At, High Court of Judicature at Bombay
By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. DIPANKAR DATTA & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE G.S. KULKARNI
For the Appellant: Mahesh Vishwakarma, Anagha Tandel I/B. Vishwakarma & Associates, Advocates. For the Respondents: B.V. Samant, R.A. Salunkhe, AGP, Akshay Shinde, Advocates.
1. This petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India primarily challenges the order dated 24 August 2020 issued by the State Government communicating its decision dated 31 July 2020 interalia rejecting the petitioner's proposal for commencing four Post Graduate courses namely M.Com (Business Management), M. Com. (Advanced Accountancy), M. Sc. (Organic Chemistry) and M. Sc. (Analytical Chemistry) with effect from the academic year 2020-21.
2. The reason as attributed in the imposed decision, for rejection of the petitioner's proposal is of non compliance of the requirement as set out in column 11 of 'Annexure B' of Government Resolution dated 13 September 2017, to the effect that the petitioner in its proposal although submitted approved building plans, however, documents issued by the planning authority certifying the construction of the building, the actual premises available and the completion certificate so issued, are not part of the proposal. This is the only ground as adverted by the State Government to reject the petitioner's proposal.
3. It is not in dispute that the petitioner on 16 August 2019 had submitted a proposal to start these new courses to the University of Mumbai in the prescribed form. The University of Mumbai had prepared its inspection report and had recommended the petitioner's proposal for approval of the State Government, on which the State Government has taken the impugned decision.
4. On the earlier occasion, so as to appreciate the contentions as urged on behalf of the petitioner, we had asked Shri. Samant, learned AGP to call for the file of the petitioner's proposal as forwarded to it by respondent no.2-University. Mr. Samant has obtained such file containing the petitioner's proposal and has submitted the same for our perusal. The file contains the report of the University which is the nature of certification of the infrastructure facilities made available by the petitioner, which includes the petitioner making available such infrastructure as per the requirement of the Government Resolution dated 13 September 2017. It however, appears that although certified copies of the plans were submitted by the petitioner, as also there is a description of the different areas being made available in regard to items as specified in column 11 of the said Government Resolution (illustratively the area in square feet:- of the principal's office, laboratories, library, record room, staff room etc.), however, the document/certificate issued by the local planning authority certifying the construction as per the requirement of column 11, appears to have remained to be submitted by the petitioner. Unfortunately the University also appears to have not noticed such non-inclusion.
5. Learned Counsel for the petitioner would submit that the proposed courses are sought to be commenced in the building which is an existing building, also which is authorised and in respect of which completion certificate has been issued by the concerned planning authority. He is however, unable to dispute its non-inclusion in the proposal as submitted by the petitioners.
6. Having heard Mr. Vishwakarma, learned Counsel for the petitioner, Mr. Samant, learned AGP for the State and Mr. Shinde, learned Counsel for the University, it is clear to us that the only objection as recorded by the State Government in rejecting the petitioner's proposal to start the said courses, was of non-submission of the document of certification of the building by the concerned planning authority. There is no other objection. In this view of the matter and in the peculiar facts of the case we deem it appropriate and in the interest of justice, that the petitioner be permitted to make a fresh proposal to the University for commencement of the said courses with effect from the academic year 2021-2022. Such proposal be submitted within two weeks from today, complying with the necessary requirement as set out in the impugned decision. The University on receipt of such proposal shall verify the compliances and accordingly forward its recommendation as per law to the State Government. The State Government shall take appropriate decision in accordance with law on the recommendation which would be received by it from the University as expeditiously as possible and preferably before 15 March 2021.
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dless to observe that in the peculiar facts of the case, the verification by the University and the decision of the State Government shall be confined only in regard to the compliances as set out in the impugned decision. 8. Petition is disposed of in the above terms. 9. No costs. 10. This order will be digitally signed by the Personal Assistant of this Court. All concerned will act on production by fax or e-mail of a digitally signed copy of this order.