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Lapse of Due Care in Application for Establishment of College Cannot be Remedied Under Article 226: Delhi HC

Lapse of Due Care in Application for Establishment of College Cannot be Remedied Under Article 226: Delhi HC

27.07.2021 | Education News | EduLegaL  | www.edulegal.org | mail@edulegal.in

6th July 2021, Delhi High Court Tapasya Shiksha Samiti V. Union of India and Ors — W.P.(C)-9368/2020, deemed its interference unwarranted where the petitioner college had failed to submit consent of affiliation within the stipulated time to the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) resulting in the rejection of permission in establishing a college by the Union of India (UOI).

A Single Judge Bench of Hon’ble Justice Prateek Jalan held:

“The petitioner has failed to make out a case for interference under Article 226 of the Constitution.”

Petitioner college had applied for establishing an Ayurveda Medical College in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh with an intake of 100 students. The Regulations for making an application mandate ‘consent of affiliation’ from a university established under any Central or State statute to be submitted to UOI. Petitioner had applied on 28.08.2020, and annexed a certificate from the Madhya Pradesh Medical Science University, Jabalpur, stating that its consent of affiliation will be granted subsequent to a meeting of the Executive Council. The University granted the consent of affiliation on 25.09.2020 and forwarded the same to UOI.

The respondent however contended that consent of affiliation was neither submitted with the application nor received by UOI in time i.e., prior to the last date of 30.09.2020. The Madhya Pradesh Medical Science University, Jabalpur had dispatched it by ordinary post. Regulations 6(1)(d) and 7 of the Establishment of New Medical College Regulations, 2019 were referred by the respondent which prescribes that and the Central Government shall forward only eligible applications to the Central Council of Indian Medicine for further consideration. The ineligible and incomplete applications shall be rejected and returned to the applicants by the Central Government. Therefore, UOI was right in rejecting the application for want of valid consent of affiliation.

The Court said:

“I am of the view that the actions of the UOI in the present case cannot be characterized as illegal or unreasonable. The last date for submission of applications for the year 2021-22, complete in all respects, was 30.09.2020. Regulation 7 requires the Central Government to forward applications to the CCIM only after scrutiny with regard to basic eligibility criteria, including inter alia the consent of affiliation.”

The court observed that the petitioner had failed to take due care in the process of application. Even after obtaining the consent of affiliation from the university, the petitioner relied on the University to forward the same to UOI. There was no indication that the petitioner took any steps to ensure that the documents had reached the UOI within the required time. The court held:

“The aforementioned factual position is inadequate to dislodge the case made out by the UOI that it had not received the consent of affiliation prior to the last date of 30.09.2020. The petitioners conduct displays a reckless indifference towards the requirements of the Regulations with regard to submission of the consent of affiliation. Mere reliance on the University’s dispatch of the document by ordinary post, five days prior to the last date, is insufficient to establish that the document was, in fact, received by the UOI within time.”

The court observed that petitioner had failed to make out a case for interference under Article 226 of the Constitution and therefore, dismissed the petition. It further stated that as per submission of UOI, the petitioner may apply with a complete application as per law for the next academic year.

Vaibhav Karadale | Research Intern | EduLegaL

Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL

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