No provisional Admission, in absence of affiliation, recognition: HC

 

                  “Orders permitting provisional admission of students imposing conditions such as making it clear to the students that against the refusal to grant extension of approval, the writ petition was pending and any admission made would be subject to the outcome of the petition and students shall not be entitled to claim any equity on the basis of the interim order, in my view, create a lot of uncertainty. It puts the career of students, who take provisional admission, at risk. The mere fact, that students are willing to take such a risk, does not justify putting them at such a crossroad unless the peculiar facts of the case warrant such an interim order.”

…. Delhi High Court

delhi high court1The Delhi High Court rejecting a prayer for Interim Stay on the NO ADMISSION Order by AICTE to a Delhi based Institution and also for allowing Provisional Admission subject to disposal of Writ Petition, has held that allowing Provisional Admission in absence of affiliation, recognition has cascading effect and may also lead to further litigation and harassment of students.

The High Court was hearing a Petition filed by Guru Teg Bahadur Institute of Technology and Guru Teg Bahadur Polytechnic Institute challenging letter by AICTE whereby these Institutes have been placed under NO ADMISSION category status for the academic year 2016-17 and the intake of students has been set to “zero”. The Petitioners were seeking ad-interim stay of the operation of the letter and a direction to AICTE to grant extension of approval for the academic session 2016-17 during pendency of the present petition. It was contended that because of the categorization as NO ADMISSION, grave prejudice and loss is being caused to the Petitioners. It was further contended that the Expert Visiting Committee had reported nil deficiency for the Petitioner Institute and despite that, the AICTE has placed the Petitioner Institute in NO ADMISSION category.

The petitioners eventually sought that admissions may be permitted to be made provisionally and subject to the outcome of the present petition and the concerned students would be put to notice, prior to admission, that the subject petition is pending and that the admission is subject to the outcome of the said petition. He further submits that the petitioners are willing to undertake that if the petitioners do not succeed in the present petition, they would have the students accommodated/adjusted in other colleges.

AICTE however, relied upon the Schedule laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in case of Parshavanath Charitable Trust, wherein it has laid down the time schedule for inspection, grant of approvals and admissions and specifically declared it to be the law and to be strictly adhered to by all concerned. It was submitted by AICTE that even if the petitioners remove all the deficiencies today, to the satisfaction of AICTE, AICTE can only grant an approval for the following academic session.

aicte_2AICTE also opposed the grant of provisional admission and argued that in case the Petitioner Institute was even provisionally permitted to take students, the entire exercise conducted by the UGC spanning over two months would be set to naught. The inclusion of seats of the Petitioner Institute in counseling, at this stage, would have a rippling effect where the candidates who have already taken admission may seek to take admission in the Petitioner Institute resulting in vacation of the seats that have already been allotted and further, the candidates in some other Institutes may then want to shift to the seats which fall vacant on account of shifting of the candidates to the Petitioner Institute. This, it is contended, would result in upsetting the entire process of counseling. The fresh process of counseling would take a considerable time to be completed.

The Court felt that granting an ad-interim stay of the impugned letters of AICTE would amount to stay of the direction of AICTE placing the petitioners 1 and 3 in NO ADMISSION category, which would imply that the petitioners would be permitted to admit students without there being any approval of AICTE or affiliation with the University or Technical Board, as the case may be.

The Court also observed that in case, the Petitioner Institute is provisionally permitted to admit students, the entire exercise of allocation of seats/counseling undertaken over a period of two months in various institutes would be set to naught. It would have a cascading effect of unsettling the entire allocation of seats and would disrupt the academic schedule. Further, in case the petitioner does not to succeed in the Writ Petition, the students admitted by interim orders, would have to be adjusted in different institutes in and around Delhi which may not be possible on account of unavailability of seats at that point of time and may also lead to litigation and harassment to students.

The Court also made following important observation on the concept of provisional admission:

“Orders permitting provisional admission of students imposing conditions such as making it clear to the students that against the refusal to grant extension of approval, the writ petition was pending and any admission made would be subject to the outcome of the petition and students shall not be entitled to claim any equity on the basis of the interim order, in my view, create a lot of uncertainty. It puts the career of students, who take provisional admission, at risk. The mere fact, that students are willing to take such a risk, does not justify putting them at such a crossroad unless the peculiar facts of the case warrant such an interim order.”

The Court eventually rejecting the prayer for Interim Relief and dismissed the Petition.

EduLegaL View:

No doubt the observations of the Court are appropriate, but there are many cases, where the authorities acting in adhoc and arbitrary manner deny the right to an Institution to admit students. We all know about such cases, and they are plenty in number.

The Institute then goes to Court, hires lawyer, attends hearing in anticipation of justice. As an Institute is made to suffer even in genuine cases, shouldn’t the concerned office or authority be also held accountable for acting in adhoc and careless manner.

There has to be balancing of roles. It is important to protect the rights of a students but is it also not right that only the Institution cannot keep suffering.

Ravi Bhardwaj

Read other related Judgements:

Granting Admission without affiliation has become disease leading to disaster: Supreme Court

 

 

Granting Admission without affiliation has become disease leading to disaster: Supreme Court

…………………. The stand of the University is that the appellant College has admitted students without having the necessary affiliation for the academic session 2015-16. This kind of conduct has become a disease, and when the conduct becomes a disaster, it is a disastrous phenomenon. ………..

SC1

Supreme Court has equated the practice of granting admission in absence of affiliation or in anticipation of affiliation, as a disease and has also cautioned that such disease has potential to become a disaster.

The Court was hearing an Appeal filed by a College against concurring Judgement of Allahabad High Court, refusing to consider the case of College for extension of earlier approval or admitting students, as the College, within the timelines prescribed by the Supreme Court, could not secure affiliation.

The College was earlier granted provisional affiliation for a period of 3 years, later it applied for constituting an Inspection Panel for granting permanent affiliation to the University. An Inspection Panel was constituted to submit status report and report was also submitted. However, as per time schedule prescribed by the State Government, the Inspection Report was not received within the prescribed date. In the absence of the required Inspection Report, the University did not grant permanent affiliation to the appellant. No appeal was preferred before the State Government.

The College being aggrieved preferred a Writ Petition before Allahabad High Court, which declined to interfere. Being dissatisfied with the order passed by the learned Single Judge, the College preferred Special Appeal before the Division Bench.

