Mr. (Dr.) Ashok Kumar Singh, learned counsel for the Respondent-University has filed the counter affidavit in Court by serving a copy of the same upon the learned counsel for the petitioner.
The copy of the said counter affidavit is taken on record.
The instant writ petition is under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, whereby and whereunder following prayers have been made:-
i. For issuance of an appropriate writ(s)/order(s)/direction(s) for quashing the order as contained in memo no. Ta.Shi.Pra.Ni.Sa./04/2016-219 dated 05.03.2019 (Annexure-4) issued under the signature of Director, Department of Higher, Technical Education & Skill Development, Government of Jharkhand, whereby and whereunder the petitioner has been refused affiliation for conducting B. Tech. courses for Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics & Communication Engineering, Civil Engineering and Computer & Science Engineering for the Academic Session 2015-2016;
ii. For further issuance of an appropriate/writ/direction for quashing the order as contained in memo no. Ta.Shi.Pra.Ni.Sa./03/2017-218 dated 05.03.2019 (Annexure5) issued under the signature of Director, Department of Higher, Technical Education & Skill Development, Government of Jharkhand, whereby and whereunder the petitioner has been refused affiliation for conducting B. Tech. courses for Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics & Communication Engineering, Civil Engineering and Computer & Science Engineering for the Academic Session 2016-17;
iii. For further issuance of an appropriate/writ/direction for quashing the order as contained in memo no. Ta.Shi.Pra.Ni.Sa./18/2018-214 dated 01.03.2019 (Annexure6) issued under the signature of Director, Department of Higher, Technical Education & Skill Development, Government of Jharkhand, whereby and whereunder the petitioner has been refused affiliation for conducting B. Tech. courses for Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics & Communication Engineering, Civil Engineering and Computer & Science Engineering for the Academic Session 2017-18;
iv. For issuance of an appropriate/writ/order/direction, directing upon the respondents to grant affiliation to the petitioner-Institute for the Academic Year/Session 2015- 2016, 2016-17 and 2018-19 for its B.Tech. Courses;
2. The brief facts of the case is that the petitioner-institution is a Society registered under the name of Ram Govind Buddhist Minority Development Society, established in the year 2004, which imparts education of various courses in the stream of Engineering, such as Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics & Communication Engineering, Civil Engineering and Computer & Science Engineering.
The petitioner institution was granted approval by the All India Council for Technical Education, in short as 'AICTE', by a letter as contained in F. No. 06/02/JHAR/ENGG/2004/005 dated 14.05.2004 for running B. Tech Courses in computer Science Engineering, Electronics & Communication Engineering, Electrical & Electronics Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and has all along from its inception, has been granted approval by the AICTE and the last of such approval has been granted for running B. Tech. Courses in Civil Engineering Electronics & Communications Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering for the Session 2014-15. The petitioner-institute is affiliated to the Vinoba Bhave University, Hazaribagh.
The application of the Institution for extension of approval for the Academic Year 2015-16 was forwarded to the Principal Secretary, Science & Technology Department, Government of Jharkhand, Ranchi by AICTE, while the application for extension of approval for the Academic year 2016-17 was forwarded by the AICTE on 05.04.2016 and it is the case of the petitioner that for the Academic Session 2015-16 and 2016-17, the University had constituted an Inspection team and the University was not granting permission to the petitioner for conducting examination for the Academic Session 2016-17, which was communicated by the petitioner to the Director, Department of Higher, Technical Education & Skill Development, Government of Jharkhand by letter dated 24.12.2016. In pursuance thereto, the petitioner has received a letter dated 05.03.2019, issued under the signature of the Director, Department of Higher, Technical Education & Skill Development, Government of Jharkhand, whereby and whereunder, the petitioner has been informed that the affiliation for conducting B. Tech. Courses for Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics & Communication Engineering, Civil Engineering and Computer & Science Engineering for the Academic Session 2015-16 has been refused. Likewise, the affiliation has been refused for the Academic Session 2016-17 and 2017-18.
