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Mahesh Jhajharia & Others v/s State of Rajasthan & Others

    Civil Writ Petition No. 6917 of 97

    Decided On, 16 October 1998

    At, High Court of Rajasthan Jaipur Bench


    For the Appellants: Mahendra Singh, Advocate. For the Respondents: Y.C. Sharma, U.O.R., Bharat Vyas, Bhanwar Bagri, R.N. Mathur, Akhil Simlote, Advocates.

Judgment Text

Gyan Sudha Misra, J.

1. The petitioner who in all are 42 in numbers and are students of Bachelor of Pharmacy course, have been embroiled in a messy situation as although they were granted admission in the aforesaid Course in Baba Mungiappa College of Pharmacy-respondent No. 6 herein, after they qualified in the competitive test for such admission they were shell-shocked to realise that the respondent No. 6 was not having the affiliation for conducting the course after 1995 and approval was granted to conduct the course of pharmacy only uptil year 1995. The other limb of complaint lodged by the petitioners is that even the students of the year 1995 who were granted admission, were unable to get the required instructions expected of such course in absence of the required infrastructure of the college.

2. In appreciate as to whether the petitioners have a valid cause of action or not to move this Court by filing this writ petition, it is essential to record the relevant details of the entire case.

3. An advertisement was issued by the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur in the year 1995 published in the daily newspaper which was de-scribed as Pre PT (Pre-Pharmacy 1995 Admission Test) wherein' it was published that for admission into the pharmacy colleges of the Stateof Rajasthan for the Session 1996 in Diploma Pharmacy and B. Pharma, a competitive test at various centres of Jaipur would be held on 26th and 27th August, 1995 wherein objective type multiple choice questions in physics, chemistry, biology or mathematics would be held and details of the formalities for appearing in the competitive test for admission into the Diploma Pharmacy and Bachelor of Pharmacy was published. The petitioners Nos. 1 to 13 herein also applied for such entrance test in the year 1995 and after they qualified for the seats, were granted admission in the college run by Baba Mungiappa Education Trust-respondent No. 6. It may further be relevanl to state that as per publication of the notice, three colleges of pharmacy were made available for admission into the aforesaid two courses for pharmacy which were Bhupal Noble College of Pharmacy, Udaipur, Lachoo Memorial Pharmacy College at Jodhpur and the third one was the college run by respondent No. 6 Baba Mungiappa Education Trust at Pilani. The petitioners Nos. 1 to 13 could not qualify for seats in Bhupal Noble College of Pharmacy at Udaipur and Lachoo Memorial Pharmacy College at Jodhpur and hence to their misfortune, were granted admission as per their merit in the college run by respondent No. 6 namely Baba Mongiappa Education Trust.

4. In so far as respondents Nos. 14 to 42 are concerned, they were granted admission in Bachelor of Pharmacy Course in the Session 1997-98 after they appeared for the competitive test held for such admission in the year 1997-98 which had been conducted by the Officer-in-Charge Pre. P.T., 1997 of the Maharshi Dayanand University, Ajmer as given out at Clause No. 7 of the Guidelines for Central Admission to B. Pharmacy Course 1997-98 wherein the criteria for admission and the required formalities for admission into the course has been given out. It is thus clear that while the petitioners Nos. 1 to 13 were admitted into the 1995 batch of B. Pharmacy Course, petitioners Nos. 14 to 42 herein were admitted in the B. Pharmacy Course for which the Pre-Pharmacy Test was conducted by the MDS University, Ajmer, however these petitioners too were allotted seats for the B. Pharmacy course in the same College i.e., the College run by respondent No. 6-Baba Mungiappa Education Trust who are also now aggrieved that although they were granted admission in the said college, the college is badly having any teaching facility worth the name as a result of which their academic career as well as their future prospects have been put in jeopardy since respondent No. 6 is performing astonishing jugglery in the academic course which has created total chaos in the whole institution. A detail of the factual situation prevailing in the institution have been narrated by the petitioners wherein it has been stated that respondent No. 6 Baba Mungiappa Education Trust purports to be a trust running various academic courses and is also taking financial aid from the State Government for running a number of polytechnic courses viz. courses in Engineering, LL.B., Library Science, Polytechnic Computer Applications. Business Administration including Diploma in Pharmacy and Decree in Pharmacy. The activities and functioning of the Institution are required to be controlled by the statutory measures and educational activity in teaching is required to be carried out with constitutional and legal requirements as it declares itself to be a public institution. But although 10 different academic courses are being conducted by this institution, it is nothing but a jugglery and fraud in the name of education.

