 |
|5.       |For recommendations to be made by the  |15th April       |
|         |Central Task Force                     |                 |
|6.       |For communicating the final decision to|30th April       |
|         |the State Government or the University |                 |
|         |Grants Commission, under intimation to |                 |
|         |the Regional Office, Director of       |                 |
|         |Technical Education, applicant,        |                 |
|         |University or State Board              |                 |



After reproducing the schedule, the Court ruled that adherence to  the  same
is mandatory and not  directory,  for  non-adherence  of  the  schedule  can
result in serious consequences and can jeopardise not only the  interest  of
the college students  but  also  the  maintenance  of  proper  standards  of
technical education.  It further observed that  the  authorities  concerned,
particularly  AICTE  should  ensure  proper  and  timely  action  upon   the
application submitted to it and it must respond to the  applicant  within  a
reasonable time period and should not allow the matter to  be  dragged  till
the final date giving rise to avoidable peculiarities by  all  stakeholders.
After so stating, the Court also took note of the act that there seem to  be
some variation in the schedule issued under Regulation 8(15) and the  duties
reflected in the Handbook.  After noticing that, the two-Judge Bench  opined
that the admission schedule should be declared once and for all rather  than
making it a yearly declaration.  Emphasis was laid on  the  consistency  and
smoothness in admission process.  It has also been stated that there has  to
be a fixed and unaltered time schedule for  admission  to  the  colleges  so
that the students know with certainty and  well  in  advance  the  admission
schedule that is to be followed and on the basis of which they can  exercise
their choice relating to college or the course.  The Court referred  to  the
schedule that was submitted before it for admission for  the  academic  year
2013-2014. Eventually, the Court fixed an appropriate schedule which  is  as
follows:
“The appropriate Schedule, thus, would be as follows:




|Event                            |Schedule                      |
|Conduct of entrance examination  |In the month of May           |
|(AIEEE/State CET/Management quota|                              |
|exams, etc.)                     |                              |
|Declaration of result of         |On or before 5th June         |
|qualifying examination (12th exam|                              |
|or similar) and entrance         |                              |
|examination                      |                              |
|1st round of counselling/        |To be completed on or before  |
|admission for allotment of seats |30th July                     |
|2nd round of counselling for     |To be completed on or before  |
|allotment of seats               |10th July                     |
|Last round of counselling for    |To be completed on or before  |
|allotment of seats               |20th July                     |
|Last date for admitting          |30th July                     |
|candidates in seats other than   |However, any number of rounds |
|allotted above                   |for counselling could be      |
|                                 |conducted depending on local  |
|                                 |requirements, but all the     |
|                                 |rounds shall be completed     |
|                                 |before 30th July              |
|Commencement of academic session |1st August                    |
|Last date up to which students   |15th August                   |
|can be admitted against vacancies|                              |
|arising due to any reason (no    |                              |
|student should be admitted in any|                              |
|institution after the last date  |                              |
|under any quota)                 |                              |
|Last date of granting or refusing|10th April                    |
|approval by AICTE                |                              |
|Last date of granting or refusing|15th May                      |
|approval by University/State     |                              |
|Government                       |                              |

After fixing the schedule, the Court thought it appropriate to rule that:
“42.  The admission to academic courses should start, as  proposed,  by  1st
August of the relevant year.  The seats remaining  vacant  should  again  be
duly notified and advertised. All seats should be filled positively by  15th
August after which there shall be no admission, whatever be  the  reason  or
ground.

43.    We  find  that  the  above  Schedule  is  in  conformity   with   the
affiliation/recognition  schedule  aforenoticed.  They  both  can  co-exist.
Thus, we approve these admission dates and declare it to be  the  law  which
shall be strictly adhered to by all concerned and none  of  the  authorities
shall have the power or jurisdiction  to  vary  these  dates  of  admission.
Certainty in this field is bound to serve the ends of fair, transparent  and
judicious method of grant of admission and  commencement  of  the  technical
courses.  Any variation is bound to  adversely  affect  the  maintenance  of
higher  standards  of  education  and  systemic  and  proper  completion  of
courses.”

