w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



The Registrar, The Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Science, Bangalore & Others v/s The Bethel Medical Institute of Nursing & Physiotherapy, Rep. by its President, Sunny Daniel, Bengaluru & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- G. K. E. MEDICAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85100WB2009PTC139049

Company & Directors' Information:- A R MEDICAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24232AS2003PTC007179

Company & Directors' Information:- RAJIV AND COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400UP2013PTC059574

Company & Directors' Information:- SUNNY AND COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U55101UR1985PTC007224

Company & Directors' Information:- C J MEDICAL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U33110TG2010PTC068126

Company & Directors' Information:- J R N INSTITUTE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U80302DL2004PTC127742

Company & Directors' Information:- S P S MEDICAL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51397BR2007PTC013129

Company & Directors' Information:- H E DANIEL (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U24249MH1992PTC066599

Company & Directors' Information:- S. O. HEALTH CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999TG2017PTC119704

Company & Directors' Information:- P. MEDICAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U85195TG1987PTC008112

Company & Directors' Information:- H S & E INSTITUTE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U80301KL2011PTC029468

Company & Directors' Information:- NURSING & COMPANY LTD [Under Liquidation] CIN = U51900WB1962PLC011829

Company & Directors' Information:- L I GANDHI AND CO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U31200GA1981PTC000423

Company & Directors' Information:- K V R INSTITUTE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U80903TN2001PTC046438

Company & Directors' Information:- P L MEDICAL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U33130DL2011PTC225068

Company & Directors' Information:- E-HEALTH INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U85110DL2001PTC113461

Company & Directors' Information:- M AND M BANGALORE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01403KA2012PTC062199

Company & Directors' Information:- R. AND M. INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL SCIENCE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85320CT2017PTC008154

Company & Directors' Information:- SUNNY CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72200DL2012PTC242645

Company & Directors' Information:- R H D MEDICAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110DL2021PTC377464

Company & Directors' Information:- GANDHI COMPANY LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U99999MH1942PTC003529

    Writ Appeal Nos. 358, 345, 347,349, 379, 380, 381 to 383 Of 2020 (EDN-REG)

    Decided On, 21 April 2021

    At, High Court of Karnataka

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE SATISH CHANDRA SHARMA & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE SURAJ GOVINDARAJ

    For the Appellant: B.S. Sachin, Advocate-PH. For the Respondents: R1 to R8, A.S. Ponnanna, Senior Counsel, Leela P. Devadiga, H.C. Pratheek, Arnav A. Bagalwadi, Advocates, R9, S.S. Mahendra, AGA, R10, Shivarudra, D.R. Ravishankar, Advocate.