The grievance of the petitioner is that when the petitioner-Institute has already been approved by the AICTE and has also paid all the requisite fees, required for the purposes of affiliation and any amount is legally due, the petitioner undertakes to pay the same, but, without appreciating this aspect of the matter, the decision for refusal of affiliation has been taken, which is absolutely illegal and improper. It is the further case of the petitioner that once the approval has been granted by the AICTE, the University of the State Government is required to take final decision and if the final decision has not been taken, why the students studying under the petitioner-institution will be made to suffer, since there is no fault on their part or the petitioner-institution, therefore, the instant writ petition.
3. The Respondent-Vinoba Bhave University has filed the counter affidavit, wherein, it has been stated that the petitioner-institution, since is a Technical Institution Education, therefore, the judgment rendered by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Parshvanath Charitable Trust and others-Versus-All India Council for Technical Education and others, (2013) 3 SCC 385 will be applicable, wherein, the time schedule has been framed regarding submission of application form and the time schedule for processing all such application forms and the petitioner-institution has submitted the application for extension of affiliation for the academic session 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively on 10.10.2015, 21.09.2016 and 13.11.2017, which is after the cut off date, as has been decided in the Notification, as contained under Advertisement No. 06/12, which is in pursuance to the judgment rendered in the case of Parshvanath Charitable Trust and others-Versus-All India Council for Technical Education and others (Supra) and, as such, the Respondent-University has acted in pursuance to the aforesaid judgment and as such, there is no fault lies on their part, if the petitioner-institution itself has committed illegality by not submitting application form as per the time schedule, fixed under the Advertisement as has been decided by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Parshvanath Charitable Trust and others-Versus-All India Council for Technical Education and others (Supra).
4. The State-Respondent has also filed affidavit, wherein, similar stand has been taken that since the application submitted by the petitioner-Institution is after the cut off date, therefore, approval for affiliation has been refused to be granted for the respective sessions and hence, there is no illegality committed by the respondents.
5. In response, Mr. Indrajit Sinha, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has submitted by making reference of the application submitted by the petitioner-institution on 10.10.2015, wherein, there is reference of the letter dated 06.06.2015 and, as such, the contention made by the University regarding submission of application, on 10.10.2015, is incorrect.
6. Mr. (Dr.) Ashok Kumar Singh, learned counsel appearing for the Respondent-Vinoba Bhave University has submitted that even accepting the argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner, treating the letter dated 06.06.2015, as the first application, then also it is after the cut off date i.e. 15th may, 2015, as such, it has not been taken into consideration.
7. Having heard the learned counsel for the respective parties and after appreciating the rival submissions, it needs to refer herein, with a view to achieve the object of planned and coordinated development in the educational system throughout the country and for regulation and proper maintenance of norms and standards in the educational system and for matters connected therewith, the Parliament has enacted an Act in the year 1987, as All India Council For Technical Education Act, which provides for establishment of a Council to be called as All India Council for Technical Education with multifarious functions and powers and duties.
Section 2.5 speaks about 'applicant', which means an 'applicant', who makes an application to the Council for seeking any kind of approval under these Regulations.
The provision of Section 2.6 defines 'Approved Institution', which means, the Technical Institutions approved by the Council. Section 2.13 defines 'Council', which means All India Council for Technical Education established under Section 3 of the Act.
Section 2.43 defines 'Technical Institution', which means an Institution, set up by Government, Government Aided and Self-Financing/Trust/Society/Company for conducting Courses/Programmes in the field of technical education, training and research in Engineering, Technology, MCA, Architecture, Town Planning, Management, Pharmacy, Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Applied Arts and Crafts and such other Programmes and areas as are notified by the Act.
Section 2.45 defines 'University', which means a University defined under clause (f) of Section 2 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.