At  this  stage,  it  is  seemly  to  refer  to  a  subsequent  decision  in
Association of Management of Private Colleges  Vs.  All  India  Council  for
Technical  Education  and  others[2].  In   the   said   decision,   certain
educational institutions, being aggrieved by an order  passed  by  the  High
Court of Judicature of Madras, had approached this Court on  the  foundation
that the High Court had erroneously interpreted the 1987 Act, for  the  High
Court had opined that the University is  not  required  to  take  permission
from AICTE, but its affiliated colleges are required to  do  so.   The  High
Court has further ruled that  the  appellant  colleges  therein  should  get
their course of MCA ratified by AICTE as per the  prescribed  format,  which
according to the appellants, was in contravention of the settled  principles
of interpretation of statutes as stated in Bharathidasan University  V.  All
India Council for Technical Education[3]. The two-Judge  Bench  referred  to
Parshvanath  Charitable  Trust(supra),  T.M.  Pai  Foundation  V.  State  of
Karnataka[4],  the  definition  of  'technical  education'  and   'technical
institution' in the dictionary clause of the Act and certain  provisions  of
University Grants Commission Act, 1956, the  Regulations  framed  under  the
said Act and came to hold as follows:

“52.  .......the AICTE Act  does  not  intend  to  be  an  authority  either
superior  or  to  supervise  or  control  the   universities   and   thereby
superimpose itself upon the said universities merely for the reason that  it
is  laying  down  certain  teaching  standards  in  technical  education  or
programmes formulated in any of the department or units. It is evident  that
while enacting the AICTE Act, Parliament was fully alive  to  the  existence
of the provisions of the UGC Act, 1956  particularly,  the  said  provisions
extracted above. Therefore, the definition  of  “technical  institution”  in
Section 2(h) of the AICTE Act which authorizes  AICTE to do certain  things,
special care has consciously and deliberately been taken  to  make  specific
mention of university, wherever and whenever  AICTE alone  was  expected  to
interact with a university  and  its  departments  as  well  as  constituent
institutions and units.  It  was  held  after  analyzing  the  provision  of
Sections 10, 11 and 12 of the AICTE Act that  the  role  of  the  inspection
conferred upon the AICTE vis-a-vis universities is limited  to  the  purpose
of ensuring proper maintenance of  norms  and  standards  in  the  technical
education system so as to conform to the standard laid down by  it  with  no
further or direct control over such universities or  scope  for  any  direct
action except bringing it to the notice of UGC.  In  that  background,  this
Court in Bharathidasan University case made it  very  clear  by  making  the
observation that it has examined the scope of the enactment  as  to  whether
the AICTE Act prevails over the UGC Act or the  fact  of  competent  entries
fall in Entry 66 List I vis-a-vis Entry 25 of List III of the  VII  Schedule
of the Constitution.

53.      A cumulative reading of the aforesaid paragraphs  of  Bharathidasan
University case which are extracted above makes  it  very  clear  that  this
Court has exempted universities, its colleges, constituent institutions  and
units from seeking prior approval from AICTE.  Also,  from  the  reading  of
paragraphs 19 and 20 of Parashvanath  Chartitable  Trust  case  it  is  made
clear after careful scanning of the provisions of  the  AICTE  Act  and  the
University Grants Commission Act, 1956 that  the  role  of  AICTE  vis-a-vis
universities is only advisory, recommendatory and one of providing  guidance
and has no authority empowering it to issue  or  enforce  any  sanctions  by
itself.”

After the aforesaid judgment was delivered, a  writ  petition  No.  895/2013
was filed which was taken up on  24.3.2014  wherein  the  Court  passed  the
following order:
      “Rule nisi.

        Having regard to the important issue involved in the Writ  Petition,
we think that it will be appropriate if the matter is heard by  a  Bench  of
three Judges.

              The matter may be listed accordingly within  six  months  from
today.”

