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Oriental College of Teacher Education, Represented by Its Manager, Calicut v/s The Regional Director, National Council for Teacher Education, New Delhi


Company & Directors' Information:- TO THE NEW PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72900DL2006PTC235208

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    WP(C). No. 18253 of 2020 (F)

    Decided On, 09 September 2020

    At, High Court of Kerala

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ANIL K. NARENDRAN

    For the Petitioner: George Poonthottam, Sr. Advocate, Riji Rajendran, Nisha George, Advocates. For the Respondent: Dr. Abraham P. Meachinkara, Standing Counsel.



Judgment Text

1. The petitioner is an educational institution conducting B.Ed course on the strength of the recognition granted by the National Council for Teacher Education (for brevity, 'the NCTE'). The petitioner was granted recognition for B.Ed Course of one year duration, from the academic session 2006-07, with an annual intake of 100 students, vide Ext.P1 order dated 23.10.2006 of the respondent Southern Regional Director of the NCTE. From the academic session 2015-16, the duration of B.Ed Course is two years. By Ext.P2 order dated 10.06.2015, in terms of clause (a) of sub-section (3) of Section 14 of the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 and in accordance with the National Council for Teacher Education (Recognition Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2014, the Southern Regional Committee of the NCTE granted recognition to the petitioner institution for conducting B.Ed Course of two years duration, with an annual intake of 100, with two basic units of 50 students each, from the academic year 2015-16, subject to submission of re-validated Fixed Deposit Receipts of the enhanced value, in joint account with Southern Regional Committee of the NCTE before 30.06.2015 and fulfillment of the conditions mentioned at clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph 4, before 31.10.2015.2. Paragraph 4 of Ext.P2 deals with the conditions that have to be fulfilled for permitting an institution to have two basic units of 50 students each. As per clause (i) of paragraph 4, the institution shall submit re-validated fixed deposit receipts of the enhanced values, in joint account with the Southern Regional Committee before 30.06.2015, failing which the recognition will be withdrawn. As per clause (ii), the institution shall create additional facilities that include additional built-up area; additional infrastructure; additional staff as per the National Council for Teacher Education (Recognition Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2014 and inform the Regional Committee with required documents by 31.10.2015.3. As per clause (iii) of paragraph 4 of Ext.P2, the applicant-institution for additional unit will be required to submit the required documents such as land documents, encumbrance certificate, land use certificate, building plan and approved staff list in the specified proforma available on the website to the Regional Committee in proof of having provided additional facilities before 31.10.2015. Building Completion Certificate may be given along with other documents, if available, otherwise it can also be given to the visiting team at the time of inspection. As per clause (iv) of paragraph 4, the Regional Committee shall arrange for verification of the documents, inspection of the premises and check adherence to these conditions by 20.02.2016. If it is found by the Regional Committee that the institution fails to comply with these requirements, the institution shall not be permitted to admit students for the academic year 2016-17.4. The petitioner submitted Ext.P3 representation dated 26.10.2015 before the respondent seeking permission to run the institution with single unit of 50 students, since they do not have plan for the additional unit. In Ext.P3, it was pointed out that most of the B.Ed Colleges in Kerala are striving for survival because of fall in the number of students and that, for the academic session 2015-16, the petitioner institution could admit only 20 students for B.Ed. Course. Therefore, the petitioner decided to avert the plan to start two units and to run the institution with single unit. Ext.P3 representation was followed by Ext.P4 representation dated 08.08.2016 to limit the intake for B.Ed Course as single unit of 50 students.5. Based on Ext.P3, the respondent issued Ext.P5 order dated 11.10.2017, permitting the request for reduction of intake from two units to one unit for B.Ed Course, subject to the conditions indicated in paragraph 1 of Ext.P5 order and fulfillment of the conditions mentioned in Ext.P2 order dated 10.06.2015. Paragraph 1 of Ext.P5 order reads thus;“1. The request for reduction of intake strength from 2 units to 1 unit is accepted subject to the following conditions:(i) The reduction will be w.e.f. 2017-18. The students admitted into the 2 units in 2016-17 will however be entitled to continue with and complete their 2nd year course in 2017-18.