New Delhi: The 44 deemed universities sought to be de-recognised by the government on Thursday got a reprieve with the Supreme Court refusing to stay any fresh admissions to these institutes.
A bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and Gyan Sudha Misra rejected the Union HRD Ministry`s plea for an injunction against any fresh admissions which are likely to commence from July.
The apex court said that it could not pass any such injunction order as the validity of the very constitution of the high-powered Tondon Committee is under challenge.
The review committee headed by Professor PN Tondon had earlier recommended derecognition of the 44 institutes spread across the country on the ground that they failed to meet the standard required for sustaining status of a "deemed" university.
Though Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the government, pleaded that at least, a condition be imposed that any fresh admissions would be subject to the final outcome of the case pending in the apex court, the bench was in no mood to grant any relief to the Centre.
"The constitution of the committee is itself under challenge, it has to be adjudicated first. There is no point in passing any injunction. It would not be appropriate for us to pass any injunction," the bench said.
The apex court pointed out that there are allegations that Professor Tondon himself was heading a deemed university and it was not appropriate for him to head the high-powered
committee which sought de-recognition of the aggrieved universities.
Hence, the bench asked the government and the varsities to file their replies and rejoinders so that it could take up the matter for further hearing on August 3.
After directing the Centre to put on the Internet the recommendations of the Tondon Committee and the Task Force, the apex court had on March 8 granted two weeks to the
aggrieved varsities to file their responses on the Centre`s decision to de-recognise them.
The bench had also agreed to examine the validity of the government`s decision to de-recognise the varsities as the institutions claimed that under the statutory rules, it was
only the UGC which has got the power to strip them of their deemed status.
The Union HRD Ministry had denied the allegations of
the institutes that they were not given sufficient opportunity
to explain their academic performance before deciding to
Stoutly defending its decision, the Centre, in its
additional affidavit, had said its high-powered review
committee and task force were more concerned with the academic
excellence of these universities, rather than infrastructural
The HRD ministry said the universities sought to be
de-recognised were being run as family fiefdoms, rather than
as institutions of academic excellence which they claim to be.