Section 4.2 provides the provision for seeking prior approval of the Council for establishing the Technical Institutions for the following purposes:-
"a. Extension of approval;
b. Increase in intake/addition of Course(s) in existing Course in the Regular/First Shift in existing Institutions having valid NBA accredited Courses;
c. Addition of Integrated/Dual Degree Course in the Regular/First Shift in existing Institutions having valid NBA accredited Courses;
d. Fellowship Programme in Management in existing Institutions having valid NBA accreditation for Management Programme;
e. Introduction/Continuation of supernumerary seats for OCI/PIO/Foreign Nationals/Children of Indian Workers in the Gulf Countries;
f. Introduction/Continuation of seats for sons/daughters of NRIs.;
g. Reduction in intake;
h. Change in name of the Course/Closure of Programme and/or Course;
i. Change in name of the Institution;
j. Change in name of the Trust/Society/Company;
k. Change in Affiliating University/Board;
l. Restoration of reduction in intake/No Admission given based on the punitive action in the preceding Academic Year; and
m. Continuation of the Approval after a break in the earlier approval;"
Section 4.14 provides provision for submission of applications for approval for the purposes listed under Clause 4.2 except (j) of these Regulations shall be made by the Principal/Director of the Technical Institution and in pursuance to the power conferred under Subsection (1) of Section 23 read with Section 10 and Section 11 of the All India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987, a Regulation has been made in the year 2016 and prior to that, there was a Regulation of the year 2010 or Head of the Institution or an Officer of the Institution duly authorized by the Promoter of such Institution or Chairman/Secretary/President in case of the Trust/Society/Company.
Section 4.18 provides provision which as per the State Government/UT Administration and the Affiliating University/Board shall forward their views on the applications received under Clause 4.1 as applicable, with valid reasons along with the perspective plan of the State, within a period of 21 days from the date of receipt of applications which shall be taken into account by the Regional Committee for further processing for grant of approval.
If the views are not received within a prescribed time schedule as mentioned in the Approval Process handbook, it shall be presumed that they do not have any objection and the Council shall proceed further for processing of application and after following the requirements, the Council shall grant the desired approvals only after confirming that the applicant meets all the norms and standards prescribed in Approval Process Handbook.
Section 4.29 provides that the decision of the EC/Council shall be uploaded in the Web-Portal in the form of a Letter of Approval (LoA) or Letter of Rejection (LoR) with the reasons for rejection for the applications submitted under Clause 4.1 of these Regulations and Extension of Approval (EoA) or otherwise, for the applications submitted under Clause 4.2 of these Regulations.
Validity of the letter of approval, if issued, shall be for two Academic Years from the date of issue of Letter of Approval, only for obtaining affiliation with the respective University/Board and fulfilling the State Government/UT requirements the institution shall apply online on AICTE Web-Portal for Extension of Approval for the next Academic Session.
Section 4.32 provides that in no eventuality, a Technical institution without prior approval of the AICTE and affiliating University/Board concerned shall be allowed to participate in the counselling and Admission process and to admit the students in the affiliating University/Board shall not admit all such Technical institutions, which do not have requisite prior approval of the council.
8. It is, thus, evident that the AICTE is the authority constituted under the Central Act with the responsibility of maintaining operational standards and judging the infrastructure and facilities available for imparting professional education.
