IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.1034 OF 2014
Mahatma Education Society’s
Pillai’s Institute of Information Technology,
Engineering, Media Studies & Research …Petitioner
All India Council for Technical Education
& Ors. …Respondents
1 J U D G M E N T
ANIL R. DAVE, J.
2. Looking at the urgency in the matter, at the request of the learned
counsel appearing for the parties, the petition has been finally heard.
3. The short question involved in this petition is with regard to grant
of approval to educational institutions run by the petitioner society. The
petitioner is a Trust registered under the provisions of the Bombay Public
Trust Act, 1950 and is having four educational institutions, mainly
imparting studies in the field of engineering to the students.
4. The issue involved is with regard to approval to the institutions for
the academic year 2014-15. At the time of usual inspection, it was found
that the petitioner was not having land as per the provisions of the All
India Council for Technical Education (Grant of Approvals for the Technical
Institutions) Regulations, 2012 (hereinafter referred to as “the
Regulations”). According to Regulation 6 of the Regulations, the
petitioner was supposed to have certain land with lawful possession and
clear title in the name of the petitioner society. The relevant portion of
the Regulation reads as under:-
“6. Requirement of land
The promoter society/trust/company established under Section 25 of the
Companies Act, 1956 of a new Technical Education Institution shall have the
land as required and prescribed in its lawful possession with clear title
in the name of promoter society/trust/company established under Section 25
of the Company Act, 1956 on or before the date of submission of
Provided that it shall be open for the promoter society/trust/company
established under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 proposed
Institution to mortgage the land only after the receipt of letter of
approval, only for raising the resources for the purpose of development of
the Technical Education Institute situated on that land.”
5. As it was found that the petitioner was not having land as per the
requirements of the Regulation, the approval granted to the institutions
managed by the petitioner for the last 15 years had been denied for the
academic year 2014-15.
6. It is not in dispute that approximately 550 students are prosecuting
studies in the Engineering College at present and because of non-approval
to the institutions run by the petitioner, academic career of the students
would be ruined.
7. As the approval had not been granted, the petitioner had filed Writ
Petition No.6021 of 2014 in the High Court of Judicature at Bombay and by
an interim order, the High Court was pleased to grant limited interim
relief, whereby the petitioner was permitted to give admission to students.
8. Ultimately, by an order dated 27th August, 2014, the High Court
disposed of the petition with an observation that it was open to respondent
no.1 Council to take appropriate action in the matter of approval to the
institutions run by the petitioner. The Council had expressed its
inability to grant approval to the institutions run by the petitioner for
the academic year 2014-15 as the aforestated provision of the Regulation
had not been complied with.
9. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties. It is not in
dispute that the petitioner society has been imparting education to
students through its colleges for the last 15 years. If approval is not
granted, the students, who have already been admitted by an interim order
of the High Court for the academic year 2014-15, would be put to great
inconvenience and difficulties for no fault on their part. In the
circumstances, as an exceptional case, without going into the merits of
this case, we exercise our power under Article 142 of the Constitution of
India and direct respondent no.1 to grant a letter of approval to the
concerned colleges managed by the petitioner for the academic year 2014-15.
For the subsequent academic year, we are sure that the petitioner shall do
the needful to comply with the requirements of the aforestated Regulation
and other Regulations.
10. As and when an application for approval for academic year 2015-2016
is sought for by the petitioner, the respondent authorities shall consider
the application and shall decide in accordance with law.
11. For the aforestated reason, as an exceptional case, the petition is
allowed. The impugned letter dated 29th October, 2014 is quashed with a
liberty to the respondent authorities to take appropriate action in respect
of academic year 2015-16 in accordance with law. Rule is made absolute
and a direction is given to respondent no.1 to grant approval in respect of
Pillai’s Institute of Information Technology, Engineering, Media Studies
and Research, New Panvel, Navi Mumbai, for the academic year 2014-15.
There shall, however, be no order as to costs.
(ANIL R. DAVE)
February 16, 2015.