It was urged before the Division Bench that application for grant of permanent affiliation in respect of subjects was made well within time and the Committee had recommended extension of temporary affiliation but there had been failure on the part of the University, which had caused grave prejudice to the college.

Allahabad-High-CourtThe Division Bench noted that the State Government has formulated a time-frame for consideration of applications for affiliation and a person aggrieved by the decision taken by the University was entitled to prefer an appeal against the same to State Government. In the facts of the case the affiliation was neither granted by the time fixed nor was any appeal preferred before the State Government Being of this view, it dismissed the intra-court appeal. Hence, the College approached the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court refused to consider the prayer of the Appellant College stating that in light of time schedule, benefit cannot be extended, as the College has not maintained the time schedule fixed by the State Government pursuant to judgments of Supreme Court.

However, Supreme Court was faced with another difficulty to deal with the career of the students, who were already admitted in the College, in absence of affiliation. The Supreme came down heavily on such practice and observed that, “This kind of conduct has become a disease, and when the conduct becomes a disaster, it is a disastrous phenomenon.”

 While dismissing the Appeal, the Supreme Court observed that, “the University shall consider the application for affiliation, if not considered already, within a span of four weeks and, if the affiliation is granted, the students who had been granted admission shall be treated as students as admitted for the academic session which would be covered by the affiliation to be granted in future. We have so directed so that the appellant College would not be in a position to admit any other student after affiliation is granted.”

 EduLegaL View:

Fixing timelines for affiliation and admission process was certainly a welcome change at the instance of Supreme Court. But in some cases, the authorities acting in adhoc and arbitrary manner deny the right to an Institution, with an argument that, “If you think I am wrong, go to Court”. The Institute then goes to Court, hires lawyer, attends hearing in anticipation of justice.

As an Institute is made to suffer even in genuine cases, shouldn’t the concerned office or authority be also held accountable for acting in adhoc and careless manner. There has to be balancing of roles. Only the Institution cannot keep suffering.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

 

SC: Courts should not upset Inspection Report of Expert Committee, unless malafide and perverse, imposes fine of Rs.5 Cr on a Medical College, directs MCI to prepare Standard Procedure of Inspection

 

scindia……………… Medical education must be taken very seriously and when an expert body certifies that the facilities in a medical college are inadequate, the Courts are not equipped to take a different view in the matter except for very cogent jurisdictional reasons such as mala fides of the Inspection Team, ex facie perversity in the inspection report, jurisdictional error on the part of the MCI etc.

 …….. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court while making these observations came down heavily on a medical college based in State of Odisha, Kalinga Institute of Medical Science [KIMS] and imposed a fine of Rs. 5 Crore for playing with career of several students and flouting the standards prescribed under the Regulations.

The Supreme Court was hearing a challenge by Medical Council of India against Judgement of High Court of Odisha granting interim relief to KIMS to admit and further setting aside the Report submitted by an Expert Committee, which inspected the campus and found several deficiencies and recommended that the permission should not be renewed for enhanced seats.

KIMS was initially granted permission to admit students for medical courses. It was desirous to enhance the admission intake and hence approached MCI for permission. As per the procedure, inspection was conducted by MCI Expert team, which found serious deficiencies. On consideration of the Report, MCI recommended to Central Government to deny permission to KIMS to add 50 additional seats.

Accordingly, direction was issued to KIMS not to admit any students in the second batch of MBBS course against the increased intake from 100 to 150 seats. Being aggrieved, KIMS challenged the direction before the High Court. The High Court set aside the direction and directed Central Government to reconsider the case after giving personal hearing. MCI granted personal hearing to KIMS and retained its recommendation. The High Court however, later directed Central Government to grant provisional permission to KIMS to conduct the course for the additional 50 students. Accordingly, Central Government granted provisional permission to KIMS to conduct the MBBS course against the increased intake.

Being aggrieved, MCI filed SLP in Supreme Court. MCI was granted the leave and order of the High Court was stayed. The Court also maintained status quo in the matter and requested High Court hear the pending writ petition expeditiously. High Court later directed MCI to constitute a fresh Inspection Team to inspect KIMS and verify the compliances submitted by KIMS. In fresh inspection conducted pursuant to the HC order, large numbers of deficiencies were again found at KIMS. The Expert Report was examined in detail and minutely by the High Court and the same was set aside by the High Court. The Court later allowed the College to continue with admissions.

The Supreme Court finally heard the matter. On consideration of events leading to SLP, the Court observed that, “Medical education must be taken very seriously and when an expert body certifies that the facilities in a medical college are inadequate, the Courts are not equipped to take a different view in the matter except for very cogent jurisdictional reasons such as mala fides of the Inspection Team, ex facie perversity in the inspection report, jurisdictional error on the part of the MCI etc. Under no circumstance should the High Court examine the report as an appellate body – this is simply not the function of the High Court. In the present case there was no ground made out at law for setting aside the report of the Inspection Team.” The Supreme Court did not approve the approach of High Court, which proceeded to minutely examine the Report of the Expert Committee, functioning as an Appellate Body.

The Supreme Court was also of the opinion that High Court ought to have been more circumspect in directing the admission of students by its order dated 25th September, 2015 and there was no need for the High Court to rush into an area that the MCI feared to tread. It remarked that, “Granting admission to in an educational institution when there is a serious doubt whether admission should at all be granted is not a matter to be taken lightly. First of all the career of a student is involved – what would a student do if his admission is found to be illegal or is quashed? Is it not a huge waste of time for him or her? Is it enough to say that the student will not claim any equity in his or her favour? Is it enough for student to be told that his or her admission is subject to the outcome of a pending litigation? These are all questions that arise and for which there is no easy answer. Generally speaking, it is better to err on the side of caution and deny admission to a student rather than have the sword of Damocles hanging over him or her. There would at least be some certainty.”

 On the issue of future of students, who have already been admitted, the Supreme Court though protected the admission of the students, who have already been admitted under the Interim Order but blamed KIMS squarely for the same and hence imposed an exemplary fine of Rs. 5 Crore on KIMS for jeopardizing the career of students and for playing with the future of its students and the mess that it has created for them. The Court felt that admitting students despite rejection and seeking judicial intervention to admit students was certainly not with a charitable motive. The Court also remarked that an institution should have some responsibility towards the welfare of the students and felt that it would have been far more appropriate for KIMS to have refrained from giving admission to 50 additional students rather than being instrumental in jeopardizing their career.

mciThe Court additionally asked MCI to prepare in consultation with the Central Government prepare a Standard Operating Procedure for conducting an inspection of Medical Colleges. It also directed that to introduce transparency and accountability in the medical colleges, the report or assessment of the Inspection Team should be put up on the website of the concerned medical college as also on the website of the MCI so that potential students are aware of what is likely to be in store for them. Similarly, the decision of the Central Government on the report should be put up on the website of the concerned medical college as also on the website of the MCI.