In SLP(C) No. 7277/2014, on 17.4.2014, the following order came to be
passed:
       “In the counter affidavit filed on behalf of respondent  No.1,  i.e.,
All India Council  for  Technical  Education  (AICTE),  it  is  stated  that
Approval Process Handbook (2013-14) is presently in force and the  same  has
been extended and made applicable for the Academic Year 2014-15 as well.

      AICTE shall now  proceed  in  accordance  with  the  Approval  Process
Handbook for the Academic  Year  2014-15  insofar  as  the  members  of  the
petitioner Association and all colleges and institutions situated  similarly
to the members of the petitioner Association  are  concerned  and  necessary
orders shall be issued by AICTE within ten days.

      Prayer for interim relief is ordered accordingly.”

In  SLP(C)  No.  7277/14,  IA  No.  2-3/2014  were  filed.   In   the   said
applications, on  09.05.2014,  a  four-Judge  bench,  passed  the  following
order:
        “The order dated 17.4.2014 passed by this Court is clarified and  it
is  directed  that  prior  approval  of  All  India  Council  for  Technical
Education (AICTE) is compulsory and mandatory for  conduct  of  a  technical
course  including  the  MBA/Management  course  by  an  existing  affiliated
Technical  College  and  also  new  Technical  College  which  will  require
affiliation by a University for conduct of its Technical  Courses/Programmes
for the academic year 2014-15.

        The  time  given  in  the  order  dated  17.4.2014  is  extended  by
10.6.2014.

      IA Nos. 2 & 3 of 2014 stand disposed of as above.”

Thereafter, a bunch of writ petitions and I.A. No.6 in SLP(C) No.  7277/2014
were filed.  The Court referred to the schedule  in  Parshvanath  Charitable
Trust (supra) and taking note  of  the  stand  of  the  AICTE,  directed  as
follows:
       “In the application, the AICTE has averred that it has received  7280
applications from existing technical institutions in the country,  of  which
6751  applications  have  been  processed  already  and  the  remaining  529
applications are pending consideration as  on  4th  June,  2014.  Since  the
exercise was of this magnitude, all applications could not be  processed  so
as to comprehensively respond to the directions of  this  Court,  reproduced
above. Mr. L. Nageswara Rao, learned Additional  Solicitor  General,  states
that if time is extended by one week, all the remaining  applications  shall
also  be  processed  by  AICTE.  The  prayer  in  the  Writ   Petitions   is
substantially the same since the stand of the AICTE is that although,  after
due consideration, EOA for Academic year 2014-15 is recommended, because  of
the deadline given by this Court, the approval cannot be granted.

       There can be no gainsaying that  every  eligible  student/  candidate
desirous of participating in further education, especially  where  resources
and institutions are available, should be accommodated so long  as  academic
standards are not undermined.

      We are satisfied that if the respondent - AICTE is granted seven  more
days within which to  decide  all  pending  applications,  these  overriding
interests shall be addressed.  It is in these circumstances that  we  modify
previous orders in the following manner:

        The AICTE is granted seven days within which to take a  decision  on
all the  applications  pending  before  it.  It  shall  first  take  up  the
applications  in  which  it  has  already  expressed  willingness  to  grant
approvals, but have not done so in deference of the Orders  of  this  Court.
Thereafter, the concerned Universities/State Authorities/Bodies  which  have
the powers of granting affiliation shall take a  decision  on  that  subject
within one  week.   It  is  for  these  reasons  that  the  first  round  of
counselling/admission for allotment of seats which was to  be  completed  by
30th June, 2014 will now be completed by 15th July, 2014.  The second  round
of counselling shall be completed by 22nd July, 2014 and the last  round  of
counselling shall be completed by 29th July,  2014.   In  this  manner,  the
date of commencement of the Academic Session, as laid  down  by  this  Court
above, shall not be disturbed.

      It is made clear that all the  Colleges  who  have  been  cleared  for
intake of students for the Academic Year  2014-2015,  as  envisaged  in  the
process above, shall be cleared and considered for  admitting  students  for
the  current  Academic  Year.  Learned  Senior  Counsel  appearing  for  the
petitioners in some of the Writ Petitions apprehends  that  the  respondents
may adhere to Annexure P-7. We think that that would not be  appropriate  in
view of the orders contained herein.”