9. The Hon'ble Apex Court while dealing with the issue of obtaining prior approval from the AICTE in the judgment rendered in the case of Parshvanath Charitable Trust and others-Versus-All India Council for Technical Education and others (Supra) at paragraphs 24 and 25 has been pleased to, inter alia, hold as under :-
"24. The consistent view of this Court has been that where both Parliament and the State Legislature have the power to legislate, the Central Act shall take precedence in the matters which are covered by such legislation and the State enactments shall pave way for such legislations to the extent they are in conflict or repugnant. As per the established canons of law, primacy of the Central Act is indisputable which necessarily implies primacy of AICTE in the field of technical education. Statutes like the present one as well as the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993, the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, etc. fall within the ambit of this canon of law. AICTE is the authority constituted under the Central Act with the responsibility of maintaining operational standards and judging the infrastructure and facilities available for imparting professional education. It shall take precedence over the opinion of the State as well as that of the University. The department concerned of the State and the affiliating university have a role to play, but it is limited in its application. They cannot lay down any guidelines or policies in conflict with the Central statute or the standards laid down by the Central body. The State can frame its policies, but such policy again has to be in conformity with the direction issued by the Central body. Though there is no such apparent conflict in the present case, yet it needs to be clarified that grant of approval by the State and affiliation by the University for increased intake of seats or commencement of new college should not be repugnant to the conditions of approval/recommendation granted by AICTE. These authorities have to work in tandem as all of them have the common object to ensure maintenance of proper standards of education, examination and proper infrastructure for betterment of technical educational system.
25. It is also a settled principle that the regulations framed by the Central authorities such as AICTE have the force of law and are binding on all concerned. Once approval is granted or declined by such expert body, the courts would normally not substitute their view in this regard. Such expert views would normally be accepted by the court unless the powers vested in such expert body are exercised arbitrarily, capriciously or in a manner impermissible under the Regulations and the AICTE Act. In All India Council for Technical Education v. Surinder Kumar Dhawan8, this Court, while stating the principles that the courts may not substitute their opinion in place of the opinion of the Council, held as under: (SCC pp. 732-33 & 736, paras 17-18 & 32)
"17. The role of statutory expert bodies on education and the role of courts are well defined by a simple rule. If it is a question of educational policy or an issue involving academic matter, the courts keep their hands off. If any provision of law or principle of law has to be interpreted, applied or enforced, with reference to or connected with education, the courts will step in. In J.P. Kulshrestha v. Allahabad University9 this Court observed: (SCC pp. 424- 26, paras 11-17)
'11. ... Judges must not rush in where even educationists fear to tread. ...
* * *
17. ... While there is no absolute ban, it is a rule of prudence that courts should hesitate to dislodge decisions of academic bodies.'
18. In Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education v. Paritosh Bhupeshkumar Sheth10 this Court reiterated: (SCC pp. 56-57, para 29)
'29. ... the Court should be extremely reluctant to substitute its own views as to what is wise, prudent and proper in relation to academic matters in preference to those formulated by professional men possessing technical expertise and rich experience of actual day-to-day working of educational institutions and the departments controlling them.'
32. This is a classic case where an educational course has been created and continued merely by the fiat of the court, without any prior statutory or academic evaluation or assessment or acceptance. Granting approval for a new course or programme requires examination of various academic/technical facets which can only be done by an expert body like AICTE. This function cannot obviously be taken over or discharged by courts. In this case, for example, by a mandamus of the court, a bridge course was permitted for four-year advance diploma-holders who had passed the entry-level examination of 10+2 with PCM subjects. Thereafter, by another mandamus in another case, what was a one-time measure was extended for several years and was also extended to post diploma-holders. Again by another mandamus, it was extended to those who had passed only 10+1 examination instead of the required minimum of 10+2 examination. Each direction was obviously intended to give relief to students who wanted to better their career prospects, purely as an ad hoc measure. But together they lead to an unintended dilution of educational standards, adversely affecting the standards and quality of engineering degree courses. Courts should guard against such forays in the field of education."
