1. The petitioner has assailed the orders passed by the respondent 1 dated 26-10-2016, the corrigendum passed by the respondent 2 dated 5-5-2017 as well as the order passed by the respondent 1 dated 18-4-2017 at Annexures-D, J and H respectively.
2. The petitioner is claiming to be the registered society under the provisions of the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960 said to have been registered with the yeoman object of establishing educational institution with charitable objective. It is contended that the petitioner had taken on lease a constructed building from Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation Employees Welfare Trust in terms of lease deed dated 26-12-2007 for a period of 30 years for running the institution. The NCTE granted recognition for B.Ed. course with an intake of 100 students by orders dated 8-8-2008 passed under Section 14 of the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 ('Act' for short) subject to certain conditions. On coming into force of the new National Council for Teacher Education (Recognition Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2014, petitioner-institution had made its request to be regulated in terms of the new Regulations and on 27-5-2015, NCTE had granted recognition to be regulated in terms of the Regulations 2014. It was indicated that there was a condition imposed for the petitioner to shift to its own premises and the said condition had not been fulfilled and hence, necessary documents for shifting to new premises was called for, by the NCTE vide communication dated 27-5-2015. It appears based on the so-called condition not being complied with, the Southern Regional Committee (SRC) passed an order to withdraw the recognition. Aggrieved by the same, the petitioner had filed an appeal before the NCTE being unsuccessful in W.P. No. 57244/16, evincing that steps were taken to shift the institution to its own building and accordingly sought for two years time. However, rejecting the said request, appeal came to be dismissed observing that the order of withdrawal shall come into force only from the end of academic year 2017-18. Pursuant to the said order, the SRC has issued corrigendum to the said effect. Being aggrieved by the order of withdrawal and its confirmation by the Appellate Authority, these writ petitions are filed.
3. The learned Counsel Sri D.R. Ravishankar appearing for the petitioner would submit that once the recognition is granted under Section 14 of the Act, it can be withdrawn only under Section 17 of the Act. The original recognition was granted when 2007 Regulations were in force. Section 8(7) of the National Council for Teacher Education (Recognition Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2007 provides that no institution shall be granted recognition under the regulations unless it is in possession of the required land on the date of the application and the land is either held on ownership basis or on a lease from Government or institution for a period of not less than 30 years and there is no dispute with reference to the infrastructure in respect of the institution. The petitioner had fulfilled all the conditions and hence recognition had been granted. The University has granted affiliation accordingly. It is only after the Regulations 2014 coming into force, the NCTE is insisting for compliance under Clause 8(4)(i) of the Regulations 2014 inasmuch as no institution shall be granted the recognition unless the institution or society is in possession of required land on the date of application. The land free from all encumbrances could be either on ownership basis or on lease from Government/Government Institutions for a period of not less than 30 years. The said Regulations 2014 has been stayed by the High Court of Madras in the case of The National Council for Teacher Education v. Tamil Nadu Self Financing College of Education Management Association, in W.P. Nos. 37582 to 37591/2016 and allied matters, dated 28-7-2017.
4. The learned Counsel submitted that the order of recognition dated 8-8-2008 was granted subject to fulfillment of certain*conditions which do not reflect the condition of the institution to possess the required land free from all encumbrances either on ownership basis or lease from Government. But alleging violation regarding the shifting condition, recognition granted to the institution for B.Ed. course has been withdrawn with effect from the end of the academic year 2017-18. Now the petitioner-institution has acquired the land and necessary steps have been taken to proceed with the construction of the building in order to shift the institution and accordingly two years time was sought for. The same has been refused by the NCTE blindly without application of mind. The petitioner-institution is one of the most premier institution in the State with the reputation of the students being conferred with ranks/gold medals. The petitioner-institution deserves to impart education without any interference and harassment by the respondent-authorities. Accordingly, learned Counsel seeks for permission for the students studying in II year B.Ed. degree to appear for the ensuing examination scheduled during April/May 2019 (2017-18 batch) as well as for the students appearing for the I year B.Ed. degree (2018-19 batch).
5. Learned Counsel for the NCTE submitted that the petitioner institution has not complied with the conditions of the recognition since nine years. The NCTE after considering the request of the petitioner filed by way of an affidavit undertaking that the institution shall fulfill the revised norms relating to the infrastructure facilities and reserve funds, number of qualify teaching staff etc., granted recognition to the petitioner for conducting B.Ed. programme of two years duration from the academic session 2015-16 subject to fulfillment of conditions, one such condition being the institution to comply with various norms and conditions prescribed in the NCTE Regulation as amended from time to time. As per the order dated 27-5-2015 at Annexure-C the petitioner ought to have fulfilled the conditions stipulated thereinbefore 31-7-2015 and 31-10-2015 relating to paras 4(i) and 4(ii) as well as 4(iii) and (iv) respectively. The same not having complied with and considering the request of the petitioner for extension of time, not being convincing, a show-cause notice was issued and thereafter an order was passed withdrawing the order of recognition duly considering the objections filed by the petitioner. The same has been confirmed by the Appellate Authority. There being no recognition, petitioner is not entitled to admit any students for the B.Ed. course during the academic year 2018-19.