In spite of the aforesaid order, the grievance, as submitted  by  Mr.  Mukul
Rohtagi, learned Attorney General for Union of India appearing on behalf  of
AICTE as well  as  for  the  University  still  subsisted.   In  SLP(C)  No.
21901/2014,  a  two-Judge  Bench,  appreciating  the  core   fact  that  the
concerned institution had  been  granted  approval  way  back  in  2011  and
struggling to commence the first academic session, directed as follows:-

“...We  find  it  appropriate  to  direct  the  respondents  to  allow   the
petitioner to commence the academic session within one week  from  today  by
adhering to the different steps laid down by this  Court.   The  counselling
shall be conducted on the basis of the merit list prepared by the  concerned
competent authority, for which a Notification shall positively be issued  by
tomorrow i.e. 14.08.2014.  The students who have already  been  admitted  to
other institutions, will not have  the  option  to  seek  admission  in  the
petitioner-institution.

      The counselling process, in terms of the  directions  issued  by  this
Court shall  be  completed  by  19.08.2014,  and  the  admissions  shall  be
finalised under all circumstances by 20.08.2014.”

Further substantiating the reason, the Court observed:
        “The reason for us to extend the schedule expressed  by  this  Court
in its earlier orders, is  based  on  the  fact,  that  the  institution  in
question i.e. the petitioner before this Court had assailed  the  action  of
the Anna University before the High Court by filing a writ petition  as  far
back in 2013.  It is only because,  the  judicial  process  extended  up  to
21.07.2014 (when the impugned order was  passed)  that  the  deadlines  have
been crossed.  The last date for finalising admissions has yet not  crossed.
The denial of commencement of the academic  session  would  cause  extensive
financial loss to the petitioner, despite the fulfilment  of  all  essential
norms.  It is in these peculiar circumstances that  the  instant  order  has
been passed.”

As the chronology of events would  further  uncurtain  IA  No.  46/2014  was
filed in Parshvanath Charitable Trust (supra) for extension of time and  the
Court, on 11.08.2014, while dealing with the  Schedule  in  respect  of  the
State of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, directed as follows:
       “Having heard the learned counsel for the  parties  and  taking  into
consideration the fact that State of Telangana has been created recently  on
2.6.2014 and both the States i.e. newly created State of Telangana  and  the
State of Andhra Pradesh may face some difficulty to complete  the  admission
process within the time stipulated.

     We allow the prayer.  Both the States of Telangana and  Andhra  Pradesh
and the competent authorities will complete the  counselling  and  admission
in engineering colleges and other  institutions  by  31st  August,  2014  in
accordance with law.  The extension of time will be applicable to the  State
of Andhra Pradesh and newly created State of Telangana  and  not  the  other
State.”

Be it noted, IA Nos. 50-56/2014 were filed in Parshvanath  Charitable  Trust
(supra) case and the Court adverting to the  earlier  table  and  the  table
submitted by the AICTE, issued the following directions:
“Earlier when the matter was taken up by this court on 19th August, 2014  in
I.A. No. 50,51 & 52, the following order was passed:

        “The petitioners may file an additional affidavit enclosing a  chart
showing the date they intend to (i) get counselling of students, (ii)  admit
the students,(iii) start the course, (iv) number of classes to  be  attended
as per law (iv)the day when the course will be completed as per  the  norms,
(v) the month in which admit card will be issued and  (vi)  the  examination
schedule to commence.

     Post the matter on 25th August, 2014.”

       The aforesaid order was passed  with  a  view  to  know  whether  the
students will suffer if the period of counselling an admission  is  extended
and whether the petitioners will be in a position to complete  the  sessions
within time schedule.