In the aforesaid judgment, at paragraph 35, the Hon'ble Apex Court has been pleased to lay down by holding therein, about the requirement of law, which is strictly to be adhered to, pertaining to the time schedule for grant of approval as well as for admission without inspection, the same reads hereunder as :-
"35. It is the requirement of law that there should be strict adherence to the time schedule for grant of approval as well as for admissions without exception. In exercise of the powers vested in AICTE, under sub-section (1) of Section 23 of the AICTE Act, it had made regulations, namely, the All India Council for Technical Education (Grant of Approval for Starting New Technical Institutions, Introduction of Courses or Programmes and Approval of Intake Capacity of Seats for the Courses or Programmes) Regulations, 1994. The Schedule to these Regulations reads as under:
Sl. No. Stage of processing applicationLast date by which the processing should be completed
(1) (2) (3)
1. For receiving proposals by Bureau RC.31st December
2. For Bureau RC to screen the application and (a) to return the incomplete applications to the applicants, and (b) to forward the applications to (i) State Government concerned (ii) University or State Board concerned, for their comments (iii) Regional Officer to arrange visits by Expert Committees, and (iv) Bureaus MPCD, BOS and RA for their comments.
3. For receiving the comments from (i) the State Government (ii) the University or the State Board, and (iii) the Regional Committee based on the Expert Committee's report, and (iv) from the Bureaus MPCD, BOS and RA. 15th March
4. For consideration of the comments from the State Governments, Universities or State Boards, Regional Committees, and Bureaus of the Council by the State level Committee. 31st March
5. For recommendations to be made by the Central Task Force. 15th April
6. For communicating the final decision to the State Government or the University Grants Commission, under intimation to the Regional Office, Director of Technical Education, applicant, University or State Board. 30th April This Schedule has statutory backing. Thus, its adherence is mandatory and not directory."
At paragraph 36, it has been laid down, which reads hereunder as :-
"36. Non-adherence of this Schedule can result in serious consequences and can jeopardise not only the interest of the college students but also the maintenance of proper standards of technical education. The authorities concerned, particularly AICTE, should ensure proper and timely action upon the applications submitted to it. It must respond to the applicant within a reasonable time period and should not let the matter drag till the final date giving rise to avoidable speculations by all stakeholders. Thus, it would be appropriate for these authorities to bring to the knowledge of the parties concerned, the deficiencies, if any, and the defects pointed out by the Expert Committee during the inspection within three weeks from the date of such inspection or pointing out of defects, as the case may be. For better administration, AICTE should also state the time within which such deficiencies/defects should be removed by the applicant. This will help in building of a coherent and disciplined method of working to ensure the proper implementation of the entire formulated scheme of technical education. AICTE will not have any jurisdiction or authority to issue approval for commencement of a new course or for additional intake of students beyond 30th April of the year immediately preceding the commencement of an academic year."
In the concluding part at paragraph 46, following principles have been laid down, which reads hereunder as:-
"46. For the reasons afore-recorded, we find no merit in both the appeals afore-referred. While dismissing these appeals, we issue the following directions:
46.1. Both grant/refusal of approval and admission schedule, as aforestated, shall be strictly adhered to by all the authorities concerned including AICTE, the University, the State Government and any other authority directly or indirectly connected with the grant of approval and admission.
46.2. No person or authority shall have the power or jurisdiction to vary the schedule prescribed hereinabove.
46.3. While dealing with the application for grant of approval to new colleges or additional seats, AICTE shall inform the applicant within three weeks from the date of receipt of its application or date of inspection, as the case may be, the shortcomings/defects, who, in turn, shall remove such shortcomings/defects within 15 days from the date of such communication or within such period as AICTE may grant and re-submit its papers without default. The process of grant of approval has to be transparent and fair. AICTE or the University or the State Government concerned shall take disciplinary action against the person who commits default in adherence to the schedule and performance of his duties in accordance therewith.
46.4. The reports submitted by the Expert Committee visiting the College should be unambiguous and clear, and should bear the date and time of inspection and should be sufficiently comprehensive and inspection be conducted in the presence of a representative of the institute.
46.5. The students of the appellant College shall be reallocated to the recognised and affiliated colleges in terms of the judgment1 of the High Court; and AICTE and the university concerned shall ensure that the academic courses of these students are completed within the balance period of the academic year in all respects. For this purpose, if extra classes are required to be held, the institute concerned, the University and AICTE are directed to ensure holding of such extra classes.