5. Further factual details have been given out by the petitioners and it has been stated that the building possessed by the respondents for conducting 10 courses has only three class-rooms and common library which is being used for all the academic courses and there are 22 batches of students pursuing different academic courses at various levels who have to share only three classrooms and in so far as the pharmacy course is concerned, it goes without any class and lecture for days and weeks. The common library provided by the respondents is also ill-equipped and in adequate to cope with the requirements of technical subjects. The petitioners have stated that the respondent No. 6 has only created a facade of requisite infra-structure and has provided only a minimally equipped laboratory arrangements in the disciplines of Pharmaceuticals, Pharmaceutical Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical, Biology, Museum, Machine room for Pharmacy Biotechnique and Biochemistry despite the statutory requirements as prescribed by the University of Rajasthan, All India Council for Technical Education and Pharmacy Council of India prescribes laboratory facilities and equipments should include the disciplines of Pharmachology, Microbiology, Physical Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Analysis, Computer, Animal House, Eseptic Room, Engineering Drawing Hal) and Gas Plant. Besides this inadequacy there is no person regularly appointed on the post of Principal of the Pharmacy College being run by respondent No. 6. None of the teachers presently employed for conducting B. Pharma Course is even possessing the qualification of M. Pharma. Even the electricity connection at the said institution was disconnected six months ago for non-payment of elec- tricity bills. As a result of the chaotic condition the petitioners have not only been deprived of Instructions and lectures in class-rooms but have also been denied and deprived of tutorials as well as the practicals.

6. It has still further been alleged by the petitioner that respondent No. 6 has induced respondents Nos. 1, 2 and 5 which are University of Rajasthan, All India Council for Technical Education and the State of Rajasthan through Secretary, Department of Technical Education to grant requisite affiliation and recognition which mislead the petitioners by which they took admission in the said institution and parted with a huge amount in the name of fees in various authorised and unauthorised heads who are now least bothered in running the institution in accordance with the statutory requirements. It has further been alleged that the respondents Nos. 1, 2 and 5 have thus unwillingly aided and abetted the academic jugglery conducted by respondent No. 6 of which the main culprit is the Baba Mungiappa Education Trust. They have further contended that had the respondents Nos. 1, 2 and 5 duly and diligently carried out their statutory functions and responsibility in the matter of conducting inspection for the purpose of grant of recognition/approval in accordance with law, the things would never have come to such a pass. As a result of the confusion and anarchy prevailing in the institution stemming from absence of adequate infrastructure resulted into a situation where the candidates who had appeared in Part-1 Examination of B. Pharmacy were withheld for quite some time and the petitioner also later learnt that upon receiving complaints regarding the activities of the college, an enquiry although was initiated by the State Government for reasons best known to the other respondents Nos. 1, 2 and 5 was not taken to its logical conclusion. Upon further enquiries the petitioners could gather that the college has not been able to pay even the salaries to their teachers as a result of which a number of teachers sent their resignation. The count of miseries against the college narrated by the petitioners is thus endless. However, the petitioners expected that the situation would improve and hence they filed representation before respondent No. 2 All India Council for Technical Education and also submitted a detailed representation to the State Government on 13-11-97 which was followed by the representation to the concerned Minister and other functionaries of the State Government. A copy of all the representations have been annexed herein and marked as Annexures-12, 13 and 14.