6. The learned Counsel submitted that NCTE has filed Miscellaneous Application in S.L.P. [Civil] Nos. 4247-4218/2019 before the Hon'ble Apex Court against the order of the High Court of Madras and the same is pending consideration.
7. In support of his contentions, learned Counsel referred to the following judgments:
1. In the case of National Council for Teacher Education and Others v. Sri Shyam Shiksha Prashikshan Sansthan and Others, AIR 2011 SC 932 : (2011) 11 SLT 14 : 2011(4) SCJ 146 , (2011)3 SCC 238.
2. In the case of Adarsh Shiksha Mahavidyalaya and Others v. Subhash Rahangdale and Others, AIR 2012 SC 1097 : (2012) 1 SLT 232 : 2012(3) SCJ 406, (2012)3 SCC 425.
3. In the case of Rashtrasant T.M. S & S.B.V.M.C.A. VID and Others v. Gangadar Nilkant Shende and Others, SLP (C) Nos. 4247 and 4248 of 2009, dated 10-9-2013.
8. Learned Counsel for the University-respondent 4 submitted that the respondent 2 has granted recognition for the academic year 2008-09 under the Act. Thereafter by communication dated 27-5-2015, the 2nd respondent has granted its recognition from the academic year 2015-16 to run the 2nd year B.Ed. Course, subject to the petitioner fulfilling conditions stipulated in the said order. Since the petitioner-institution failed to comply with the conditions stipulated, in the matter of its infrastructure including in respect of the land, the respondent by communication dated 26-10-2016 has withdrawn the recognition granted for B.Ed. course from the academic year 2016-17 which is confirmed by the Appellate Authority. Indisputably, there is no recognition for the petitioner-institution to conduct B.Ed. course for the academic year 2017-18 as well as 2018-19 under the provisions of the NCTE Act and regulations. Any admissions made by the college to the said course during the said academic years is in gross violation of the provisions of NCTE Act and Section 59 of the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2000. Since there is no recognition by the NCTE, the University has not granted any affiliation from the academic year 2017-18. As such, the question of the petitioner seeking relief of approval of admission of students for the academic year 2018-19 does not arise. Moreover, no application has been filed by the petitioner for the year 2018-19 and the last date for submitting the application for affiliation was 31-8-2017, which has to be scrupulously complied with and hence the petitioner is not entitled to any relief in the writ petitions. Reliance was placed on the following judgments of the Hon'ble Apex Court:
a. Adarsh Shiksha Mahavidyalaya and Others v. Subhash Rahangdale and Others, supra.
b. Smt. P. Venkatalakshmamma and Others v. The Special Land Acquisition officer, Bangalore and Others, 2002(3) Kar. L.J. 582 ILR 2002 Kar. 2354.
9. Learned AGA appearing for the respondent 4 submitted that in view of the petitioner-institution not being recognised by the NCTE and affiliated by the University, the petitioner is not entitled to the reliefs claimed in the writ petitions. Accordingly no students for the Government seats are sent to the petitioner's institution for the academic years 2017-18 and 2018-19.
10. I have carefully considered the rival submissions of the learned Counsel appearing for the parties and perused the material on record.
11. The epicenter of the case relates to non-compliance of the Regulations, 2014 by the institution or society sponsoring the institution not in possession of required land on the date of application free from all encumbrances could be either on ownership basis or on lease from Government institutions for a period not less than 30 years with the building in the form of a permanent structure on the land possessed by the institution, equipped with all amenities. It is not in dispute that the petitioner-institution was granted recognition for conducting B.Ed. course of one year with an annual intake of 100 students from the academic session 2008-09 in terms of the order dated 8-8-2008 in exercise of the powers vested under Section 14(3)(a) of the Act read with Clause 7(11) of NCTE (Recognition Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2007 subject to fulfillment of the following conditions:
i. The endowment fund of Rs. 5 lakhs and reserve fund of Rs. 3 lakhs kept in joint account with SRC, NCTE should be maintained always. Loan raising or Mortgaging of FDRs shall not be done.
ii. The institution shall comply with the various other norms and standards prescribed in the NCTE regulations, as amended from time to time.
iii. The institution shall make admission only after it obtains affiliation from the examining body in terms of Clause 8(12) of the NCTE (Recognition Norms amd Procedure) Regulations, 2007.
iv. The institution shall ensure that the required number of academic staff for conducting the course is always in position.