46.6. If the appellate authority decides the matter prior to 30th April of the year concerned and grants approval to a college, then alone such institution will be permitted to be included in the list of colleges to which admissions are to be made and not otherwise. In other words, even if the appellate authority grants approval after 30th April, it will not be operative for the current academic year. All colleges which have been granted approval/affiliation by 10th or 30th April, as the case may be, shall alone be included in the brochure/advertisement/website for the purpose of admission and none thereafter."
10. It is in the light of the order, passed in the case of Parshvanath Charitable Trust and others-Versus-All India Council for Technical Education and others (Supra), the factual aspect involved in this case has been appreciated by this Court.
11. Admittedly, herein, the petitioner's institution has been approved by the AICTE, but, as per the requirement, the affiliation of the petitioner-institution is required to be made by the University and ultimately, by the State Government.
12. The requirement for getting the affiliation, as has been argued by the learned counsel for the parties that after getting approval from the AICTE, the same is to be informed to the University, who after processing will forward the same before the competent authority of the State Government, who will approve, if there is a positive recommendation in favour of such institution/applicant.
The petitioner has made an application on 06.06.2015, as would be evident from the original record, which has been directed to be produced by this Court and in pursuance thereto, learned counsel for the Respondent-University has produced it and therefore, the schedule for date of submission of application is 15.05.2015, but, as per the record, the application has been made on 06.06.2015.
13. Learned counsel for the petitioner has relied upon the judgment rendered by a coordinate Bench of this Court in W.P. (C) No.3977 of 2015, which has been passed by putting reliance upon the judgment rendered by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Maa Vaishno Devi Mahila Mahavidyalaya v. State of Uttar Pradesh and others, (2013) 2 SCC 617.
The factual aspect involved in the said case is that the petitioner-College has submitted application to the National Council for Teacher Education for granting recognition for conducting B.Ed. courses for academic session 2014-15 and NCTE has granted recognition on 03.03.2014 for the academic session 2014-15 and onwards. The petitioner-College received the letter of recognition on 11.03.2014 and immediately thereafter, it has submitted application on 13.03.2014 seeking grant of affiliation from Siddhu Kanhu Murmu University. The University in turn vide letter dated 15.03.2014 has directed the petitioner-College to deposit Rs.5,000/- as inspection fee, which the petitioner-college deposited on the same day through Challan and thereafter the University inspected the College on 26.03.2014 and vide letter dated 17.04.2014 informed the petitioner-College, that it has been granted affiliation. The University directed the petitioner to deposit Rs.2,50,000/- as Reserved Fund for the academic session 2014-15 which was deposited by the petitioner-College on the same day and it was duly communicated to the Registrar of the University through letter dated 17.04.2014 and subsequently, the students, admitted by the petitionerCollege, were registered under the University in the Academic Session 2014-15 and the University accepted deposit of Rs.1,00,000/- towards Development Fee for 100 students and Rs.16,000/- towards migration and registration fee of 80 students on 19.09.2014. Later on, affiliation for the academic session 2015-17 was granted by the University and the same was approved by the Department of Human Resources Development. While the proposal for grant of approval for affiliation to the petitioner-College remained pending with the State Government, the respondent-University issued notification dated 10.08.2015 and 13.08.2015, whereunder, it was notified that Examination forms from the petitioner-College and other institutes would not be accepted by the University, until grant of approved by the Human Resources Development Department and in that pretext, the petitioner in the aforesaid writ petition has approached to this Court and the co-ordinate Bench while considering the judgment rendered by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Maa Vaishno Devi Mahila Mahavidyalaya (Supra) has gone across the factual aspects vis-a-vis the ratio laid down therein. This Court while adjudicating the issue has taken care of about the judgment rendered in the case of Maa Vaishno Devi Mahila Mahavidyalaya (Supra) wherein it has been referred at paragraph 7 thereof, that the role of the State Government is minimal in grant or refusal of affiliation, rather, it is primarily, for the University to determine the grant or refusal of affiliation and the reference of paragraph 79 of the aforesaid judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court has been made, which reads hereunder as:-