7. In response to the representation of the petitioners respondent No. 2 All India Council for Technical Education wrote a letter to the State Government requesting it to conduct an enquiry verify the facts and inform the Council about the status of the college. Thereafter the whole matter has been set at naught and the situation remains on 'as is where is basis.'

8. The petitioners have therefore, moved this Court by filing this writpetition urging herein that it is a case of institutional failure initiated by the respondent No. 6 at all stages since no corrective measures for enforcement of statutory requirement and compliance is being taken by any of the competent authorities and as a result of abysmal failure on the part of respondent No. 6 the petitioners are suffering for no fault of their own. On the contrary the petitioners are being victimised for raising their grievances before public authorities and the respondent No. 6 has launched a threat of disciplinary action with a view to pressurise the petitioners into withdrawing their complaints and to prevent them from seeking redressal of their grievances.

9. The tales of woes and miseries narrated hereinabove against the respondents, ultimately has promoted the petitioners to urge before this Court that it is not only respondent No. 6, which has deputed the petitioners and their parents but the respondents Nos. (sic) to 5 also have committed a grave and serious error by including respondent No. 6-Baba Mungiappa Education Trust as an eligible institution for admission into the B. Pharmacy course through combined competitive examination held for the purpose. The impugned action of the respondents is thus a patent failure of the statutory safeguards and prescription provided under the aforesaid legislation rules and regulations in this regard and they have further committed dereliction of duties by not conducting effective required inspection at the premises of respondent No. 6-College in an impartial and objective manner. It has therefore been prayed by the petitioners that the circumstances warrant for directing the transfer and accommodating the petitioners from the institution of respondent No. 6 to other two pharmacy colleges namely Bhupal Noble College of Pharmacy, Jaipur and Lachoo Pharmacy College at Jodhpur. It has also been stated that the sanctioned strength of the institution run by respondents Nos. 7 and 8 namely Udaipur and Jodhpur have been increased which under the circumstances ought to accommodate the petitioners in those colleges and to further restrain the respondents from including this college as an eligible institution for taking admission of the students in the competitive test to that it may not be included as an institution which would be included for the purpose of admission of those candidates who qualified in the competitive tests of Pharmacy.

10. The circumstances narrated by the petitioners prima facie called for an interference hence show cause notices were issued to the respondents in response to which reply has been filed by the University of Rajasthan respondent No. 1, the respondent No. 2-The Pharmacy Council of India, respondent No. 3-State of Rajasthan and respondent No. 6-Baba Mungiappa Education Trust but AICTE has failed to file any reply in spite of service of notice. Subsequently, the University of Ajmer was also added as a party-respondent on whom showcause notice was served and although reply on its behalf was extremely imperative in view of the fact that it was University of Ajmer which had issued advertisement for admission into the B. Pharmacy Course for the year 1997 yet it has failed to appear in this Court or file any reply in the matter as to why it included respondent No. 6-Baba Mungiappa College as an eligible institution for admission of the students in this College if it had not been approval by the competent authorities.

11. Before entering into a discussion on this aspect of the matter the reply forwarded on behalf of the other respondents may be perused.

12. The respondent No. 1-University of Rajasthan, Jaipur which issued the advertisement for admission into B. Pharmacy Course for the year 1995 in response to which petitioners Nos. 1 to 13 were admitted stated that the B. Pharma Competitive Test forthe academic years 1996-97 and 1997-98 which granted admission to the petitioners from Serial Nos. 14 to 42 was held by the University of Ajmer and hence the University of Rajasthan cannot be held responsible for allotment of seats to the petitioners Nos. 14 to 42 to Baba Mungiappa Pharmacy College at Pilani. It has however, been admitted by the University of Rajasthan that it granted temporary affiliation in question on the basis of the recommendation of All India Council for Technical Education, New Delhi (for short "AICTE") and on the basis of recognition granted by the State Government, affiliation was temporarily granted for the academic session 1995-96 only, and after the academic session 1995-96, not even temporary affiliation has been granted to the college and hence no cause of action arises against the University of Rajasthan. This is the crux of the reply filed by the respondent No. 1 University of Rajasthan.