EduLegaL View

The last fortnight at Supreme Court has all been about Medical Education. Right from Constitution of an Oversight Committee to monitor the functioning of MCI, to conducting the entrance test and now direction to prepare SoP for conducting Inspection, all have been discussed and settled.

The Central Government and MCI should rise up to the occasion and set it right to reinstate confidence in their governance of medical education in the Country.

However, I am on a different point, it is right that Courts should not generally interfere with the Reports of the Expert Committee, but there are several instances, where the Regulator itself and the Nodal Ministry interferes with the Report Expert Committee and upsets them acting on their own discretion. What about such situations … How is the interest of Institutions then safeguarded … I wish Court should have dealt with this aspect also.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

Read the Judgement

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Institutions must give fair opportunity to a student under inquiry, in compliance with natural justice, bias is not permissible: HC

 

………………. All universities are cradles of the nation’s future. They are, therefore, required to conduct all acts in a highly bona fide and exemplary manner. This responsibility increases exponentially when the university is a premier National Law School imparting legal education to the nation’s future lawyers. How is a student of law expected to be a patron of justice when his university is the epitome of injustice?

…….. Gujarat High Court

Gujarat-High-Court2

The writ Petitioner was studying in third year of a five year integrated LL.B. program and had challenged order passed by Gujarat National Law University [GNLU], which adjudicated alleged malpractice in examination by the Petitioner and held that exam of Quantitative Techniques given by the Petitioner, held on 2nd Nov. 2015 stands cancelled.

At around 4.25 pm, on 02.11.2015 when the exam for Quantitative Techniques was going on barely 5 minutes before the completion of the examination, one of the officials of GNLU suddenly bolted from across the examination hall and snatched the answer sheet of the Petitioner, alleging that the Petitioner was “…hiding something …”. Thereafter they sought to physically frisk the Petitioner and persisted in the said demand. However, the Petitioner objected to being physically frisked by the Respondent No.5 – who was a member of the opposite gender in the interest of modesty.

The Petitioner while being taken to the Director took his bag placed outside the examination hall and took his phone out of the bag to contact his father. It is alleged that he was threatened in unparliamentarily language of dire consequences if he attempted to contact anyone. It is also alleged that later the charge of malpractice was also changed to abuse of phone instead of “hiding something”. The phone was seized, case was inquired into and punishment was awarded to cancel his examination in the paper.

The Petitioner being aggrieved by the process approached the Director and raised serious question on the legality of the inquiry process. He also alleged that the entire process was biased and there was no compliance with natural justice. There was no response from the University. The student then approached the High Court.

A pointed contention taken on behalf of the Petitioner was that there is evident bias in the minds of the Respondents against the Petitioner. Therefore, the Petitioner could never have expected fair treatment at the hands of the Respondents. It was also argued that the Respondents conducted a fanciful inquiry with a predetermined state of mind.

This court considered the arguments tendered by the Petitioner and the Respondents and came to conclusion that the private Respondents went to great lengths to ensure that that Petitioner is cornered and victimised, and that the Petitioner did not receive the just treatment prescribed under the Rules. The Court also came to conclusion that Petitioner was not given fair opportunity to contest the evidence against him and also cross-examine the Complainant or for that to verify the Report against him. The Petitioner was never given an opportunity of being heard, nor was he permitted to inspect any material or evidence that was proposed to be used against him.

Considering the ramifications of the highly punitive action taken by the University which would have long-term negative implications on the career of the Petitioner-student and wastage of one academic year for the Petitioner, the Court quashed and set aside the order dated 03.012.2015 and directed the Respondent University to declare the result of the Petitioner for the examination.

EduLegaL View

No doubt that “natural justice” is a right flowing from our constitution and it has to be adhered to in all cases.

But in normal cases, do we expect the academic administrators to know the rule of evidence or for that rules of trial ?

An academic disciplinary proceeding cannot be compared with other inquiry proceedings. I am not talking about cases of gross violation of natural justice. But we cannot expect an academic administrator to follow the letters of law in matter of disciplinary inquiry. Suffice it to say that a notice should be issued and the student should be given full opportunity to examine the material against him. Even cross-examination except in few cases, should be limited, else a University will turn into a full fledged court premises ….

Read the Judgement:

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Commercialisation of education not permissible, State can regulate admission, fees in private Institutions: SC

……….. The Constitution is primarily for the common man. Larger interest and welfare of student community to promote merit, achieve excellence and curb malpractices, fee and admissions can certainly be regulated.

…… Supreme Court

The Supreme Court made these observations while examining the validity/vires of the provisions of the statute passed by the State Legislature, which is known as ‘Niji Vyavasayik Shikshan Sanstha (Pravesh Ka Viniyaman Avam Shulk Ka Nirdharan) Adhiniyam, 2007’ (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act, 2007’) and Madhya Pradesh Private Medical and Dental Post Graduate Courses Entrance Examination Rules, 2009 (for short, ‘Rules, 2009’), which Act and Rules regulate primarily the admission of students in post graduate courses in private professional educational institutions and the provisions are also made for fixation of fee. In addition, the said Act and Rules also contain provisions for reservation of seats.

The challenge was made by private medical and dental colleges, which are unaided, i.e. they are not receiving any Government aid and are self financing institutions running from their own funds, initially in the High Court, which upheld the validity of these Acts and Rules. The Unaided Institutions challenged the Judgement of High Court in Supreme Court, which was heard by a Constitution Bench.

Proceedings before High Court:

The main contention of the Institutions before the High Court was that medical and dental colleges being private unaided colleges, it is their fundamental right under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India to lay down the eligibility criteria for admission and admit the students as well as fix their fee. It was also argued that private educational institutions cannot be foisted with the obligation to admit students of reserved class, which was the obligation of the State.