(ii) Admissions in 2017-18 will be limited to one unit of 50. The affiliating Universities will please ensure that this is strictly observed.(iii) Notwithstanding the restriction of admission in the first year course to 50, there will be no reduction in the faculty strength of 1+15, as prescribed in the 2014 Regulations because of the continuing workload in the 2nd year course. The affiliating Universities will please ensure that this is strictly observed.(iv) The faculty strength can be reduced to 1+9 w.e.f. 2018-19.This arrangement will come into force with immediate effect because of the urgency of admissions relating to proximity of counseling.But, it will be subject to subsequent production of the under listed documents by the institutions concerned.(i) Resolution of the sponsoring society.(ii) NOC of the Affiliating University.(iii) No dues Certificate relating to the teaching faculty.(iv) No dues Certificate relating to the nonteaching faculty.”6. While conducting B.Ed Course with the reduced annual intake of one unit of 50 students, the petitioner submitted Ext.P7 representation dated 18.07.2020 before the respondent, to increase the annual intake as 100 students, with two basic units of 50 students each, from the academic session 2020-21. Thereafter, the petitioner has approached this Court in this writ petition, under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, seeking a writ of mandamus commanding the respondent to reinstate the previous order [i.e., Ext.P2 order] granting recognition to B.Ed Course of two years duration with an annual intake of 100 students in two basic units of 50 students each. The petitioner has also sought for a declaration that the institution is entitled to allot students as per Ext.P2 order.7. Heard the learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner and also the learned Standing Counsel for the NCTE, representing the respondent.8. The issues that arise for consideration in this writ petition are as to whether the petitioner institution is entitled for a writ of mandamus commanding the respondent to reinstate the annual intake in Ext.P2 order dated 10.06.2015, by granting recognition to conduct B.Ed Course of two years duration with an annual intake of 100 students in two basic units of 50 students each; and also a declaration that the petitioner institution is entitled to conduct B.Ed Course as per the annual intake in Ext.P2 order.9. The learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner would point out that, though the petitioner institution restricted admission to one unit of 50 students for B.Ed Course from the academic session 2018-19 onwards, in Ext.P6 printout taken from the NCTE website on 31.08.2020 the intake is shown as 100. The learned Standing Counsel for the NCTE would submit that the intake shown in Ext.P8 is that granted during the academic session 2015-16, vide Ext.P2 order. By Ext.P5 order, the petitioner institution was permitted to reduce intake for B.Ed Course from two units of 100 students to one unit of 50 students. For additional intake, the petitioner institution has to submit online application in terms of the notification issued by the NCTE for the respective academic session, after complying with the requirements under the NCTE (Recognition Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2014. Therefore, after Ext.P5 order, the petitioner institution cannot approach the NCTE with a request to reinstate the annual intake in Ext.P2 order.10. By Ext.P2 order dated 10.06.2015, the petitioner institution was granted recognition for conducting B.Ed Course with two years duration, with an annual intake of 100 students in two basic units of 50 students each, from the academic session 2015-16, subject to submission of re-validated Fixed Deposit Receipts of the enhanced value in joint account with Southern Regional Committee of the NCTE before 30.06.2015; creation of additional facilities, i.e., additional built-up area, additional infrastructure, additional staff as per the NCTE (Recognition Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2014 and inform Regional Committee with required documents by 31.10.2015; submission of required documents of the additional unit such as land documents, Encumbrance Certificate, Land Use Certificate, Building Plan and Approved Staff List in the specified proforma available on the website to the Regional Committee, in proof of having provided additional facilities, before 31.10.2015. As per Ext.P2, the Regional Committee shall arrange for verification of the documents, inspection of the premises and check adherence to these conditions by 20.02.2016. If it is found that the petitioner institution failed to comply with these requirements, the institution shall not be permitted to admit students for the academic session 2016-17.11. As evident from Ext.P3 representation dated 26.10.2015, the petitioner institution could admit only 20 students for B.Ed. Course for the academic session 2015-16. On receipt of Ext,P2 order dated 10.06.2015, the petitioner sought permission to run the institution with single unit of 50 students, since they do not have plan for the additional unit. Based on Ext.P3, the respondent issued Ext.P5 order dated 