       The additional affidavit has been filed on behalf  of  the  Applicant
I.A. NO.  50/2014  showing  therein  details  of  the  existing  v  Academic
Calendar Year 2014-2015 which reads as follows :


|State of academic     |1st of August (University |No. of Days considering |
|session as per Supreme|started their classes on  |5 days a week –         |
|Court                 |19th August, 2014         |Holidays*               |
|Actual date of start  |20th of August            |71-06 = 65 teaching days|
|of classes            |                          |                        |
|Last of teaching      |29th of November          |                        |
|Issue of Admit Card   |1st of Dec (Admit Card are|                        |
|                      |issued on line)           |                        |
|Preparation Leave for |1st Dec – 14th Dec        |14 Days                 |
|Exam                  |                          |                        |
|Start of Semester     |15th of December, 2014    |                        |
|examination           |                          |                        |
|End of Semester       |10th of Jan., 2015        |                        |
|examination           |                          |                        |
|Start of second       |15th of January, 2015     |                        |
|semester              |                          |                        |

       The Applicants have now proposed the academic calendar for  admission
in their  Colleges/Institutions,  without  loss  of  teaching  days,  making
Saturdays as teaching days :

|Start of academic   |1st of September          |No. of Days considering 6 |
|session             |                          |days a week – Holidays*   |
|Last day of teaching|29th of November          |78-6 = 72 teaching days   |
|Issue of Admit Card |1st of Dec. (Admit card   |                          |
|                    |are issued on line)       |                          |
|Preparation, Leave  |1st Dec – 14th Dec        |14 Days                   |
|for Exam            |                          |                          |
|Start of Semester   |15th of December, 2014    |                          |
|examination         |                          |                          |
|End of Semester     |10th of Jan., 2015        |                          |
|examination         |                          |                          |
|Start of second     |15th of January, 2015     |                          |
|semester            |                          |                          |

      The learned counsel appearing on behalf of other applicants and  AICTE
submits that there is no objection if the Academic Calendar Year proposed  b
the applicant – International Institute of Technology  &  Business,  Sonepat
and others in I.A. No. 50/2014 is allowed. It may be allowed to  be  applied
to other institutions who have filed similar applications.

            Having heard the learned counsel for the parties, we  direct  to
implead the applicants as party to C.A. No. 9048/2012,  extend  the  cut-off
for counselling and admission as fixed  by  the  final  judgment  and  order
dated 13th December, 2012 passed in C.A. NO.9048/2012 by one week  i.e.  5th
September, 2014 with clear understanding that they will admit  the  students
and complete the Session as per the time schedule shown and recorded  above.


      This  extension  of  time  for  Counselling  and  Admission  shall  be
applicable to the Colleges/Institutions who have filed the applications  for
impleading as the parties  to  the  present  appeal  and  the  Colleges  and
Institutions for whom permission has been sought by AICTE.”


We have referred to the orders passed by this Court in a  sequential  manner
only to highlight that for the academic year 2014-15 there  was  some  cavil
with regard to the jurisdiction of AICTE till the four-Judge Bench by  order
dated  9.5.2014  clarified  prior  approval  of  AICTE  is  compulsory   and
mandatory for conduct of technical course  including  MBA/Management  course
by  exiting  affiliated  technical  college  and  also  including  technical
college which would require affiliation by a university for conduct  of  its
technical process/programmes  for  the  academic  year  2014-15.   The  time
schedule originally postulated in the Parshvanath case was  extended  regard
being had to the special features of each case.
 In the case at hand it is submitted by Mr. Rohatgi that the university  had
issued a notification on 28.8.2014 to provide a fresh round  of  counselling
(supplementary counselling) after 15.8.2014  which  was  the  cut-off  date.
The said notification issued by the university challenged  before  the  High
Court of Delhi.   The  learned  Single  Judge  issued  notice  in  the  Writ
Petition but did not pass an  interim  order.   In  Intra-Court  Appeal  the
Division Bench by an order dated 3.9.2014 gave liberty to the university  to
go ahead with the supplementary counselling for non-AICTE courses/  non-NCTE
courses and granted liberty to  move  this  court  for  extension  of  time.
Assailing the aforesaid order Special Leave Petition (C) No. 24442  of  2014
was filed and this court on 8.9.2014 passed the following order:-
      “Issue notice.