The High Court did not accept the contention of the Private Institutions and held that Article 19[6] of Constitution of India, permits the Government to regulate the admissions as well as fee, even of the private unaided educational institutions and that such measures saved by Article 19(6) of the Constitution as they amount to ‘reasonable restrictions’ imposed on the right of admission and fixation of fee, which otherwise vests with Private Institutions.

Summary of Judgement of the High Court is as follows:

(i) Re.: Admissions – The High Court was of the view that prescribing a Common Entrance Test for the purpose of admission to private unaided institutions are constitutional and valid since the same are in consonance with the dictum of the Constitution Bench judgment of this Court in the case of T.M.A. Pai Foundation. The High Court had held that there is no violation of the fundamental rights of the writ petitioners since the provisions constituted reasonable restriction as accepted by and, therefore, saved under Article 19(6) of the Constitution. The High Court held that the CET prescribed will ensure that the merit is maintained. It is also concluded by the High Court that sufficient material that was placed on record to establish that private unaided institutions were not able to ensure a fair, transparent and non-exploitative admission procedure.

(ii) Re.: Fee Regulation – The High Court held that the power of the Fee Regulatory Committee under the provisions was only ‘regulatory’ and the purpose of which was to empower the Committee to be satisfied that the fee proposed by the private professional institutions did not amount to profiteering or commercialisation of education and was based on intelligible factors which was not violative of the fundamental rights of the private professional institutions to charge their own fee.

(iii) Re.: Reservation – The High Court has examined the said provisions and concluded that sufficient number of seats were allotted for the unreserved category in different disciplines and subjects, and that a reasonable balance had been struck between the rights of the unreserved category candidates and the reserved category candidates.

Argument of Private Institutions in Supreme Court:

The central theme of the arguments of appellants was that by the impugned legislation the State seeks to wipe out the choice available with the appellants institutions to devise their own admission procedure and necessitate that the admission be carried out only on the basis of a CET to be conducted by the State Government or any agency appointed by it. In addition, the Act provides for the Committee to ‘determine’ and ‘fix’ the fees to be charged by the appellants and thereby completely trample the rights of the appellants to determine and charge the fee. The Act also provides for reservation in private institutions, including post-graduate courses, which the appellants submit is impermissible in light of the law laid down by this Court in the case of Ashok Kumar 21 Thakur v. Union of India & Ors.

It was their submission that right available to the appellants institutions is to devise their own admission procedure, subject to the condition that the procedure so devised ought to be ‘fair’, ‘transparent’ and ‘non-exploitative’. Thus, the rights available to the institutions under Article 19(1)(g) includes a right to admit students on a fair basis and as such the appellants can choose to admit students on the basis of the CET conducted by an association of institutions coming together (as has been provided in P.A. Inamdar) or one conducted by the State and the choice also includes to a right to admit students on the basis of the CET conducted by the Central Government. The right to choose is the right that is available to the individual institutions under Article 19(1)(g) and the impugned legislation abrogates the said right.

Observations of Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court speaking through the Constitution Bench observed as follows:

Re.: Provisions relating to Common Entrance Test:

The Supreme Court as has been held in earlier judgements, agreed that “Education”, as an “occupation” is a fundamental right which gives right to the educational institutions to admit the students and also fix the fee, at the same time, scope of such rights can be restricted and limited by appropriate legislations. While explaining the scope of this right, right to admit students and right to fix fee has been accepted as facets of this right. However, the Court again added caution thereto by mandating that admissions to the educational institutions imparting higher education, and in particular professional education, have to admit the students based on merit. For judging the merit, the Court indicated that there can be a CET. If such a power is exercised by the State assuming the function of CET, this was so recognised in T.M.A. Pai Foundation itself, as a measure of ‘reasonable restriction on the said right’.

On this background, Supreme Court was of the view that that the larger public interest warrants such a measure. The Court also considered evidences regarding malpractices, which are noticed in the CET conducted by such private institutions and concluded that in the larger interest and welfare of the students community to promote merit, add excellence and curb malpractices, provision for common entrance test is legal. The extent of restriction has to be viewed keeping in view all these factors and, therefore, the Court felt that impugned provisions, which may amount to ‘restrictions’ on the right of the appellants to carry on their ‘occupation’, are clearly ‘reasonable’ and satisfied the test of proportionality.

 Re.: Provisions in the Act Rules relating to fixation of fee

The Court observed that right to establish and manage educational institution is treated as a right to carry on ‘occupation’, which is the fundamental right under Article 19(1)(g), however cautioned that it does not entitle educational institution not to indulge in profiteering or commercialisation. It is also recognized that the educational institutions may charge the fee that would take care of various expenses incurred by these educational institutions plus provision for the expansion of education for future generation. At the same time, unreasonable demand cannot be made from the present students and their parents. For this purpose, only a ‘reasonable surplus’ can be generated.

It is, therefore, to be borne in mind is that the occupation of education cannot be treated at par with other economic activities. In this field, State cannot remain a mute spectator and has to necessarily step in in order to prevent exploitation, privatization and commercialisation by the private sector.

In order to see that the educational institutions are not indulging in commercialisation and exploitation, the Government is equipped with necessary powers to take regulatory measures and to ensure that these educational institutions keep playing vital and pivotal role to spread education and not to make money. So much so, the Court was categorical in holding that when it comes to the notice of the Government that a particular institution was charging fee or other charges which are excessive, it has a right to issue directions to such an institution to reduce the same. In our view, therefore, it is only a regulatory measure and does not take away the powers of the educational 69 institution to fix their own fee.

Provisions relating to relating to fixation of fee by setting up a Committee to oversee that institutions are not charging a fee which amounts to capitation or profiteering are reasonable restrictions and do not suffer from any constitutional vice.

NEED FOR REGULATORY MECHANISM:

 It is felt that in any welfare economy, even for private industries, there is a need for regulatory body and such a regulatory framework for education sector becomes all the more necessary. It would be more so when, unlike other industries, commercialisation of education is not permitted as mandated by the Constitution of India, backed by various judgments of this Court to the effect that profiteering in the education is to be avoided.

Holding of CET under the control of the State does not impinge this autonomy. Admission is still in the hands of these institutions. Once it is even conceded by the appellants that in admission of students ‘triple test’ is to be met, the impugned legislation aims at that. After all, the sole purpose of holding CET is to adjudge merit and to ensure that admissions, which are done by the educational 78 institutions, are strictly on merit. This is again to ensure larger public interest. It is beyond comprehension that merely by assuming the power to hold CET, fundamental right of the appellants to admit the students is taken away.