13. As already stated, AICTE and the Univesrity of Ajmer-the impleaded respondent, have not filed any reply. In so far as respondent No. 3 the Pharmacy Council of India (for short "PCI") is concerned, it has referred to Section 12(1) of the Pharmacy Act, 1948 which states that any authority in a State which conducts Course of study for Pharmacists, has to apply to the Central Council for approval of the course and Central Council if satisfied after inspecting that the said course of study is in conformity with the Education Regulation the course of study has to be approved for the purpose of admission to an approved examination for pharmacists. Section 12(2) of the Act very specifically states that any authority in a State which holds examination in pharmacy, has to apply to the PCI for approval of the examination and if after inspection, the Central Council is satisfied that the said examination is in conformity with the Education Regulations, it shall declare the said examination to be approved examination for the purpose of qualifying for registration as a pharmacists i.e. as per Section 12 of the Act the course conducting authority and examination conducting authorities have to apply to the PCI for approval of the course and examination in pharmacy respectively. The respondent No. 3-PCI has further stated that in the present case, the institution in question has never approached the council for approval of the degree course in pharmacy and hence no action is pending on the part of the respondent No. 3-the PCI, because as per Section 12 of the Act the course and examination conducting authorities have to ' first apply to the Council for approval of the course and examination. Unless the course of study undergone by the petitioners isapproved by the respondent No. 3-PCI the petitioners, are not entitled to take examination of pharmacists or undergo the practical training for registration as pharmacists. According to this respondent the State Government and the examining authority is not sufficient and such approval will not render the provisions of Section 12 of the Act as renduntJant or inapplicable because respondent-PCI is the only competent authority under the Act to grant approval. Another revelalion which has been made by the PCI is that the University of Rajasthan itself informed the PCI that as regards Baba Mungiappa College of Pharmacy it was decided by the University that approval to it shall be deemed to have been withdrawn after 1993 annual examination in respect of students admitted in Session 1992-93 and it was stated that admissions to B. Pharma Course for the Session 1993-94 will be made only in approved institution by the PCI. Thus it slated that the Univesrity vide its aforesaid letter itself had informed the PCI that in absence of Council's approval for the Session 1992-93, the University has not granted extension to the provisional affiliation of B. Pharmacy Course to Baba Mungiappa College Pharmacy at Pilani is also the Public Health Training Institution SMS Medical College, Jaipur and Maharaj Sawai Singh Pharmacy College of Bharatpur. It has thus been stated that the Baba Mugiappa College of Pharmacy at Pilani and neither applied nor approached the Council for approval of the degree course in Pharmacy as required u/s 12 of the Act and hence to action was pending before the PCI in the matter and hence it never neglected its duties or shirk from its statutory responsibilities in the matter of monitoring the managements and administration of the said College in breach of all the statutory requirements. It has finally been submitted by the PCI that since the institution where the petitioners are studying is not an approved institution u/s 12 of the Pharmacy Act for the conduct of degree course, no relief claimed by the petitioners can be granted through this writ petition and the students admitted to such unapproved course are not eligible to sit in the examination relating to the Pharmacy nor are they eligible for any relief.

14. Respondent No. 5-the State of Rajasthan on the contrary has tried to wash its hands off the whole trouble, by stating that all the actions relating to grant, revocation or suspension of approval/recognition for running a course lies within the exclusive domain of the AICTE which came into being with the promulgation of the AICTE which provides statutory powers to the council to control and regulate technical education. In this process the AICTE prescribes norms and standard for course curricula, instructional facilities, staff pattern, staff qualifications, assessment and examination for degree and diploma course, norms and procedures for admission to degree and diploma course and norms and guidelines for charging tuition and other fees. It stated that the Act came into effect on 28th March, 1988 and hence it was the AICTE to fix guidelines and norms for the institution in question and the State Government has nothing to do with its affairs and the University of Rajasthan to which it got affiliated should have regulated the admission as well as the examination and the State Government is not competent to step into the shoes of either AICTE or the University of Rajasthan. It has however, further stated that the AICTE requested the State Government vide its letterdaled 2-12-1997 to hold an enquiry to investigate the complaint received against the Institution Baba - Mungiappa College and hence the State Government immediately set up in enquiry committee and a report was sent to the AICTE on 19-1-98. This respondent states that it did not carry any inspection prior to the grant of provisional approval and provisional recognition for running B. Pharmacy Course is the AICTE which is the only competent authority to deal with such matters and the provisional affiliation and recognition was granted by the AICTE.