"79. It is on record and the Regulations framed under the Act clearly show that upon receiving an application for recommendation, NCTE shall send a copy of the application with its letter inviting recommendations/comments of the State Government on all aspects within a period of 30 days. To such application, the State is expected to respond with its complete comments within a period of 60 days. In other words, the opinion of the State on all matters that may concern it in any of the specified fields is called for. This is the stage where the State and its Department should play a vital role. They must take all precautions to offer proper comments supported by due reasoning. Once these comments are sent and the State Government gives its opinion which is considered by NCTE and examined in conjunction with the report of the experts, it may grant or refuse recognition. Once it grants recognition, then such grant attains supremacy vis- -vis the State Government as well as the affiliating body. Normally, these questions cannot be reagitated at the time of grant of affiliation. Once the university conducts inspection in terms of its statutes or Act, without offending the provisions of the Act and conditions of recognition, then the opinion of the State Government at the second stage is a mere formality unless there was a drastic and unacceptable mistake or the entire process was vitiated by fraud or there was patently eminent danger to the life of the students working in the school because of non-compliance with a substantive condition imposed by either of the bodies. In the normal circumstances, the role of the State is a very formal one and the State is not expected to obstruct the commencement of admission process and academic courses once recognition is granted and affiliation is found to be acceptable."
14. Considering the aforesaid observation made by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the aforesaid judgment, it has been directed therein and considering the fact that after getting the approval under the NCTE, the petitioner, therein, has deposited the inspection fee and thereafter, the delayed fee has also been deposited. The Inspection Committee was constituted, which inspected the petitioner-College and a decision was taken to grant affiliation to the petitioner-College for the Academic Session 2014-15.
But the factual aspect involved herein, is quite different to that of the aforesaid case, since therein, the University has not acted upon the application, since, it has been submitted after due date and therefore, the order passed in W.P. (C) No. 3977 of 2015 is not applicable on fact.
15. It has been contended by the learned counsel for the petitioner that as per the Schedule, the application was to be allowed or refused, but there is no order of refusal and therefore, the respondent-University cannot take the plea that there is laches only on the part of the petitioner, rather, the latches is also on their part.
But question of allowing or refusal depends upon the application, if submitted within time. Allowing or refusal of application will mean a decision to be taken by the concerned University for affiliation and the decision can only be taken, if the application would be entertained, herein, the specific stand has been taken by the University that the application itself has not been entertained by the University on its merit and it has been forwarded before the State Government, since it has been received after the cut off date of 15.05.2015, therefore, there is no question of refusal.
This Court found substance in the argument advanced on behalf of the Respondent-University that allowing or refusing the prayer made in the application would mean that the application has been entertained on its merit and as has been agitated by the Respondent-University that since the application submitted by the petitioner was beyond the cut off date of 15.05.2015, therefore, it is not binding upon the University to take a final decision about the application, when the application itself is maintainable, being submitted after due date.
16. In this context, the submission has been made by the learned counsel for the petitioner that actually the application was made on 11.04.2015, which is before the scheduled date of 15.05.2015, but on examination of the original record and on perusal of the application dated 06.06.2015 and 10.10.2015, it is evident that in the application dated 10.10.2015 there is reference under enclosure of the letter dated 06.06.2015, but, in the letter dated 06.06.2015, there is no reference of the letter dated 11.04.2015, therefore, the contention raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner about the application dated 11.04.2015, is incorrect and taking the date of application, as 06.06.2015, as has been referred in the application dated 10.10.2015, the said application has been submitted after the cut off date of 15th May, 2015.