Likewise, when it comes to fixation of fee, as already dealt with in detail, the main purpose is that State acts as a regulator and satisfies itself that the fee which is proposed by the educational institution does not have the element of profiteering and also that no capitation fee etc. is charged.

INTERIM ARRANGEMENT

The Court pending consideration of recommendation regarding issues relating to MCI, in exercise of powers of this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution decided to constitute a Committee to oversee the functioning of the MCI consisting of the following members: 1. Justice R.M. Lodha (former Chief Justice of India) 2. Prof. (Dr.) Shiv Sareen (Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences) 3. Shri Vinod Rai (former Comptroller & Auditor General of India). The said Committee will have the authority to oversee all statutory functions under the MCI Act. All policy decisions of the MCI will require approval of the Oversight Committee. The Committee will be free to issue appropriate remedial directions. The Committee will function till the Central Government puts in place any other appropriate mechanism after due consideration of the Expert Committee Report. Initially the Committee will function for a period of one year, unless suitable mechanism is brought in place earlier which will substitute the said Committee. We do hope that within the said period the Central Government will come out with an appropriate mechanism.

FINAL JUDGEMENT

In view of the above, there was no violation of right of autonomy of the educational institutions in the CET being conducted by the State or an agency nominated by the State or in fixing fee. The right of a State to do so is subject to a central law.

Once the notifications under the Central statutes for conducting the CET called ‘NEET’ become operative, it will be a matter between the States and the Union, which will have to be sorted out on the touchstone of Article 254 of the Constitution.

EduLegaL View

This Judgement is really a landmark in the history of education sector. Till now, the famous trinity of T M Pai, Islamic Academy and P A Inamdar, used to operate separately and was used conveniently. There was compelling need to analyse the proposition laid down in all the three cases and explained in a one single judgement, so that the rights of educational institutions and limitation on those rights are well defined.

I also feel that some rights have to be balanced in a manner considering convenience of a larger community, more particularly, when a larger community is involved. Rights of Educational Institutions vis-à-vis the students have been beautifully balanced by the Constitution Bench.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

Private Institutions cannot become “commercial shops” and charge exorbitant fees in name of building fund, infrastructure fund: HC

 

……… The private institutions cannot be permitted to operate like money minting institutions.

……. Over a period of time, education has become a commodity in India. All the genres of society are so overly obsessed with education that it has devalued the real essence of education. Education is no more a noble cause but it has become a business, therefore, the paradigm shift, especially in the higher education from service to business is a matter of concern. The commercialization of education has a dreadful effect that is so subtle that it often goes unnoticed. 

 …… Educational Institutions are indulging in gross misleading advertisements. which can only be termed to be persuasive, manipulative and exploitative to attract the widest possible audience. 

 …….. It is shocking that the private institutions have been raising their assets after illegally collecting funds like building fund, development fund, infrastructure fund etc. It is high time these practices are stopped forthwith and there is a crack down on all these institutions. 

…… Himachal Pradesh High Court

The Himachal Pradesh taking serious cognizance of ill practices of certain educational institution to conduct in unauthorized manner, collecting exorbitant fees and issuing misleading advertisement has directed State Government to set up a Committee to investigate all the Institutions and further directed State Government to ensure that no fees is charged in name of building fund, development fund, infrastructure fund etc.

The Judgement was passed on a petition directed against the order passed in against the Petitioner Institutions to jointly and severally refund the fees taken from the students.

The petitioner is the so called franchisee of the Sikkim Manipal University based at Sikkim and claims to be running its study centre at Shimla. The students had filed petition under Section 11 of the H.P. Private Educational Institutions (Regulatory Commission), Act, 2010 claiming refund of admission fee paid to the petitioner for MBA PGDM course, on the ground that the same was exorbitant and had never been approved either by the State Government or by the UGC. These petitions were contested by the petitioner and vide impugned order, the petitioner was directed to refund the fee.

The order was challenged on the ground that the Education Commission had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition, as the dispute relating to Sikkim Manipal University was beyond its territorial jurisdiction

The Court considered the finding that neither the petitioner Institute had permission by the UGC to run the institute as a distance education programme study centre nor it had  obtained permission from the State Government and thus observed that the petitioner was concerned only with minting money and was least concerned with the prospects and future of the students. It also observed that “Education institution of the petitioner is no less than a commercial shop, where the aspiring needs of the students stand defeated due to the malpractices and frivolous activities of the petitioner. This is a classical example where the petitioner institute has presented an imaginary and illusory picture for making a successful career to the innocent students admitted in their institute, that too, by charging exorbitant fees and thereafter leaving them in the lurch to fend for themselves little knowing that even the courses undertaken by them may probably not even be recognized in the country. This practice is not only to be deprecated, but is also to be handled and dealt with a heavy hand.”

The Court considering various, guidelines and notification relating to territorial restrictions of a State Private University came to the conclusion that the petitioner could not act as a franchisee of the Sikkim Manipal University and dismissed the Petition.

However before it parted with the Judgement, it made certain important observations, regarding practice of educational institutions to issue misleading advertisements, charge exorbitant fees in different names, commercialization of education etc.:

The private institutions cannot be permitted to operate like money minting institutions.

  1. Imparting education can never be equated with profit oriented business as it is neither commerce nor business and if it is so, then the regulatory controls by those at the helm of affairs have not only to be continued, but are also required to be strengthened.
  2. Over a period of time, education has become a commodity in India. All the genres of society are so overly obsessed with education that it has devalued the real essence of education. Education is no more a noble cause but it has become a business, therefore, the paradigm shift, especially in the higher education from service to business is a matter of concern. The commercialization of education has a dreadful effect that is so subtle that it often goes unnoticed. 
  1. Mushroom growth of ill-equipped, understaffed and unrecognized educational institutions was noticed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and it was observed that the field of education had become a fertile, perennial and profitable business with the least capital outlay in some States and that societies and individuals were establishing such institutions without complying with the statutory requirements.
  1. Educational Institutions are indulging in gross misleading advertisements. which can only be termed to be persuasive, manipulative and exploitative to attract the widest possible audience. These institutes trap into their web the innocent, vulnerable and unsuspecting students. Their lucrative and mesmerizing advertisements hypnotize the students only to fall into an unknown world of uncertainties. Some institutes promise hundred percent placement, some claim excellent staff, some claim free wi-fi campus, some promise free transportation etc. But what should really matter is ‘education’. This problem is further compounded by the proliferation of coaching institutes which have only made ‘education’ more dirty and murkier. 
  1. It is shocking that the private institutions have been raising their assets after illegally collecting funds like building fund, development fund, infrastructure fund etc. It is high time these practices are stopped forthwith and there is a crack down on all these institutions. Every education institution is accountable and no one, therefore, is above the law. It is not to suggest that the private education institutions are not entitled to their due share of autonomy as well as profit, but then it is out of this profit that the private education institutions, including schools are required to create their own assets and other infrastructure. They cannot under the garb of building fund etc. illegally generate funds for their “business expansion” and create “business empires”. 