Judgment Text

(Prayer: This Writ Appeal is filed Under Section 4 of the Karnataka High Court Act, 1961 praying to set aside the impugned judgment dated 28.02.2020 passed in WP Nos.50150- 157/2019.This Writ Appeal is filed Under Section 4 of High Court of Karnataka Act, praying to set aside the impugned judgment dated 28.02.2020 passed in WP No.48193/2019.This Writ Appeal is filed Under Section 4 of Karnataka High Court Act, 1961 praying to set aside the impugned judgment dated 28.02.2020 passed in WP Nos.48234-261/2019.This Writ Appeal is filed Under Section 4 of the Karnataka High Court Act, praying to set aside the impugned order dated 28.02.2020 in WP Nos.48215-233/2019.This Writ Appeal is filed Under Section 4 of High Court of Karnataka Act, praying to set aside the impugned judgment dated 28.02.2020 passed in WP No.48201/2019.This Writ Appeal is filed Under Section 4 of the High Court of Karnataka Act, praying to set aside the impugned judgment dated 28.02.2020 passed in WP Nos.48262-297/2019.)Suraj Govindaraj, J.1. The Rajiv Gandhi University is before this Court challenging the common order passed by the learned Single Judge in W.P.Nos.50150/2019 c/w 45577/2018, 45727/2018, 20786/2019, 20790/2019, W.P.Nos. 48132/2019, 48148/2019, 48172/2019, 48193/2019, 48201/2019, 48215/2019, 48234/2019, 48262/2019 and 48298/2019.2. W.P.Nos.50150/2019 c/w 45577/2018, 45727/2018, 20786/2019, 20790/2019 had been filed by the colleges, whereas W.P.Nos. 48132/2019, 48148/2019, 48172/2019, 48193/2019, 48201/2019, 48215/2019, 48234/2019, 48262/2019 and 48298/2019 had been filed by the students of the aforesaid colleges challenging the order passed by the respondents-State dated 14.01.2019 withdrawing the affiliation to the aforesaid colleges, to quash the decision of the Syndicate vide resolution dated 29.06.2019 by virtue of which the Academic Council had recommended for withdrawal of the affiliation to the aforesaid colleges, for certiorari to quash the decision of the Senate held on 27.5.2019, by virtue of which it was resolved to withdraw the affiliation to the said colleges and for quashing of affiliation notifications dt. 18.10.2019 by virtue of which the said colleges were disaffiliated by the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences.3. The students also, having challenged the same, had sought permission to continue their studies in the said colleges.4. The learned Single Judge vide the aforesaid order dated 28.2.2020 allowed the said writ petitions by holding that the aforesaid decision of the Senate dated 27.4.2019, the resolution of the Syndicate dated 29.6.2019, the notification issued by State Government dated 14.10.2019 and the disaffiliation notification dated 18.10.2019 were not in conformity with Section 48 of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences Act, 1994 ('Act' for short) on the ground that there was no notice issued by the Syndicate to the petitioners, copy of the notice and written statement was not sent to the petitioner-colleges, no report was prepared after the Inspector by the Local Inspection Committee (LIC), the Senate has not held a proper enquiry, these going to the root of the matter, the requirement of Section 48 not having been fulfilled, the learned Single Judge allowed the writ petitions filed by the colleges and directed the University to approve the admissions of the students relating to the academic years in question and issue marks cards/certificates accordingly.5. It is aggrieved by the same that the University is before this Court challenging the aforesaid decision of the learned Single Judge.6. Sri.B.S. Sachin, learned counsel for the petitioner - University submits that6.1. The University received certain information that fake marks cards belonging to the students of the aforesaid colleges are being circulated, as such the Vice-Chancellor constituted an Inspection team to conduct surprise inspection of the premises.6.2. The Inspection team conducted a surprise inspection on 7.3.2018 and found certain incriminating data stored in the computer maintained in the office of the said colleges, which led to a suspicion of tampering of the marks card by the said colleges.6.3. The Inspection team collected the material like hard disk, etc., and handed over the same to the University.6.4. After going through the report of the Inspection Team, the Vice-Chancellor constituted a team to look into the material made available by the Inspecting team; a technical committee was also constituted, the said committees on going through the said material and after holding an enquiry are stated to have come to a prima facie conclusion that the aforesaid colleges have indulged in manufacturing fake marks card and making it available to the students.6.5. The Committee submitted a report on 23.8.2019 to the Vice-Chancellor recommending a detailed police investigation. Hence, the University registered a complaint on 12.3.2018 in Crime No.0097/2018, which was referred to CID for further investigation.6.6. The Vice Chancellor thereafter placed the above issues and the report of LIC before the Syndicate in its 134th meeting held on 8.6.2018, which resolved and directed that the said colleges not to admit students for the academic year 2018-19, which resolution was also published in the newspaper on 24.01.2019.6.7. A motion was moved under Section 48(2) of the Act by one of the Members of the Syndicate in 139th meeting held on 11.1.2019 for withdrawal of the affiliation thereupon, a show cause notice was issued to the colleges calling upon them to furnish explanation in terms of Section 48(3) of the Act.6.8. The reply received from the said colleges was considered by the Syndicate in its 140th meeting held on 27.02.2019 and forwarded to the Academic Council for consultation. The Academic Council in its meeting held on 17.6.2019 concurred with the proposal of the Syndicate, thereupon the Syndicate submitted its report to Senate, the Senate in its meeting 24.6.2019 considered the report of