Ms. Asha Jain Madan, Advocate for the respondent,  on  caveat,  has  entered
appearance and accepts notice.
We have been apprised, in the course of hearing of  this  petition  for  the
purposes of admission, that the University has issued a  notification  dated
28.08.2014, which is prior to the order passed by the High Court.  The  said
notification, as submitted by Mr. Sibal, is likely to  affect  the  schedule
fixed by this Court for AICTE and other statutory  authorities  like,  NCTE,
etc. It is also urged at the  Bar  by  virtue  of  this  notification  being
worked out, the students who have been admitted to a particular course,  may
be dislodged or try their option for  other  courses  as  a  consequence  of
which the educational institutions would likely to face a  hazard.  Be  that
as it may, Mr. Maninder Singh, learned ASG  shall  explain  the  impact  and
effect of the notification issued on 28.08.2014.
As an ad interim measure, it is directed there shall be  stay  of  operation
of the order dated 3.09.2014 passed by the High Court of Delhi at New  Delhi
in LPA No. 576/2014 and the Notification referred to hereinabove.

List on 12.09.2014.”
When the matter was listed thereafter, a statement was made by  the  counsel
appearing for the university that the  notification  dated  28.8.2014  which
was the  subject  matter  of  the  writ  petition  in  the  High  Court  was
withdrawn.  Taking note of the said submission, the following order came  to
be passed.
       “Heard  Mr.  Maninder  Singh  learned  Additional  Solicitor  General
appearing for the University. It is  submitted  by  the  learned  Additional
Solicitor General that the University has taken a decision to  withdraw  the
Notification dated 28th August, 2014.
       In view of the aforesaid, the impugned order passed by  the  Division
Bench of the High Court is set aside and the Writ  Petition  ©  No.5696/2014
pending in the High Court of Delhi, is deemed to have been disposed of.”


Thereafter  the  present  batch  of   writ   petitions   have   been   filed
fundamentally for extension of time  schedule  which  would  logically  give
rise to conducting of another round of counselling.  It is contended in  the
writ petition that more than six thousand seats are  vacant  and  there  are
thousand of students who are qualified in CET and there is no  justification
not to fill up the said seats.  It is asseverated that due to  no  fault  of
the educational institutions which are self-financed are  likely  to  suffer
enormous financial loss and the students who have cleared the entrance  test
and are meritorious would lose one year.  Be  it  stated,  the  notification
issued by the university covered the following courses:-
“(a) B.Tech/M. Tech. (Dual Degree)/B.Tech. CET Code 31;
(b) BBA,CET Code 125
(c) BCA CET Code 114
(d) B. Com., CET Code 146
(e) B.Ed. CET Code 122
(f) BJMC, CET Code 126
(g) BA, LLB/BBA, LL.B. CET Code 121
(h) MBA, CET Code 191
(i) MCA, CET Code 105
(j) LE to B.Tech. CET Code 128 and 129”