The Court in light of all these observations felt that there is an urgent need for Government intervention by conducting a fresh investigation of all these institutions and directed the Chief Secretary to Government of Himachal Pradesh is directed to constitute a committee which shall carry out inspection of all the private education institutions at all levels i.e. schools, colleges, coaching centres, extension centres, (called by whatever name), universities etc. throughout the State of Himachal Pradesh regarding requisite infrastructure, parents teacher associations, qualified staff and submit report regarding compliance of the H.P. Private Educational Institutions (Regulation) Act, 1997 within three months.

The Court directed the State Government to ensure that no private education institution is allowed to charge fee towards building fund, infrastructure fund, development fund etc.

In addition to this, the Principal Secretary (Education) is directed to issue mandatory orders to all educational institutions, whether private or government owned, to display the following detailed information relating to faculty, infrastructure, fees breakup, details of internship and placement, on the notice board which shall be placed at the entrance of the campus and on their websites.

EduLegaL View:

Commercialization of education is certainly a serious issue. It is opposed to public policy and Indian tradition. Education has never been commerce in this country. The object of establishing an institution has thus been to provide technical or professional education to the deserving candidates, and is not necessarily a commercial venture.

To put it differently, in the establishment of an educational institution, the object should not be to make a profit, inasmuch as education is essentially charitable in nature. There can, however, be a reasonable revenue surplus, which may be generated by the educational institution for the purpose of development of education and expansion of the institution.

Appropriate machinery can be devised by the state or university to ensure that exorbitant fee is not charged and that there is no profiteering, though a reasonable surplus for the furtherance of education is permissible. Reasonable surplus to meet cost of expansion and augmentation of facilities does not, however, amount to profiteering.

But nonetheless, after these borderlines have been drawn in plethora of judgements, the issue remaining a burning issue !

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

HC directs all Universities to evolve mechanism to decide eligibility at the beginning of academic year

” ……  A provisional admission does not create any vested right in the students. A provisional admission is a concession, which is granted to a student and the same cannot be elevated to a position of a creating a vested legal right. … ” 

“……… We therefore direct the State Government and the respective Universities in the State of Maharashtra to evolve a mechanism by which the students at the beginning of the academic year are informed about the ineligibility of their admission and are prevented from unnecessary pursuing the course when not eligible….”

The Bombay High Court, while being pained to see students-institutions wasting time in litigation in Court, has directed all the Universities in the State to evolve a mechanism by which the students at the beginning of the academic year are informed about the ineligibility of their admission and are prevented from unnecessary pursuing the course when not eligible.

The Petitioner in question could clear her backlog of the first year (IInd Semester- Applied Mathematics) subject, only in November, 2015 and before passing the same was granted admission to the Third year (Vth and VIth semester) which was wholly impermissible. The College and the University, for these reasons refused to allow the petitioner to appear for the viva- voce examination of the VIth semester which is to be held on 18th April,2016 and her form was not accepted.

The Petitioner then approached the Court seeking direction to allow the Petitioner to appear for the Viva Voce examinations and the written examinations for the sixth semester and continuation of studies in the seventh and thereafter in the eight semester in the engineering course in the Information Technology faculty.

The Court declined to entertain the petition relying on a rule that a candidate to be eligible to obtain an admission for the Third Year (V & VI semester) should have passed Semester I and II examination and when the Petitioner approached for admission to third year (V and VI semester) in the Academic Year 2014- 15 and was given provisional admission had not cleared the IInd semester examination namely the subject ‘Applied Mathematics’ in which she had failed and hence the Petitioner was not eligible for admission to Third Year.

The Court also ruled that a provisional admission does not create any vested right in the students. The Court also observed that a provisional admission is a concession, which is granted to a student and the same cannot be elevated to a position of a creating a vested legal right. The Petitioner in the present case was given provisional admission and hence she could have claimed any vested right.

Before concluding the Judgement, the Court made following observations:

“ We would be failing in our duty if we do not sound a note of caution in such cases which would be in the interest of the institutions and the students. We are at pains to see number of such cases coming to the court at the fag end when the examination is about to commence. This is routinely happening. Many times it is seen that the institution is at fault for not scrupulously enforcing norms of the University in respect of matters which the University would want the institution to do. The students also many times being aware of the rules try to exploit the situation and try to create equities, and then approach the court at the fag end. In all these situations the students may ultimately suffer huge loss in terms of their academic career. Such situations which are not conducive to anyone are required to avoided. All mischief’s if any at which ever level are required to arrested and remedied at the threshold. This would result in maintaining of academic standards. It is least expected that the students and the institutions waste their time in litigation in Courts. We therefore direct the State Government and the respective Universities in the State of Maharashtra to evolve a mechanism by which the students at the beginning of the academic year are informed about the ineligibility of their admission and are prevented from unnecessary pursuing the course when not eligible. If the institutions and colleges are guilty of making such admissions/ when are against the rules stern action should be taken against such colleges which would be deterrent to these colleges to deviate from the binding academic rules.”

Thus the Court has directed all the Universities in the State of Maharashtra including Deemed Universities to evolve a mechanism by which the students at the beginning of the academic year are informed about the ineligibility of their admission and are prevented from unnecessary pursuing the course when not eligible. The Court has also warned the Institutions and has cautioned that if the institutions and colleges are guilty of making such admissions/ when are against the rules stern action should be taken against such colleges which would be deterrent to these colleges to deviate from the binding academic rules.

EduLegaL View

 There is no doubt that in spirit, this Judgement is very good and will help in maintaining academic and administrative discipline. However, it is also important to note that considering the diversity of this country and different timings and processes all over the Country, it is almost impossible to determine eligibility at the time of admission.