the Syndicate and opined that the affiliation granted to the said colleges is required to be withdrawn.6.9. The matter was placed before the Syndicate in its 142nd meeting held on 29.6.2019 when the Syndicate resolved to withdraw the affiliation, which was sent to the Government on 7.8.2019. The Government vide its order dated 14.10.2019, approved the withdrawal of the affiliation and as such, a notification came to be published on 18.10.2019 withdrawing the affiliation.6.10. The entire procedure prescribed under Section 48 of the Act has been complied with, the finding of the learned Single Judge that the same is not complied with is erroneous and therefore, is liable to be set-aside.7. Sri.A.S.Ponnanna, learned counsel appearing for the colleges would submit that7.1. The entire matter has been conducted in such haste without furnishing the documents relevant thereto to the colleges.7.2. The order passed by the learned Single Judge is proper and correct. There is a blatant violation of requirement of Section 48 of the Act.7.3. The University ought to have awaited the outcome of the investigation being conducted. By the hasty action taken by the Syndicate, the Academic Council and the Senate, the life and career of thousands of students have been adversely affected.7.4. The colleges have been functioning from the year 2003 and there being no allegations against the said colleges until the present allegations having came up.7.5. Thousands of students have graduated from the said colleges and there was no complaint against the colleges till now. He submits that the learned Single Judge has rightly appreciated the blatant violation of Section 48 of the Act and the order passed by the learned Single Judge is proper and correct.8. Though the students who filed writ petitions have been served in the Writ Appeals, most of them have not entered appearance. On behalf of few students who have entered appearance, Sri.D.R.Ravishankar, learned counsel while making his submissions adopted the submissions made by Sri.A.S.Ponnanna, Senior counsel and submits that the persons who are affected are the students. Even if the colleges have committed any error, the students having been admitted into the colleges prior to the public notice dated 24.1.2019, their interest should not be adversely affected and the said students ought to be provided with an opportunity to continue their education in the said colleges.9. Heard Sri.Sachin.B.S, learned counsel for the appellant, Sri.A.S.Ponnanna, learned Senior counsel for the Colleges, Sri.D.R.Ravishankar, learned counsel for the students. Perused papers.10. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties and perused the papers, the points that arise for our consideration in these appeals are:i) Whether the University has followed the procedure under Section 48 of the Act?ii) Whether the order passed by the learned Single Judge requires any interference?iii) What order?11. Section 45 deals with affiliation of the colleges. Said section is reproduced hereunder for easy reference:45. Affiliation of colleges:(1) Colleges within the University Area may, on satisfying the conditions specified in this section, be affiliated to the University as affiliated colleges by the University on the recommendations made by the State Government.(2) A college applying for affiliation to the University shall send an application to the Registrar within the time limit fixed by Ordinances and shall satisfy the Syndicate and the Academic Council,-(a) that it will supply a need in the locality, having regard to the type of education intended to be provided by the college, the existing provision in the neighbourhood and the suitability of the locality where the college is to be established;(b) that it is to be under the management of a regularly constituted governing body;(c) that the strength and qualifications of the teaching staff and the conditions governing their tenure of office are such as to make due provision for the courses of instruction, teaching or training to be undertaken by the college;(d) that the building in which the college is to be located are suitable and that provision will be made in conformity with the Ordinances for the residence in the college or in lodging approved by the college, for students not residing with their parents or guardians and for the supervision and welfare of students;(e) that due provision has been made or will be made for a library;(f) where affiliation is sought in any branch of experimental science, that arrangements have been or will be made in conformity with the Statutes, Ordinances and Rules for imparting instruction in the branch of science in a properly equipped laboratory or museum;(g) that due provision will, as far as circumstances may permit, be made for the residence of the Principal and members of the teaching staff in or near the college or the place provided for the residence of students;(h) that the financial resources of the college are such as to make due provision for its continued maintenance and efficient working; and(i) that rules fixing the fees, if any, to be paid by the students have been framed or will be framed.(3) The application shall further contain an assurance that after the college is affiliated, any transference of management and all changes in the teaching staff and all other changes which result in any of the aforesaid requirements, not being fulfilled or continued to be fulfilled, shall be forthwith reported to the Syndicate and to the State Government or such authority as the Government may specify.(4) On receipt of a letter of application under sub- section (2), the Syndicate shall,-(a) direct a local inquiry to be made by a competent person or persons authorised by the Syndicate in this behalf in respect of such matters as may be deemed necessary and relevant;(b) make such further inquiry as may appear to it to be necessary; and(c) record its opinion after consulting the Academic Council on the question whether the application should be granted or refused, either in whole or in part, stating the result of any inquiry under clauses (a) and (b).