15. This Court therefore, was anxious to peruse the enquiry report submitted by the State Government but although the enquiry report has not been furnished to this Court in spile of opportunity granted to the advocate concerned a letter dated 19-1-98 issued by the Government of Rajasthan, Technical Education Department has been furnished to this Court wherein the finding of the report has been mentioned as follows :

"With reference to the directions given in above letter, an enquiry was conducted, for the complaints by the students of B. Pharma Course of Baba Mungiappa College of Pharmacy, Pilani, Rajasthan. The copy of the report is enclosed for ready reference.

From the perusal of the report it is clear that the present facilities in the Institution are not sufficient to conduct the B. Pharma course and it is' opined that the present permission of the institution may kindly be withdrawn.

In the event of withdrawal of permission by Council student will be transferred to continue their studies to other college .....

As per regulation of All India Council for Technical Education (Grant of Approval for Starting New Technical Institution, Introductions of Course for Programmes and Approval of Intake Capacity of Seats for the Course of Programmes) Regulation, 1994 issued on 11th April, 1997. The Regional Officer of the council has a fixed deposit from the institution. This deposit will be utilised for financial assistance to the institution in which these candidates will be transferred. Consequently, Regional Officer may be directed to take appropriate steps for the transfer of B. Pharma students of Baba Mungiappa Pharmacy College, Pilani to other institution and provide the financial assistance.

An early action is solicited."

16. However the AICTE has not yet responded to the letter nor it has appeared in this Court in spite of service of notice and it has not been informed to this Court what steps have been taken by the AICTE after receipt of this letter to ascertain its response to the whole situation.

17. Finally the reply filed by respondent No. 6 Baba Mungiappa College is relevant to deal with, wherein it has been stated that it was permitted to conduct B. Pharmacy Course for the Session 1995-96 by the AICTE on the recommendations made by the Central Regional Committee. State Level Committee vide order dated 30-4-1995 and the photostat copy of the order dated 30-4-94 has been annexed herewith as Annexure R/ 6/1. The Institution further claims that the approval for the B. Pharmacy Course by the AICTE was further extended for the session 1996-97 on considering the observations of the Expert Committee which visited the Institution and the extension order dated 5th August, 1996 has been annexed herewith and marked as Annexure R/6/2 and the approval for the year 1997-98 has been submitted and marked as Annexure R/673. It has further been replied by the Institution that it was granted affiliation by the University of Rajasthan on the recommendation of the Inspectors and the order of affiliation dated 9-1-96 has also been submitted herewith and marked as Annexure R/6/ 4 and hence the candidates were granted admission to B. Pharmacy Course not directly by the Institution but through the B. Pharmacy Test on the basis of their merit and the Entrance Test for the Session 1995-96 and 1997-98 was conducted by the MDS University, Ajmer which allotted 40 candidates for each to the respondent Institution which was recommended by the AICTE. It has been stated that admissions were thus granted in the Institution as per the intake capacity which was approved by the AICTE and all the seats were filed by the designated University on fee/payment seats for the sessions 1995-96 and 1997-98. Hence it has been submitted that since the power of approval for conducting the course has been vested in statutory bodies like the AICTE .and according to its assertion. Since the College has been inspected from time to time by various authorities and Expert Committees, the plea of the petitioner is fit to be rejected. It has also alleged lapses on the part of the students to attend classes and hence the filing of this petition has been attributed to malicious motive on the part of the petitioners.

