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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Granting of Approval = It is not in dispute that the petitioner society has been imparting education to students through its colleges for the last 15 years. If approval is not granted, the students, who have already been admitted by an interim order of the High Court for the academic year 2014-15, would be put to great inconvenience and difficulties for no fault on their part. In the circumstances, as an exceptional case, without going into the merits of this case, we exercise our power under Article 142 of the Constitution of India and direct respondent no.1 to grant a letter of approval to the concerned colleges managed by the petitioner for the academic year 2014-15. For the subsequent academic year, we are sure that the petitioner shall do the needful to comply with the requirements of the aforestated Regulation and other Regulations.

                                                              NON-REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                         CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                    WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.1034 OF 2014


Mahatma Education Society's


Pillai's Institute of Information Technology,


Engineering, Media Studies & Research          ...Petitioner


                 Versus

All India Council for Technical Education
& Ors.                                              ...Respondents



                              1 J U D G M E N T



ANIL R. DAVE, J.


      Rule.

2.    Looking at the urgency in the matter, at the request  of  the  learned
counsel appearing for the parties, the petition has been finally heard.

3.    The short question involved in this petition is with regard  to  grant
of approval to educational institutions run by the petitioner society.   The
petitioner is a Trust registered under the provisions of the  Bombay  Public
Trust  Act,  1950  and  is  having  four  educational  institutions,  mainly
imparting studies in the field of engineering to the students.

4.    The issue involved is with regard to approval to the institutions  for
the academic year 2014-15.  At the time of usual inspection,  it  was  found
that the petitioner was not having land as per the  provisions  of  the  All
India Council for Technical Education (Grant of Approvals for the  Technical
Institutions)  Regulations,  2012   (hereinafter   referred   to   as   "the
Regulations").   According  to  Regulation  6  of   the   Regulations,   the
petitioner was supposed to have certain  land  with  lawful  possession  and
clear title in the name of the petitioner society.  The relevant portion  of
the Regulation reads as under:-

"6.   Requirement of land
The promoter society/trust/company  established  under  Section  25  of  the
Companies Act, 1956 of a new Technical Education Institution shall have  the
land as required and prescribed in its lawful possession  with  clear  title
in the name of promoter society/trust/company established under  Section  25
of  the  Company  Act,  1956  on  or  before  the  date  of  submission   of
application.

Provided that it  shall  be  open  for  the  promoter  society/trust/company
established  under  Section  25  of  the  Companies   Act,   1956   proposed
Institution to mortgage the  land  only  after  the  receipt  of  letter  of
approval, only for raising the resources for the purpose of  development  of
the Technical Education Institute situated on that land."



5.    As it was found that the petitioner was not having  land  as  per  the
requirements of the Regulation, the approval  granted  to  the  institutions
managed by the petitioner for the last 15 years  had  been  denied  for  the
academic year 2014-15.

6.    It is not in dispute that approximately 550 students  are  prosecuting
studies in the Engineering College at present and  because  of  non-approval
to the institutions run by the petitioner, academic career of  the  students
would be ruined.

7.    As the approval had not been granted, the petitioner  had  filed  Writ
Petition No.6021 of 2014 in the High Court of Judicature at  Bombay  and  by
an interim order, the High  Court  was  pleased  to  grant  limited  interim
relief, whereby the petitioner was permitted to give admission to students.

8.    Ultimately, by an order  dated  27th  August,  2014,  the  High  Court
disposed of the petition with an observation that it was open to  respondent
no.1 Council to take appropriate action in the matter  of  approval  to  the
institutions  run  by  the  petitioner.   The  Council  had  expressed   its
inability to grant approval to the institutions run by  the  petitioner  for
the academic year 2014-15 as the aforestated  provision  of  the  Regulation
had not been complied with.

9.    We have heard the learned counsel for  the  parties.   It  is  not  in
dispute  that  the  petitioner  society  has  been  imparting  education  to
students through its colleges for the last 15 years.   If  approval  is  not
granted, the students, who have already been admitted by  an  interim  order
of the High Court for the academic year  2014-15,  would  be  put  to  great
inconvenience  and  difficulties  for  no  fault  on  their  part.   In  the
circumstances, as an exceptional case, without  going  into  the  merits  of
this case, we exercise our power under Article 142 of  the  Constitution  of
India and direct respondent no.1 to  grant  a  letter  of  approval  to  the
concerned colleges managed by the petitioner for the academic year  2014-15.
 For the subsequent academic year, we are sure that the petitioner shall  do
the needful to comply with the requirements of  the  aforestated  Regulation
and other Regulations.
10.    As and when an application for approval for academic  year  2015-2016
is sought for by the petitioner, the respondent authorities  shall  consider
the application and shall decide in accordance with law.


11.   For the aforestated reason, as an exceptional case,  the  petition  is
allowed.  The impugned letter dated 29th October, 2014  is  quashed  with  a
liberty to the respondent authorities to take appropriate action in  respect
of academic year  2015-16 in accordance with law.   Rule  is  made  absolute
and a direction is given to respondent no.1 to grant approval in respect  of
Pillai's Institute of Information  Technology,  Engineering,  Media  Studies
and Research, New Panvel,  Navi  Mumbai,  for  the  academic  year  2014-15.
There shall, however, be no order as to costs.

                                           ...............................J.
                                                              (ANIL R. DAVE)



                                           ...............................J.
                                                             (KURIAN JOSEPH)
New Delhi
February 16, 2015.

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