There are many situations, when essential documents required for eligibility like Migration Certificate, verification of caste certificate, equivalence of a foreign degree from AIU consumes time. Additionally, the Institutions are also working a huge volume. In some case, even results of compartment / improvements are also declared and hence with utmost respect to the Judgement, such blanket process and deadline cannot be laid down.

Yes, I agree that this should certainly happen before the commencement of the second year, so that a student does not waste his time, as has also been observed by the Court.

However, this Judgement certainly gives me a thought and if it has to become a reality, we should have UNIFORM ACADEMIC CODE in the Country, when all the examinations start on same and results are declared on the same date throughout the country.

UNIFORM ACADEMIC CODE ! Another debate in making !

Making a student to re-appear for all papers, for failing in one subject, to pass the course is arbitrary and unconstitutional: HC

“ …… what is the purpose in requiring the candidate to write all the four theory papers again if he has failed in one practical or undergo Clinical/Practical tests again for all the subjects if he has failed in one theory paper? Repetitive undertaking of examinations after having secured the minimum prescribed does not scale up the standard and can only be termed as oppressive from the point of view of the student.”

…. Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court in a landmark Judgement while setting aside a Kerala University of Health Sciences Regulations has held that making a student to re-appear in all the papers to pass a course, just because he has failed in a single paper in first attempt or thereafter in arbitrary, unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 of Constitution of India.

kerala high court

The case involved Post-graduate medical students who have failed, either because they did not secure the minimum in one of the four theory papers or in one of the clinical/practical tests and were made to re-appear in all the papers to pass the course. The petitioners have not been declared successful in the Post-graduate Medical Course for the reason that they have failed to secure the minimum for the theory and the practical in all the subjects simultaneously.

The petitioners contended that they should be permitted to appear for the theory or the clinical/practical (in which they have failed) without insisting on the appearance for all the papers and practical again. They also argued that such insistence is violative of Constitution of India and does not serve any purpose. It was also their argument that such practice has no nexus with maintaining the standards of education.

Kerala University of Health Sciences in response contended that the candidates cannot pass the examinations piece-meal. The right of the University to prescribe stricter conditions for a Post- graduate medical student to be declared passed is emphasised stating that it is only a step for raising the level of standard. The University adds that its autonomy to fix higher standards in order to declare a candidate as having passed the Post-graduate medical examination cannot be interfered with in exercise of the writ jurisdiction.

KUHS

The rule under challenge was Clause 3.16. of KUHS Regulations of Post- graduate Medical Courses which prescribes that a candidate who has secured minimum of 50 percent marks for theory (40 percent separate minimum for each paper), 50 percent for Clinical/Practical including oral shall be declared to have passed in that subject. A candidate who fails in one subject either theory/practical shall have to appear for all the papers including theory and practical.

It was however, noted by the Court that in the corresponding clause in the MCI Regulations there is no insistence that the candidate who has failed in one subject either theory or practical should again appear for all the papers including theory and practical in the MCI Regulations as in the KUHS Regulations. Even in the Affidavit filed by Medical Council of India there was conspicuous silence as to whether the MCI Regulations insist on a simultaneous pass in the theory and practical.

The Judge however noted the contradiction in the two rules and felt that one cannot lose sight of the fact that a candidate could be declared as ‘passed’ if the MCI Regulations are adopted and at the same time declared as ‘failed’ if the KUHS Regulations are adopted.

After examining all the Rules and hearing the arguments of the parties, the Hon’ble Court while deprecating the practice of re-appearing in all the papers to pass, because he failed in one subject in first attempt, held that:

One can understand if the candidate is required to appear again in the theory and related practical of the particular paper if he has failed to secure the minimum prescribed in that subject as per the norms. But what is the purpose in requiring the candidate to write all the four theory papers again if he has failed in one practical or undergo Clinical/Practical tests again for all the subjects if he has failed in one theory paper? Repetitive undertaking of examinations after having secured the minimum prescribed does not scale up the standard and can only be termed as oppressive from the point of view of the student. The repetitive appearance in examinations under the KUHS Regulations has no rationale nexus with the object sought to be achieved and is obviously violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

The mental anguish which a student has to face in the event of his losing a theory or practical by marginal marks necessitating re-appearance for all the papers in theory and practical in order to secure a pass is unimaginable. It is possible that a candidate who has passed in the first attempt may fail in the same examination in the second attempt and the vicious circle of pass and fail will only result in unfairness to the extreme.

The High Court eventually held that Clause 3.16 of the KUHS Regulations to the extent it insists that ‘a candidate who fails in one subject either theory/practical shall have to appear for all the papers including theory and practical’ is unreasonable and arbitrary.

mci

It however, also asked Medical Council of India to clarify as to whether each candidate should simultaneously pass the theory and practical securing 50 percent marks in each which can be incorporated in the KUHS Regulations appropriately.

EduLegaL View:

“Arbitrariness” is generally tested on touchstone of the parameters of Article 14 of Constitution of India. It also includes in itself a principle that a law / rule should have reasonable nexus [connection] to the object of the law / rule.

In our view, making a student re-appear for the entire paper to achieve the academic award, merely because he has failed in one of the papers does not achieve any object of high standard of education. Such practice is not only unconstitutional but also regressive and oppressive. It is legalized exploitation. In this throat cutting edge of competition, liberalization should be the guiding factor for the regulators.

If a student is asked to re-appear in all the papers, will it increase the standards, the answer is big NO. Then why have such rule.

Just imagine the agony of a student, he has to undergo all the papers again, read the same material all over again, which may enhance his application skills but only create a culture of “repetitiveness” or “ratta” [as they call in Hindi]. This will create bookworms than sharp professionals.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

Supreme Court disallows revealing the name of examiner of answer sheets, says will create confusion, and unrest

supremecourt

The Apex while over-ruling a judgement of Kerala High Court has held that names of examiners of answer sheet cannot be disclosed under Right to Information Act, 2005.

Supreme Court was examining the issue,  whether  a student / candidate is entitled not only to get information with regard to the scan copies of his answer sheet, tabulation-sheet containing interview marks but is also entitled to know the names of the examiners who have evaluated the answer sheet.