18. On perusal of the revision of the petitioners and the counter-version of the respondents, it is quite clear that AICTE although vide its letter dated 30th April, 1994 and 5th August, 1996 (vide Annex. R/6/1 and R/6/2) had accorded conditional approval to Baba Mungiappa College of Pharmacy for conducting course for the sessions 1995-96 and 1997-98, the approval was subject to fulfilment of specific conditions as enlisted in Annexures 1 and 2 of its letter and it permitted the State Government to announce admission in accordance with the regulations notified by the AICTE vide GSR 476 (E) dated 20-5-94 based on the Hon'ble Supreme Court judgment dated 4-2-93 reported in Unni Krishnan, J.P. and others Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh and others etc. etc., in view of which the Management-Institute, Trust or Society was not permitted to announce admission directly under any circumstances. The AICTE further stated in the said letter that in the event of infringement/ contravention or non-compliance of any of the conditions, guidelines norms and regulations prescribed by the AICTE from time to time, the AICTE or a body of person authorised by it were free to take measures for withdrawal of the approval or recognition without consideration of any related issues and that liabilities arising out of such withdrawal was to be solely of the Management/Trust/Society and/or Institution. It further wrote that the AICTE may inspect the Institution at any time it may deem fit to note the progress. This letter was addressed to the Secretary to the Government of Higher Education and Technical Education Government of Rajasthan at Jaipur. A perusal of Annex R/6/2 -- The letter of the AICTE dated August 5, 1996 to the Secretary to the Government, Department of Higher Education and Technical Education, Government of Rajasthan further discloses that on consideration of the observations made by the Expert Committee which visited the Institute and the compliance report submitted by the Institution and the recommendation made by the North Western Regional Committee, the AICTE extended its earlier approval to the College for the academic session 1996-97 for conducting the Pharmacy Course which approval was subject to specific condition asenlisted to the Annex. 1 to the letter and general condition enlisted in Annex. 2. It was reiterated that the Institution on its own shall not announce any admission. It was further informed to take appropriate action to implement the decision of the AICTE and communicate the progress made in this regard to the North Eastern Technical Committee to the AICTE under intimation to this fulfilment of specific conditions as enlisted by the Office. Similar letter was issued by the AICTE to the Secretary to me Government Higher Technical Education, Jaipur as contained in Annex R/6/3 and a letter of the University of Rajasthan as contained in Annex R/6/4 dated 9-1-96 has also been annexed which stated that on the recommendations of the Inspectors, the Vice-Chancellor has been pleased to grant provisional fresh affiliation to the College for starting B-Pharmacy Course for the session 1995-96 subject to the fulfilment of the deficiencies pointed out by the Inspectors. It was requested that the application for extension of provisional affiliation for the next year 1996-97 along with the required fee may kindly be sent together with the report about the fulfilment of the condition of provisional affiliation through the Technical Education Department, Government of Rajasthan, Jaipur.

19. It is no doubt true that the All IndiaCouncil for Technical Education Act, 1987 has been enacted by the Parliament with a view to proper planning and co-ordinated development of the technical education system throughout the country for promotion of qualitative improvement of such education and other allied matters. While Section 3 of the Act provides for the establishment of the Council. Section 10 specifies the functions of the Council which is directed to take all such steps as it may think fit for ensuring coordinated and integrated development of technical education and maintenance of standards. The Act specifically empowers the Council inter alia to (1) fix the norms and guidelines for charging tuition and other fees (2) grant approval for starting new technical institutions and for introduction of new courses of programmes in consultation with the agencies concerned and (3) take all necessary steps to prevent commercialisation of technical education but the Council cannot work in isolation and hence the Council has to take appropriate action including withdrawal of its approval or recognition to the institution which automatically entails stoppage of financial grant or assistance from the Central and State Government but while the AICTE has been empowered to grant approval for starting new technical institutions and introduction of new courses of programmes the Act clearly envisages discharge of such functions by the AICTE in consultation with the agencies concerned and those agencies obviously are the Central/State Government (as the case may be) along with the University for educational institutions cannot award degrees on their own as it is not an in depend activity supplemental to the principal activity. It is an activity supplemental to the principal activity carried on by the State. It would be relevant to peruse the observations of the learned Judges of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in this regard delivered in the matter of J.P. Unnikrishnan v. State of Andhra Pradesh (supra) wherein it was observed that:

"The bodies which grant recognition and/or affiliation are the authorities of the State. In such a situation, it is obligatory -- in the interest of general public -- upon the authority granting recognition or affiliation to insist upon such conditions as are appropriate to ensure not only education of requisite standard but also fairness and equal treatment in the matter of admission of students. Since the recognising/affiliating authority is the State, it is under an obligation to impose such conditions as part of its duties enjoined upon it by Article 14 of the Constitution. It cannot allow itself all its power and privilege to be used unfairly, the precedents attaching to the main activity attached to supplemental activity as well. Affiliation/recognition is not there for anybody to get it gratis or unconditionally. In our opinion, no Government, Authority or University is justified or is entitled to grant recognition/affiliation without imposing such conditions. Doing so would amount to abdicating its obligation enjoined upon it by Part-III; its activity is bound to be characterised as unconstitutional and illegal..... State cannot claim immunity from the obligations arising from Articles 14 and 15. If so, it cannot confer such immunity upon its affiliates."

Dealing with this question the learned Judges while evolving a scheme regarding capitation fee charged by the educational institutions had also laid down that the appropriate Government and recognising and affiliating authorities shall impose and implement in addition to such other conditions and stipulation as they may think appropriate as conditions for grant of permission, grant of recognition or grant of affiliation as the case may be and it further explained that the expression 'appropriate authority' means the Government, University or other authority as is competent to grant permission to establish or to grant recognition to a professional college. The learned Judges further observed that the expression 'competent authority' means the Government/University or other authority as may be designated by the Government/University or by law as is competent to allot students for admission to various professional colleges in the given State. The explanation and interpretation of the expression "competent authority" given put in this celebrated decision comes as a great assistance while deciding the question involved herein and thus it is quite clear that the quotations hereinabove sufficiently clarify that the State Government or the University cannot be allowed to State that it had nothing to do with the affairs of the institution as it has been stated by the respondent-State that it was the AICTE alone which was responsible to consider the question about the status of the institution where the petitioners were unfortunately admitted. It is, therefore futile to contend on behalf of the respondent No. 5 State that it had no liability whatsoever regarding recognition of the institu- tion in question.

20. It also does not stand to reason that when the AICTE from time to time wrote to the State Government Technical Education that it has granted provisional affiliation to the respondent No. 6 on fulfilment of certain conditions, why the State Government-respondent No. 5 kept silenl over the matter and continued to give aid to the institution in spite of receipt of complaints levelled against the institution by the students as also from various other sources. It was surely expected of the State agency to bring it to the notice of the AICTE in response to the letter issued to it from time to time that the institution was not fit to continue. The respondent No. 5-State Government in fact did report the matter to the AICTE about the mismanagement of the institution by its letter dated 27-12-97 but by this time the students/ petitioners were neck deep in trouble and it was too late for them to withdraw from the course.

21. In so far as the role of the University of Rajasthan is concerned, it is equally beyond the comprehension of this Court as to why the University of Rajasthan extended affiliation to the institution after 1994 when it had written to the Pharmacy Council of India that the institution in question does not deserve to be approved and although it did not grant approval to the institution after 1995 it conducted competitive entrance tests for entrance into the B. Pharma Course by including the college in question us an eligible institution. To top it all, the University of Ajmer also conducted the Entrance Test by including respondent No. 6 as a competent institution to admit students into the course and as already noticed the AICTE after granting provisional approval to the institution slept over the matter and never cared to ascertain as to what has been the status of the institution after granting provisional approval to if! Thus on scrutiny, the lapses and the acts of omissions and commission committed by all the respondents except the Pharmacy Council of India ultimately has led to the complicated situation in which carrier of the innocent students have been put at stake as they had bona fide taken admission in the institution as the institution was included by the University as eligible institution for admission into the course. In J.P. Unnikrishnan's case (supra), the Apex Court had taken care and evolved a scheme by entrusting the power of conducting examination to the University and the institution itself was not entrusted to conduct examination to admit students and it obviously had been done with a pious hope that the University, the State organ and the AICET all would lake care to see that the institution functions properly, but in the instant case the problem has shifted from the frying-pan to the fire as neither the AICTE nor the Technical Education and not even the University discharged its legal obligation of taking care to ascertain whether the institution was fit enough to be granted affiliation so as to be included it in the category of recognised institution to admit students. Each organ in the process of establishment, approval, recognition, affiliation and conducting of examination were thus callously indifferent and failed to keep a check on the growth and upkeep of the institution which although had been granted provisional approv