12. After the NCTE recognition 2014 coming into force, the petitioner was granted recognition by order dated 27-5-2015 for conducting B.Ed. programme of two years duration with an annual intake of 100 students each for two basic units from the academic session 2015-16 subject to fulfillment of certain conditions namely.-
"i. The institution shall submit all documents including land, building, Encumbrance Certificate, Land Use Certificate, Building Plan, approved staff list, pertaining to shifting to own premises to the SRC before 31st July, 2015 failing which recognition will be withdrawn.
ii. The Regional Committees shall inspect the proposed premises during August-September-October 2015 and if on inspection it is found that the institution dose not fulfill required norms of infrastructure recognition will be withdrawn.
iii. Further, with regard to the second unit the institution shall create additional facilities that include: (a) additional built-up area; (b) additional infrastructure; (c) additional funds; (d) additional staff as per Regulations 2014 and inform Regional Committees with required documents by October 31, 2015.
iv. The applicant-institution for additional unit will be required to submit the required documents such as land documents, Encumbrance Certificate [EC], Land Use Certificate [LUC], Building Plan [BP] and the Approved Staff List in the specified pro forma available on the website to the Regional Committee in proof of having provided additional facilities before October 31, 2015. Building Completion Certificate [BCC] may be given along with other documents if available, otherwise it can also be given to the visiting team at the time of inspection.
v. The Regional Committees shall arrange for verification of documents, inspection of these premises and check adherence to these conditions by 20th February, 2016. If it if found by the Regional Committee that the institution fails to comply with these requirements, the institutions shall not be permitted to admit students for the academic year 2016-2017."
compliance before 31-7-2015 relating to Condition No. 4(i) and (ii) before 31-10-2015 relating to Conditions No. 4(iii) and (iv)
13. The said recognition has been withdrawn by the impugned order dated 26-10-2016 mainly for the reason that the petitioner-institution failed to comply with the shifting condition imposed in the order of recognition.
14. It is also not in dispute that an affidavit dated 9-3-2015 was filed by Smt. Sujatha K.R, Secretary of the petitioner-institution stating that the Management has studied the National Council for Teacher Education (Recognition Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2014 carefully and has understood their implication for the existing Teacher Education Institutions offering NCTE recognised teacher education programme(s). Further, it is stated that she has been authorised by the Management to state that the institution shall fulfill the revised norms relating to infrastructure, instructional facilities, enhanced amount of Endowment and Reserve Funds. Number and qualifications of Teaching Staff, Curriculum and implementation strategies, in view of the change in duration/intake of the programme(s) offered in the institution within the time-limit allowed by NCTE. A letter dated 18-7-2016 along with rent agreement dated 26-12-2007 were also submitted. But despite the same, the same has not been complied with.
15. It is the contention of the petitioner that Regulations 2014 has been stayed by the Hon'ble High Court of Madras and hence non-compliance of the said Regulations would not preclude the NCTE in granting/continuing the recognition and the university to affiliate the institution. This ground can be accepted only to consider the request of the petitioner to permit the students admitted to the institution during 2017-18 pursuant to the interim order granted by this Court and the multiple orders passed from time to time permitting the students to appear for the examination. There is no explicit permission granted by this Court inasmuch as admitting the students for the academic year 2018-19. Such being the position, the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Adarsh Shiksha, supra would be applicable with all force wherein the Hon'ble Apex Court at paragraph 33 has observed thus:
"33. As a sequel to the above discussion, we hold that the impugned orders do not suffer from any legal infirmity warranting interference by this Court. We also reiterate that: *
(i) The Regional Committees established under Section 20 of the 1993 Act are duty-bound to ensure that no private institution offering or intending to offer a course or training in teacher education is granted recognition unless it satisfies the conditions specified in Section 143(3)(a) of the 1993 Act and Regulations 7 and 8 of the Regulations. Likewise, no recognised institution intending to start any new course or training in teacher education shall be granted permission unless it satisfies the conditions specified in Section 153(3)(a) of the 1993 Act and the relevant Regulations.
(xii) No institution shall admit any student to a teacher training course or programme unless it has obtained recognition under Section 14 or permission under Section 15, as the case may be.
(xv) The students admitted by unrecognised institution and institutions which are not affiliated to any examining body are not entitled to appear in the examination conducted by the examining body or any other authorised agency.