It is not disputed that courses covered under (a), (h),  (i)  and   (j)  are
covered by AICTE Regulations.  B.Ed. CET Code 122 is covered under the  NCTE
Act and Regulations framed thereunder.  Courses  covered  under,  (b),  (c),
(d), (f) and (g) are  directly  governed  by  the  university  statutes  and
regulations.  In the present case we are not dealing  with  the  controversy
pertaining to the cases under the NCTE Act, 1993.
First, we shall dwell upon the courses that are regulated by  the  1987  Act
and the 1994 Regulations.  It is submitted by the learned  counsel  for  the
petitioners, namely, the institutions and the students, that AICTE  did  not
adhere to the schedule as far  as  the  counselling  is  concerned  and  the
University played possum with the schedule and further created  a  chaos  by
allowing  the  students  who  had  already  taken  admissions   in   certain
institutions to  participate  in  the  supplementary  counselling  which  is
impermissible on the face of the prospectus issued by the  university.   Mr.
Rohtagi, learned  Attorney  General  would  submit  that  AICTE,  after  the
pronouncement  of  the  judgment  in  Association  Management   of   Private
Colleges’ case was uncertain  of  its  jurisdiction/authority  till  it  was
conferred the power although by an  interim  order  on  9.5.2014  in  Orissa
Technical Colleges Association’s case, and that  uncertainty  caused  delay.
We have been apprised that the matter is pending before a three-Judge  Bench
and the AICTE has proceeded solely on the basis of the  interim  order.   As
far as the issuance of the notification in respect  of  ten  courses  having
access to all candidates  including  the  students  who  had  already  taken
admission, learned Attorney  General  submitted,  that  such  inclusion  was
contrary to the prospectus and also erroneous on many a score.
Let it be clearly stated that we appreciate that for the academic year 2014-
15, there were certain unforeseen circumstances.   First,  a  question  mark
was put on the authority of AICTE, (ii) second,  there  was  bifurcation  of
States of Andhra Pradesh to two states, namely State of Andhra  Pradesh  and
State of Telengana, and (iii) third, number of  seats  had  remained  vacant
despite  students having qualified and desirous of taking of the courses.
In our considered opinion, these are significant special features that  have
occurred in the academic year 2014-15.  There are two ways to  look  at  the
fact situation.   It can be perceived with a myopic attitude or  it  can  be
appreciated, regard being had to multitudinous consequences.  We  have  been
apprised by the learned Attorney General that if time  is  granted  for  on-
line counselling it can commence w.e.f. 20th of October, 2014 and  would  be
over within two days and thereafter classes can start.  He has reproduced  a
letter dated 11th of October, 2014 issued by  the  Vice-Chancellor  how  the
University would carry out the supplementary counselling.  We think  it  apt
to reproduce the same:-
“University would be agreeable to carry out a supplementary counselling  for
admissions for remaining  vacant  seats  from  the  eligible  CET  qualified
candidates.
The University has further decided that only vacant seats will be filled  up
from eligible CET qualified students as  per  their  merits,  who  have  not
taken admissions as yet.
The university also agrees that no further dislocation will be  carried  out
for any  students  who  are  already  admitted  in  the  programmes  at  any
college/institute.”