11.10.2017, permitting the request for reduction of intake from two units to one unit for B.Ed Course, subject to the conditions indicated in paragraph 1 of Ext.P5 order and fulfillment of the conditions mentioned in Ext.P2 order dated 10.06.2015. As per paragraph 1 of Ext.P5 order, the reduction of intake in the petitioner institution shall come into force with effect from the academic session 2017-18, by limiting admission to one unit of 50 students for B.Ed Course, and the affiliating university is required to limit affiliation to one unit of 50 students.12. Regulation 3 of the NCTE (Recognition Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2014 deals with its applicability. In view of clause (c) of Regulation 5, the provisions under the Regulations, 2014 shall be applicable to matters relating to permission for additional intake in the existing teacher education programmes duly recognised by the NCTE. Regulation 5 deals with the manner of making application and the time limit; Regulation 6 deals with processing fees; and Regulation 7 deals with processing of applications. For additional intake in B.Ed Course, the petitioner institution has to make an application in the manner specified in Regulation 5, within the time limit prescribed in the said Regulation. Without complying with the norms and procedures under the Regulations, 2014 the petitioner institution cannot seek additional intake in B.Ed Course, by approaching the NCTE with a request to reinstate the annual intake in Ext.P2 order.13. In Bihar Eastern Gangetic Fishermen Cooperative Society Ltd. v. Sipahi Singh [(1977) 4 SCC 145], a Three-Judge Bench of the Apex Court held that a writ of mandamus can be granted only in a case where there is a statutory duty imposed upon the officer concerned and there is a failure on the part of that officer to discharge the statutory obligation. The chief function of a writ is to compel performance of public duties prescribed by statute and to keep subordinate tribunals and officers exercising public functions within the limit of their jurisdiction.14. In Oriental Bank of Commerce v. Sunder Lal Jain [(2008) 2 SCC 280] the Apex Court held that in order that a writ of mandamus may be issued, there must be a legal right with the party asking for the writ to compel the performance of some statutory duty cast upon the authorities. In the said decision, the Apex Court noticed that the principles on which a writ of mandamus can be issued have been stated in 'The Law of Extraordinary Legal Remedies' by F. G. Ferris and F. G. Ferris, Jr. that, mandamus is, subject to the exercise of a sound judicial discretion, the appropriate remedy to enforce a plain, positive, specific and ministerial duty presently existing and imposed by law upon officers and others who refuse or neglect to perform such duty, when there is no other adequate and specific legal remedy and without which there would be a failure of justice.15. In State of U.P. v. Harish Chandra [(1996) 9 SCC 309] the Apex Court held that under the Constitution a mandamus can be issued by the Court when the applicant establishes that he has a legal right to performance of legal duty by the party against whom the mandamus is sought and said right was subsisting on the date of the petition. The duty that may be enjoined by mandamus may be one imposed by the Constitution or a Statute or by Rules or orders having the force of law. But no mandamus can be issued to direct the Government to refrain from enforcing the provisions of law or to do something which is contrary to law.16. In Bhaskara Rao A.B. v. CBI [(2011) 10 SCC 259] the Apex

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Court reiterated that, generally, no court has competence to issue a direction contrary to law nor can the Court direct an authority to act in contravention of the statutory provisions. The Courts are meant to enforce the rule of law and not to pass the orders or directions which are contrary to what has been injected by law.17. In view of the law laid down in the decisions referred to supra, the petitioner institution cannot seek a writ of mandamus commanding the respondent to reinstate the annual intake in Ext.P2 order dated 10.06.2015 by granting recognition to the institution to conduct B.Ed Course of two years duration with an annual intake of 100 students in two basic units of 50 students each, without making an application seeking permission for additional intake in B.Ed. Course, in the manner specified in Regulation 5, within the time limit prescribed in the said Regulation, after complying with the norms and procedures under the Regulations, 2014. Since no mandamus can be issued to direct the NCTE to do something which is contrary to the Regulations, 2014, the respondent cannot be directed to consider the request made by the petitioner institution in Ext.P7 representation dated 18.07.2020 to reinstate the annual intake for B.Ed. Course in Ext.P2 order, i.e., annual intake of 100 students, with two basic units of 50 students each.In the result, the writ petition fails and the same is accordingly dismissed. No order as to costs.
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