Before dealing elaborately into the aspect of disclosure of name of examiner, the Court upheld that supply of scanned copies of answer-sheet of the written test, copy of the tabulation sheet and other information are rights of a candidate and should be provided by the public authority, as this will ensure a fair play in this competitive environment, where candidate puts his time in preparing for the competitive exams

However, Supreme Court did not concur with the findings of the High Court that an examining body is also bound to disclose the name of the examiner. The Supreme Court felt that disclosure of the identity of Examiners is in the least interest of the general public and also any attempt to reveal the examiner’s identity will give rise to dire consequences and will lead confusion and public unrest.

The Supreme Court, while concluding the judgement, observed as follows:

“The Commission has reposed trust on the examiners that they will check the exam papers with utmost care, honesty and impartially and, similarly, the Examiners have faith that 7 they will not be facing any unfortunate consequences for doing their job properly. If we allow disclosing name of the examiners in every exam, the unsuccessful candidates may try to take revenge from the examiners for doing their job properly. This may, further, create a situation where the potential candidates in the next similar exam, especially in the same state or in the same level will try to contact the disclosed examiners for any potential gain by illegal means in the potential exam.”

Supreme relied on principle of fiduciary relationship and held that relationship between the between the examining body and the examiner is fiduciary in nature which required to be protected and therefore any information shared between them is not liable to be disclosed.

EduLegaL View:

I agree with the Judgement of Supreme Court and at the same time I also feel that the fundamental right to transparency should not aim to make everything so transparent that it endangers the fundamental right of some other person. Every fundamental right has reasonable restriction and cannot be absolute.

It is of utmost importance that name of examiner is not disclosed, so that he exercises his competency in fearless atmosphere. In any case, the fact that an answer sheet is available to a student, he can always seek correction in his answer on sound principles without knowing the name of the examiner.

Good ! Great !

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

Information Panel puts ceiling to cost for seeking copies of answer sheet only at a cost of Rs 2 per page, censors practice of charging exhorbitant fees

RTI

In a major relief to the students, the Central Information Commission has directed all the Universities in India, including deemed Universities and all examining bodies to provide copies of answer sheet only at a cost of Rs 2 per page. It has also directed UGC and Association of Indian Universities, to circulate, publicize and insist on implementation of the rule in all academic/examining bodies. It has also directed MHRD to circulate this order to all examining bodies including Universities and make it mandatory for them to bring uniformity in the rules and regulations by fixing cost at not more than Rs 2 per page of answer sheet.

CIC was examining the rule of Delhi University, which prescribed Rs. 750/- per application for seeking copy of the Answer Sheet. CIC has not only prescribed this ceiling, at the same time it has held that rules prescribing a student to pay exorbitant fees for seeking copy of answer sheets are in violation of Right to Information Law and must be changed to allow a student to exercise his Right to Information.

CIC gave this ruling while hearing a Complaint / Appeal regarding constraints including huge fees being charged for providing certified copy of evaluated answer sheet. The aggrieved student was questioning the regulation of Delhi University alleging that it enables University to impose unreasonable time­ frames and cost constraints on their right to secure copy of answer­sheet. CIC also ruled that such rules are against the law settled by Supreme Court of India.

Section 7 of RTI Act says: “…provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed…” Section 7(2)(a) says that the PIO has to ‘give details of further fees representing cost of providing the information as determined by him together with the calculations made to arrive at the amount in accordance with fee prescribed under sub-section(1) requesting him to deposit that fees….”. As per Section 7(2)(b), the PIO has to inform the applicant “concerning his right with respect to review the decision as to the amount of fee charged or the form of access provided…”. Rule 4 of the Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules 2005, framed by the Central Government mandates the following rates, (a) rupees two for each page or actual cost in case of larger size paper.

CIC relied on Judgements of the Supreme Court in case of CBSE v Aditya Bandopadhyay and ICAI v. Shaunak Satya, which has held that evaluated answer-book is an ‘information’ under the RTI Act and cannot be under any exemption prescribed under RTI Act.

CIC also relied on the Judgement of Rajasthan High Court in relation to the exorbitant fee charged by a University to extent of Rs 1000 for copy of answer sheets, which had held that charging of exorbitant fees of Rs.1,000/- for the purpose of providing copy of answer-book to a student by the respondent-University is in violation of object and purpose of the Act of 2005 and is an ill-intended attempt on the part of the University to discourage the students from seeking certified copies of their answer-books.

CIC felt that imposing time and cost constraints over and above the norms prescribed by RTI Act and Rules and charging Rs 750 per paper, which far more than Rs 2 for copy per page (as prescribed) will impose economic burden on a student, who has paid an examination fee to meet the expenditure to conduct examination including the cost of evaluation. This is a huge amount over and above the fee collected, for recounting and re­evaluation. CIC also felt that charging so high a fee/cost will not only deny the accessibility, but also immunize the public authority from being accountable to students. The resultant situation is: If a student cannot pay Rs 750, the Delhi University will become not accountable for its evaluation! This is against objective and scheme of RTI Act.

answer sheet.jpg

 

It finally held that that “prescribing unreasonable cost and time constraint will in fact amount to complete denial of information to the students on grounds of their economic status, which is in violation of Article 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution of India. No citizen shall be discriminated on the basis of his access to resources or any criteria including poverty as per his fundamental report to equality. It is very sad that educational institution like university is not mindful of the basic fact and they are going on denying information to the students, by imposing high cost, which means if you cannot afford, you cannot access. Thus, charging of Rs 750 per answer sheet will amount to breach of sections 3, 6 and 7 of the RTI Act.”

 It thus held that high cost of Rs 750 per paper for securing copy of answer­sheet and time conditions that a student has to approach only after 61 days and before 75 days after result declared will unreasonably restrict the right to access to his own answer book and breakup of marks awarded.

EduLegaL View

There are two concepts of law “substantive” and “procedural”. While RTI Act, 2005 guarantees “Right to Information” to an Indian Citizen, which is substantive law. Rules made by Public Authorities prescribing the condition for implementation of this “substantive law” is part of “procedural law”.

Public Authorities by way of delegated legislation cannot frame a “procedural law” by which exercise of “substantive law” becomes difficult or impossible. The “procedural law” has to aid the “substantive law”.

Making RTI Rules, to make it difficult for a student to exercise his Right to Information is infringement of liberty of students to get a photocopy of answer script and their right to access the information. The rules cannot prescribe unreasonable time and cost constraints, as “Right to access the Information” is inherent in “Right to Information”.

Read the Full Judgement.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in