(5) The Registrar shall within such time as the Government may from time to time specify submit application and all proceedings, if any, of the Academic Council and of the Syndicate relating thereto to the Government which, after such inquiry as may appear to it to be necessary, shall make their recommendations for the grant of the application or any part thereof or refuse the application or any part thereof and the University shall issue orders accordingly.(6) Where the application or any part thereof is granted, the order of the University shall specify the courses of instruction in respect of which and the period for which the college is affiliated, and where the application or any part thereof is refused by the Government or the University, the grounds of such refusal shall be stated; Provided that on the recommendation of the Government, permanent affiliation may be granted to a college which was affiliated continuously for a period not less than five years and fulfill all the conditions of affiliation and attained the academic and administrative standards prescribed by the University from time to time.(7) As soon as possible after the Government or the University makes its order, the Registrar shall submit to the Senate a full report regarding the application, the action taken thereon under sub-sections (4) and (6) and of all proceedings connected therewith.(8) An application under sub-section (1) may be withdrawn at any time before an order is made under sub-section (5).(9) Where a college desires to add to the courses of instruction in respect of which it is affiliated, the procedure prescribed by sub-sections (2) to (8) shall, so far as may be, followed.(a) No admission of students shall be made by any new college seeking affiliation to the University or by an existing college seeking affiliation to a new course of study to such course, unless, as the case may be, affiliation has been granted to such new college or to the existing college in respect of such courses of study.(b) The maximum number of students to be admitted to a course of study shall not exceed the intake fixed by the University or the Government, as the case may be, and any admission made in excess of the intake shall be invalid;(c) No student whose admission has become invalid under clause (b) shall be eligible to appear nor shall be presented by the college to appear at any examination conducted by the University.12. Section 48 of the Act deals with withdrawal of affiliation, the said Section is reproduced hereunder for easy reference:48. Withdrawal of affiliation:(1) The rights conferred on a college by affiliation may be withdrawn in whole or in part or modified if the college has failed to comply with any of the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 45 or the college has failed to observe any of the conditions of its affiliation or the college is conducted in a manner which is prejudicial to the interest of education.(2) A motion for the withdrawal or the modifications of such rights shall be initiated only in the Syndicate. The member of the Syndicate who intends to move such a motion shall give notice of it and shall state in writing the grounds on which it is made.(3) Before taking the said motion into consideration the Syndicate shall send a copy of the notice and written statement mentioned in sub-section (2) to the Principal of the college concerned together with an intimation that any representation in writing submitted within a period specified in such intimation on behalf of the college will be considered by the Syndicate. Provided that the period so specified may, if necessary be extended by the Syndicate.(4) On receipt of the representation or on the expiry of the period referred to in sub-section (3), the Syndicate after considering the notice of motion, statement and representation and after such inspection by any competent person or persons authorised by it in this behalf and such further inquiry as may appear to it to be necessary and after consulting the Academic Council shall make a report to the Senate.(5) On receipt of the report under sub-section (4) the Senate shall, after such further inquiry, if any, as may appear to it to be necessary record its opinion in the matter: Provided that no resolution of Senate recommending the withdrawal of affiliation shall be deemed to have been passed by it unless the resolution has obtained the support of two-thirds of the members present at a meeting of the Senate, such majority comprising not less that one-half the members of the Senate.(6) The Registrar shall submit the proposal and all proceedings, if any, of the Academic Council, the Syndicate and the Senate relating thereto to 31 the Government which after such inquiry, if any, as may appear to it to be necessary, shall make, their recommendations to the University which shall thereafter make such order, as it deems fit.(7) Where by an order made under sub-section (6), the rights conferred by affiliation are withdrawn in whole or in part or modified, the grounds for such withdrawal or modification shall be stated in the order.13. ANSWER TO POINT NO.1: Whether the University has followed the procedure under Section 48 of the Act ?13.1. The affiliation of a college is governed by Section 45 of the Act. It is not in dispute that the aforesaid colleges have been affiliated to the University. The present dispute is only as regards the disaffiliation of the said colleges.13.2. It is required in terms of Section 48(2) of the Act that a motion for withdrawal or modification of affiliation can only be initiated in the Syndicate. A member who intends to move such a motion is required to give notice of it and state in writing the grounds on which it is made.13.3. In the 134th meeting of the Syndicate held on 6.6.2018 the Vice Chancellor had informed the members of the Syndicate that the case pertaining to the aforesaid colleges had been referred to the COD to investigate into the allegations of tampering. The report of the Committee was placed before the Syndicate for consideration. The Syndicate, in the very first meeting, took a decision that until the police investigation is completed, the affiliation of the aforesaid colleges should not be extended.13.4. A further decision was taken, in that since it was alleged that the Bethel Group was conducting certain Health Science Course affiliated to Bharathiyaar University, disaffiliation process was to be taken up against the said group of Institutions. In the said meeting it was decided to hand over all the registers to the police for investigation, as also to stop admission of students to the Bethel and Hosmat Group of Institutions for the year 2018-19. Thus, it is clear that even in the meeting dated. 