Weighing the issue on the scales of larger public interest in the  obtaining
factual matrix we are inclined to state  that  the  relief  sought  and  the
plausible solution offered by the University can be accepted as  that  would
subserve the cause of justice.     In  these  courses,  the  university,  as
submitted before us, can keep the pace. The students  who  would  be  taking
admissions subject to our order, be put  in  one  section  in  the  allotted
colleges so that they can attend classes for  an  extra  hour.   That  apart
their holidays shall be curtailed as per the directions of  the  University.
An undertaking to the said effect can be taken  from  the  students.   Every
student shall have the requisite 75% attendance of the  original  number  of
classes.  In case, there will be any shortage  of  attendance  it  shall  be
sternly dealt with.
Be it noted, such an agonizing situation inviting national waste could  have
been avoided had AICTE and the University  would  have  been  more  careful,
cautious and circumspect.  However, to do complete justice, we  have  issued
the aforesaid directions.  This is in the larger public interest.   At  this
juncture we may fruitfully recapitulate an ancient  saying:-
“Yadapi Sidhham, Loka Virudhham
Na Adaraniyam, Na Karaniyam”
As the present  fact  situation  depicts  the  larger  public  interest  and
ultimately subserve the cause of justice we  extend  the  time  for  on-line
counselling till 20th of October, 2014.
At this juncture, we have been apprised by Mr. P.P.  Rao  and  Mr.  Sundram,
learned senior counsel  appearing  for  the  petitioners  that  the  problem
occurs every year, for despite days  for  counselling  are  fixed,  adequate
number of students are not called for counselling, as  a  result  of  which,
many students who have  cleared  the  CET  do  not  get  an  opportunity  to
undertake the counselling and eventually the admission does not take  place.
  We are absolutely conscious  that  it  is  in  the  sphere  of  university
administration.   But  when  the  problem  is  recurrent  we   command   the
University to hold counselling in such a manner within the  stipulated  time
in the schedule so that all the seats are filled up if  there  are  eligible
candidates for such counselling.   The  University  cannot  behave  like  an
alien to the national interest.  Another aspect which requires to  be  noted
is that a blame game has been going on by the  educational  institutions  on
the one hand and the AICTE and the University on the other, and  on  certain
occasions between the AICTE and the University.  All  of  them  function  in
the field of education.  Such kind of cavil  and  narrowness  is  likely  to
create a concavity in the educational culture of  the  country.   Therefore,
all concerned  must  remember  that  education  charters  the  way  where  a
civilized man slaughters his prejudices.  Any  education  properly  imparted
is  a  constant  allurement  to  learn.   It  is  inconceivable   that   the
authorities who are in charge of controlling  the  sphere  of  education  to
behave like  errant  knights  justifying  their  own  fanciful  deeds.   Law
expects a rational perception, logical approach  and  a  studied  and  well-
deliberated decision from all the  authorities.       It  is  imperative  to
state, a concerted effort has to be made by the AICTE and the University  to
avoid  recurrence  of  this  kind  of  piquant  and  agonising   situations.
Perceived from any perspective, it does not augur a healthy situation.   Had
the AICTE functioned within the time frame in respect  of  the  process  the
matter would not have given rise to such a situation.   Similarly,  had  the
University conducted the counselling with utmost responsibility  keeping  in
view the number of seats that were available in  the  approved  institutions
and the number of students that have qualified in the Common Entrance  Test,
possibly the gravity of the problem would have been less.
In a State  of  good  governance,  a  problem  is  taken  note  of  so  that
appropriate and timely steps  are  taken  to  avoid  any  recurrence.    The
authorities  who  are  incharge  of  giving  approval,  preparing  syllabus,
imparting education and carrying on such other activities, are  required  to
behave with responsibility.  Lack of  concern  is  only  indicative  of  the
beginning of destruction.   That cannot be allowed to occur.  Therefore,  we
caution the AICTE and the University to see to it that things  are  done  on
time following the fixed time schedule.   We  ingeminate,  at  the  cost  of
repetition, that we have extended the time because  of  the  situation  that
has prevailed this year but if due efforts are taken, we  are  certain  that
same would not  be  required.   We  hasten  to  clarify  the  time  schedule
originally fixed in  Parshvanath Charitable Trust case has to be treated  as
the schedule for all coming years.  Any modification that has been done,  as
is manifest from the various orders which we have  reproduced  hereinbefore,
including the present judgment, have been passed for  the  academic  session
2014-15 in the special features of each case.  Be it  stated,  avoidance  of
unpleasant litigation is a progressive step in a civilised society  governed
by rule of law.
To sum up:
(a)  Time is extended for carrying out the on-line counselling till 21st  of
October, 2014.
(b)   The students who have already taken admission in  colleges  shall  not
be permitted to  participate  in  the  supplementary  counselling,  and  the
students  who  are  attending  classes  in  any  institution   without   the
counseling shall be deemed not to have  been  admitted  and  therefore  they
will be eligible to participate in the on line counseling.
(c)  The students those are selected  for  admission  and  allotted  to  the
respective colleges on merits shall take admission forthwith.
(d)  The students after being allotted to a particular college shall be  put
in a separate Section as they shall  be  required  to  attend  extra-working
classes.  The educational institutions have to  seriously  impart  education
with the help and aid of  teachers,  if  necessary,  by  providing  adequate
means and facilitation for the teachers.
The University shall constitute a team to see whether classes  are  held  or
not.
Unless a student gets the requisite attendance of 75% on the  basis  of  the
computation held, regard being had to the entire  teaching  days,  he  shall
not be permitted to appear in the examination.
The time schedule originally fixed in Parshavnath Charitable  Trust  (supra)
shall remain in force and be religiously followed in the subsequent years.
Ex consequenti, the writ petitions are disposed of on  above  terms.   There
shall be no order as to costs.

                                               …..........................J.
                                                               (DIPAK MISRA)

                                              .....…......................J.
                                                          (UDAY UMESH LALIT)
NEW DELHI
OCTOBER 16, 2014





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[1]   (2013) 3 SCC 385
[2]   (2013) 8 SCC 271
[3]   (2001) 8 SCC 676
[4]   (2002) 8 SCC 481

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