New Delhi: "We can exhibit exemplary ruthlessness", the Supreme Court observed on Tuesday while rapping the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for "tinkering" with the time schedule fixed by it in granting annual approvals to technical colleges across the country.
"Don't tinker with our verdict. We are not sitting here for nothing," a vacation bench comprising Justices PC Ghose and Amitava Roy said and extended the time till June 10 for granting approvals to 612 engineering and polytechnic colleges across Uttar Pradesh.
The court was irked when counsel for Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, a nodal varsity of technical colleges in UP, referred to the non-adherence of the time schedule, fixed by the apex court in its 2012 judgement, by AICTE.
"We are final as far as law is concerned. We will issue contempt to you. Let it be clear to all concerned. We know how to enforce our order," the bench said, adding, "We can exhibit exemplary ruthlessness" in fixing accountability for non-observance of its order.
"There are no colleges in the state where the students of 612 engineering colleges can be relocated. See, what you have done to the colleges and the students," the bench said.
It also sought a reasoned response within a week from AICTE for not following the verdict and explaining the delay in communicating its approval to 612 engineering colleges in Uttar Pradesh to the APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University in the state.
The apex court said that it can impose cost for "lapse and latches" on the part of the technical education regulatory body.
While extending the time for grant of approvals to the colleges, the court clarified that its an "one time exception" and can't be treated as precedent.
AICTE was to give the list of approved colleges to the university by April 10 which was ultimately done on May 7.
The university, represented by advocate Amitesh Kumar, said it was not in a position to follow the SC calendar because of the lapse on the part of AICTE.