8.6.2018 virtually the decision to disaffiliate the said colleges had been taken without even providing any notice or opportunity to the said colleges. The non- extension of affiliation would by itself amount to disaffiliation. The said decision being taken without there being a motion for withdrawal of affiliation moved by the Member of the Syndicate, let alone by giving a notice and/or by stating in writing the grounds on which the said motion is made.13.5. It is in pursuance thereto that the decision of the Syndicate taken in the meeting held on 8.6.2018 was published in a newspaper on 24.01.2019. It is not understood as to why there was a delay of more than seven months in the said publication.13.6. In the 139th meeting of Syndicate held on 11.1.2019, the Vice-Chancellor vide section 48 (3) had moved the motion for disaffiliation of the Institutions coming under the Bethel Group of Institutions.13.7. The Vice-Chancellor informed the said meeting that in the 134th meeting, the Syndicate had decided to initiate the process of disaffiliation, and as such, in terms of Section 48 of the Act, the Vice-Chancellor is moving the motion for disaffiliation of institutions attached to Bethel Group. The Syndicate approved the said motion in the said meeting. Even according to the Vice Chancellor the syndicate had decided to disaffiliated the colleges in the 134th meeting much before the motion was moved in the 139th meeting, This in our considered opinion is in violation of Section 48(3) of the Act whereunder it is categorically stated that before taking such motion into consideration, the Syndicate is required to send a copy of the notice and the written statement mentioned in Section 48(2) to the Principal of the college with an intimation that any representation in writing submitted within the specified period of such intimation of on behalf of the college will be considered by the Syndicate.13.8. Thus, the Syndicate could have only directed the concerned to forward the aforesaid documents requesting for a reply by the Principal of the college, instead of doing so, a motion which was moved for disaffiliation by the Vice Chancellor was approved by the Syndicate in gross violation of Section 48(3) of the Act.13.9. In furtherance of the 139th meeting held on 11.1.2019, the University issued a show-cause notice on 2.02.2019 enclosing the minutes of the 134th meeting of the Syndicate held on 8.6.2018 and the minutes of 139th meeting held on 11.1.2019. Surprisingly the said show cause notice was not even accompanied by the motion and/ or any written statement accompanying the said motion. Thus, once again there has been violation of Section 48(3) of the Act.13.10. Some of the colleges replied to the said show-cause notice. The same was taken up for consideration in the 140th meeting of the Syndicate held on 27.2.2019 as regards which the decision of the Syndicate taken was to process the disaffiliation.13.11. A perusal of the said decision of the Syndicate does not indicate any application of mind and/or consideration of the representation given by the aforesaid colleges. It appears that show cause notice, inviting reply has been an empty formality inasmuch as the reply of the colleges have not been considered or adverted to in the decision making process. This is in violation of Section 48(4) of the Act.13.12. In furtherance of the decision taken in the 140th meeting of the Syndicate, the matter was placed before the Academic Council. The Academic Council in the meeting held on 17.6.2019 recommended withdrawal of the affiliation granted to the colleges of Bethel and Hosmat group of institutions. Even this decision of the Academic Council does not indicate any application of mind or appreciation of the reply given by the colleges.13.13. In furtherance of the decision of the Academic council, the Syndicate in its 142nd meeting held on 22.06.2019 accepted the recommendation of the Academic Council and placed the matter before the Senate.13.14. The Senate in its meeting held on 25.7.2019 resolved to withdraw the affiliation granted to the colleges attached to Bethel and Hosmat Group of Institutions. In our considered opinion, this is in violation of Section 48(5) of the Act. The decision of the Senate appears to be taken only on the basis of the recommendation made by the Vice- Chancellor. There is no independent application of mind. There is no enquiry which has been conducted by the Senate as required under Section 48(5) nor is there any independent opinion made known by the Senate.13.15. The opinion of the Academic Council also is solely based on the recommendation of the Vice- Chancellor, the Academic Council has also not conducted any independent or further enquiry as required under Section 48 of the Act.13.16. It is in furtherance of the said decision of the Senate that a recommendation was made to the Government. The Government also accepted the said recommendation made by the Senate.13.17. Even the acceptance by the Government does not indicate any application of mind. There is a violation of Section 48(6) of the Act which requires the Government, if necessary to hold such enquiry a

