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