The Supreme Court has imposed a cost of Rs50,000 upon All-India Council for Technical Education for permitting a Maharashtra engineering college to operate despite its failure to fulfil the requisite criteria for it.
"The Court cannot overlook such apparent erroneous approach and default which can be for anything but bona fide reasons. Thus, we impose costs of Rs50,000 upon the AICTE for such irresponsible working.
"The costs would be payable to the Supreme Court legal services committee and would be recovered from the salary of the erring officials," a bench of justices AK Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar said.
In this case the college, run by Parshvanath Charitable Trust, was established in 1994 after getting all clearances from the concerned authorities, including AICTE, but in 2008, it shifted the college to another place without taking its clearance.
The bench after going through all the documents, pulled up the council for allowing the institute to run for two academic years without fulfilling the criteria. "We fail to understand as to why the college was granted approval for the academic years 2008-09 and 2009-10 particularly when the expert committee is stated to have visited the premises on June 26, 2008 and found inadequacies in the report.
"It is certainly a lapse on the part of the AICTE which cannot be ignored by the court as it had far reaching consequences including placing the career of students admitted during these two years in jeopardy," the bench said.
The apex court said the college students shall be relocated to recognised and affiliates and the AICTE and the relevant university shall ensure that the courses of these students are completed within the remaining period of the academic year in all respects.