The stand of the University that since the application has been submitted after the cut off date of 15.05.2015, therefore, the same has been forwarded before the competent authority of the State Government, who after going across the time schedule and in strict adherence, as directed by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the judgment rendered in the case of Parshvanath Charitable Trust and others- Versus-All India Council for Technical Education and others (Supra) has rejected it.
17. Learned counsel for the petitioner has raised the issue that there is no requirement of making any application, since no procedure has been laid down by the University and to counter the said argument, learned counsel for the Respondent-University has submitted that although no procedure is laid down after enactment of the Act, 1987, but it is not in dispute that after getting approval by the AICTE, an application is to be filed by the concerned Institute, as would be evident from the provision of Regulation 2.49, which speaks about an application to be submitted after issuance of the Letter of Approval and therefore, the application is required to be filed in order to assess the basic requirement of possessing infrastructure, which is to be possessed by such institution before granting affiliation or approval by the University and the provision of Statute 29, which wa
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s approved by the Chancellor on 19.04.1986, which speaks about submission of application, contending therein, the contents of the application, therefore, in order to apply its mind, the University is required to see that the application alongwith its content for taking such decision. 18. This Court has gone across the provision of Statute 29, which pertains to admission and exclusion of Colleges other than those managed and maintained by the University, as has been approved by the Chancellor vide letter dated 19.04.1986, which requires that an application is to be made for admission of an educational institution as a College and the contents of the application has been referred under Sub-Statute 3 of Statute 29, which contends that an application for grant of admission of an educational institution as a College shall state the course of instruction which it is proposed that the institution will undertake, and standard up to which it is proposed to teach in each such course as shown in a time-table of work attached and shall contain sufficient information to satisfy the Syndicate. Even if the provision of Statute 29 is before the commencement of the AICTE Act, 1987 and the University has not formulated any guideline/process, but when the application is required to be made, the University/Board, which is to affiliate, is required to apply its mind and the said authority cannot be said to act as a post-office, otherwise, and if the provision of AICTE Act, 1987 alongwith the Regulation, 2016 and the purpose for which, the AICTE Act has been enacted upon by way of the Central Act, the whole purpose is to maintain higher standard in the educational system all across the country, which includes all infrastructures to be possessed by such institutions, as also the qualified teaching staffs in order to impart better education and to maintain standard in the educational system in the country, therefore, what has been contended by the learned counsel for the petitioner that after getting the approval from the AICTE, no requirement of making an application is there, is not said to be correct accordingly, the same is rejected, otherwise, if there would be no application to be filed by such applicant, the University or the Board or the State Government will be said to be an authority to act as a post office, which cannot be the purpose of the Act. In any case, the petitioner has approached before the University, after expiry of the due date, i.e. after 15.05.2015, and now the question herein, would be as to whether the plea has been taken by the University or by the State Government in rejecting the claim of the petitioner on the ground that the applications have been received in their office in the office of the University afters the due date of 15.05.2015 can be said to be considered by the University by exercising the power conferred to this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. In view of the judgment rendered in the case of Parshvanath Charitable Trust and others-Versus-All India Council for Technical Education and others (Supra), it needs to refer herein, since it is settled position of law that the order passed by the Hon'ble Apex Court is binding in nature in view of the provision of Article 141 of the Constitution of India and when the order of such nature has been passed by the Hon'ble Apex Court, the High Courts sitting under Article 226 of the Constitution of India in exercising the extraordinary jurisdiction, if any positive order would be passed it will be in direct conflict with the said order passed by the Hon'ble Apex Court and therefore, this Court after taking into consideration the fact that the petitioner-institution has made an application, after getting approval from the AICTE on 06.06.2015, which is after the cut off date of 15.05.2015 as per the notice and as such it would not be proper to pass positive order in favour of the petitioner and hence, this Court is not inclined to exercise the extraordinary jurisdiction conferred upon this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, therefore, the writ petition fails and accordingly, it is dismissed.