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nd thereafter make its recommendation. No such enquiry has been held by the Government also nor are any reasons recorded as to why such an enquiry is not required. Be that as it may, the order passed by the Government also does not indicate any application of mind.13.18. In view of all the above, it is clear that almost each and every provision and/or requirement under Section 48 of the Act have been violated by the University, the Syndicate, the Academic council, the Senate and the Government.13.19. The process and procedure not having been followed, a serious decision of disaffiliation of colleges has been taken by the aforesaid authorities without even as much as providing a hearing to the colleges in question. The University cannot act in such a fashion. Disaffiliating nearly seven colleges would affect thousands of students without even hearing the colleges and considering their representations. The principles of natural justice have been grossly violated in the entire process.13.20. We are not expressing any opinion on the merits of the matter, as regards the allegations made against the colleges. we are only concerned with the manner in which the process of disaffiliation and/or a decision making as regards disaffiliation was resorted to and exercised by the University, in our considered view the Syndicate, Academic Council, Senate and the Government are all in violation of section 48 of the ct and the principles of Natural Justice.13.21. No person can be condemned without granting an opportunity of hearing. This principle has been grossly violated.13.22. Hence we answer point no.1 by holding that the University, Senate, Academic Council, Syndicate and the state government have not followed the procedure under Section 48 of the Act and had grossly violated the principles of natural justice.14. ANSWER TO QUESTION NO.2: Whether the order passed by the learned Single Judge requires any interference?14.1. In view of our finding in respect of point No.1 above, there being gross violation of the requirements of the Act, more particularly under Section 48 thereof, the learned Single Judge having appreciated the aforesaid issues, has rightly allowed the writ petitions filed by the colleges, as also the writ petitions filed by the students and directed the University to approve the admissions of the students and issue marks cards/certificates accordingly.14.2. We do not find any need to interfere with the said well reasoned Judgment of the learned Single Judge.15. ANSWER TO POINT NO.3: What Order?15.1. In view of the above, the appeals stand dismissed.The order dated 28.02.2020 passed by the learned Single Judge stands confirmed.
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