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al by the AICTE on condition of fulfilment of requirements, entered into the process of decadence instead of improvement and finally reached on the verge of collapse as certified by the enquiry report furnished by the respondent No. 5 Special Secretary to the Technical Education Department vide letter dated 19-1-98 furnished to this Court suggesting that the students of this institution be transferred to continue their studies to other colleges. 22. It is unfortunate that in spite of service of notice the AICTE has neither cared to file reply in the matter nor it appears to have responded to the letter issued by the Director, Technical Education. It has also failed to conduct any inspection on its own nor has taken any decision in the matter regarding withdrawal of approval in view of the enquiry import. But there is no reason for this Court to question or disbelieve the finding of the enquiry report, which has been mentioned in the letter dated 19-1-98 issued by the Special Secretary to the Government furnished to this Court by the Government Advocate. 23. I, therefore, deem it appropriate to direcl the Special Secretary to the Government, Technical Education Department, to ascertain the final decision of the AICTE regarding continuance of the institution within a period of 6 weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of this order and if no decision is taken by the AICTE regarding the provisional approval granted to the institution-respondent No. 6, the petitioners herein who had been admitted into the Baba Mungippa College in view of the provisional approval as a result of which the Universities of Rajasthan and Ajmer conducted the Entrance Test including respondent No. 6 as an eligible institution, shall be transferred for undergoing the left-over course and examination either to Bhupal Noble College of Pharmacy at Udaipur or Lachhoo Memorial College of Pharmacy at Jodhpur. If, however, the AICTE disagrees with the enquiry report furnished by the Director, Higher Technical Education giving out cogent reasons for such disagreement, the petitioners shall have to undergo the course in the respondent-institution itself-Baba Mungippa College, but it is reiterated that the same will be in the event of disagreement by the AICTE with the report of the State agency. In the event of transfer of the petitioners to the other two colleges of Pharmacy of Rajasthan, the regional office of the AICTE, which has fixed deposit from the institution, will divert the fund for utilisation and financial assistance to the institution where these* candidates will be transferred. The AICTE thus in consultation with the State Government shall take a final decision whether the Bachelor of Pharmacy Course is fit to be continued in the Baba Mungippa Pharmacy College at Pilani or not and until such a decision is taken by them no University of Rajasthan shall hold any Entrance Test for admission in Baba Mungippa College in order to undergo Bachelor of Pharmacy Course. The University Which grants affiliation to the college and holds Entrance Test in future for Pharmacy Course, will further seek permission from the Pharmacy Council of India before holding examination for admission of the students in this college. 24. In the result the writ petition stands allowed in terms of the aforesaid directions with costs against respondent No. 2 -- All India Council for Technical Education, respondent No. 5 Department of Technical Education, State of Rajasthan, respondent No.6 Baba Mungippa Education Trust, respondent No. 9 Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati University, respondent No. 1-University of Rajasthan for the serious . lapse and their acts of omission and commission which cumulatively gave rise to the situation which made the fate of the students hang-in-balance without any fault on their part compelling them to approach this Court. The costs shall be assessed at Rs. 5,000/- each, which on deposit shall be transferred to the Rajasthan Legal Board, Jaipur. The Registry shall ensure compliance of deposit of costs.