Boost to over 300 colleges as SC quashes HC direction

A bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra allowed a batch of petitions filed by the aggrieved colleges challenging the High Court direction as being arbitary and violation of the principles of natural justice.

Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 21:15 PM IST

New Delhi: In a reprieve for over 300 professional colleges in Maharashtra, the Supreme Court on Monday quashed a Bombay High Court order directing the state government and various universities to derecognise colleges that failed to appoint qualified principals or directors.

A bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra allowed a batch of petitions filed by the aggrieved colleges challenging the High Court direction as being arbitary and violation of the principles of natural justice.

By the impugned order, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court had directed the State and universities to appoint principals and directors in their colleges before May 30, 2010, failing which they shall stand disaffiliates from the
parent varsity.

The high court which passed the directions on a PIL also directed the authorities to display the names of such erring colleges and also ordered that they shall not be permitted to enrol fresh candidates from the 2010-2011 academic year.

Counsel Shivaji Jadhav appearing for about 300 colleges said that petitioners were being victimised despite having taken the requisite steps for appointment of principals/ directors in their respective institutions within the stipulated period.

He further said that the affiliation of the colleges has been put on stake on account of the impugned judgment and no opportunity was given to the petitioners to put forth their case before the high court in utter violation of the
principles of natural justice.

Most of the colleges it was stated were located in rural areas seeking to impart quality professional education to the masses.

The counsel said that colleges have been giving advertisements in the news papers for the past several academic years.

However on most of the occasions none applied for the said post and those who applied were not found suitable to head the post by the Selection Committee appointed by the respective university.

The qualification for appointment of principals was a degree in the respective faculty with PhD and 15 years of teaching experience.

The petitioners submitted that the colleges were willing to forthwith, fill up the posts of principals and directors, provided they received qualified candidates for
filling up the posts.

Earlier, the apex court in its interim order had allowed the colleges to continue with the admission process after the later assured that steps were being taken to fill up the posts.

PTI