(xviii) In future, the High Courts shall not entertain prayer for interim relief by unrecognised institutions and the institutions which have not been granted affiliation by the examining body and/or the students admitted by such institutions for permission to appear in the examination or for declaration of the result of examination. This would also apply to the recognised institutions if they admit students otherwise than in accordance with the procedure contained in Appendix-I of the Regulations."
16. Similarly, it is apt to quote the relevant portion of the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of National Council for Teacher Education and Others v. Shri Shyam Shiksha Prashikshan Sansthan and Others.
"40. In State of Maharashtra v. Sant Dnyaneshwar Shikshan Shastra Mahavidyalaya and Others, (2006)9 SCC 1, this Court considered the question whether, after grant of recognition by NCTE, the State Government can refuse to issue no objection certificate for starting B.Ed. colleges on the premise that a policy decision in that regard had been taken. After adverting to the relevant provisions of the Constitution, the Act and the Regulations and the judgment in St. John Teachers Training Institute v. Regional Director, NCTE (supra), the Court held that final authority to take decision on the issue of grant of recognition vests with the NCTE and it cannot be denuded of that authority oh the ground that the State Government/Union Territory Administration has refused to issue NOC.
41. In the light of the above discussion, we hold that the cut off dates specified in clauses (4) and (5) of Regulation 5 of the 2007 Regulations as also the amendment made in Regulation 5(5) vide notification dated 1-7-2008 are not violative of Article 14 of the Constitution and the learned Single Judge and the Division Bench of the High Court were not right in recording a contrary finding qua the date specified in notification dated 1-7-2008. We further hold that the provisions contained in Section 14 and the Regulations framed for grant of recognition including the requirement of recommendation of the State Government/Union Territory Administration are mandatory and an institution is not entitled to recognition unless it fulfils the conditions specified in various clauses of the Regulations. The Council is directed to ensure that in future no institution is granted recognition unless it fulfils the conditions laid down in the Act and the Regulations and the time schedule fixed for processing the application by the Regional Committees and communication of the decision on the issue of recognition is strictly adhered to."
17. Withdrawal of the recognition confirmed by the Appellate Authority evinces that the petitioner has failed to comply the conditions of the grant of recognition. However, the order of withdrawal coming into force at the end of academic session 2017-18 as per the corrigendum issued by the SRC pursuant to the order of the Appellate Authority and in view of the interim orders passed by this Court, the admission of the students during the said academic session has to be approved by the university and such students shall be permitted to appear for the ensuing examinations to be conducted during April/May 2019 for the II year B.Ed. degree course.
18. However, no students admitted by the petitioner-institution for the academic session 2018-19 are entitled to appear for the I year B.Ed. degree course in the ensuing examinations. The efforts made by the petitioner to run the institution in the building owned or leased by the Government for 30 years in terms of the Regulations 2014, may be genuine, and the Regulations 2014 is now stayed by the Hon'ble Court of Madras, but unless the admissions are approved by the university or permitted by the Courts to admit the students, no such student
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s are eligible to appear for the examinations. Indisputably, no application was submitted by the petitioner-institution for affiliation along with the list of students admitted to the B.Ed. course relating to the academic year 2018-19 neither before the University nor before this Court seeking permission to admit the students. The last date for submitting application for affiliation was 31-8-2017, the same cannot be relaxed at this length of time. In the absence of any permission accorded by this Court for admission of the students relating to the academic year 2018-19 during the relevant time, the students admitted by the petitioner not affiliated to the University are not entitled to appear in the ensuing examination of April/May 2019 to be conducted by the University. 19. It is significant to note that pursuant to the order passed by the Appellate Authority dated 18-4-2017, Hon'ble High Court of Madras has passed an order on 28-7-2017 forbearing the respondents, in any manner implementing the NCTE (Recognition Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2014, till the draft of the review committee constituted by the NCTE, as per public Notice dated 3-10-2016, is finalised and the same is pending consideration before the Hon'ble Apex Court. However, on the query made by this Court inasmuch as the condition of a particular regulation of own premises/land leased out by the Government whose lease tenure is not less than 30 years, Regional Director, NCTE, SRC has filed an affidavit notarised on 11-1-2019 stating that no relaxation on the condition relating to own building to any institutions in any place in southern India on which it has got jurisdiction, under the NCTE Regulations, 2014 is made and no such relaxation is permissible. 20. Primarily, no fault can be found with the orders impugned. However in view of the subsequent order of the Hon'ble Madras High Court and the matter now being seized of by the Hon'ble Apex Court, the petitioner is at liberty to submit a representation before the NCTE for seeking relaxation of the shifting condition and if such representation is filed, the same shall be considered by the NCTE in accordance with law keeping in mind the subsequent developments as aforesaid and the decision shall be taken in an expedite manner. Writ petitions stands disposed of in terms of above.