In a major relief for 14 technical institutions, the Bombay high court has stayed the order of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) denying "extension of approval" to the existing institutions and placing them on "No Admission" category for the current academic year, 2014-15.
A division bench of justices AV Mohta and Amjad Sayed stayed the AICTE order on July 14, observing: "Prima facie we find that the manner and haste in which AICTE has passed the impugned orders is unjustifiable. We also prima facie find that there are infirmities in decision making process in passing the impugned orders."
The HC was hearing petitions by 13 of these institutions challenging the order of the ACITE putting them in the "No Admission" category.
The judges have, however, made it clear that they can grant "provisional" admission to students for the courses in the current academic. The HC has asked the institutions to intimate the student at the time of admission that the admissions are provisional and that it would be subject to the final outcome of the petitions.
"The petitioners (institutions) and/or the students shall not claim any equity on the basis of this order," added the judges.
The petitioner contended that AICTE on May 9 and 10 invited fresh applications from them seeking approval. As per provisions, the respective institutions made online applications for approval like earlier years.
Counsels for the institutions argued that no show cause notice and/or hearing was given to them before taking such drastic action. They had not been given any chance to remove their deficiencies, if any.
"We are not suggesting that institutions should not remove the deficiencies. But, this is not the way to deal with such institutions on the basis of private complaint by giving unilateral hearing to them thereby adopting a pick and choose policy," observed the judges while staying the ban on these technical institutions.
The judges further added: "The interim relief, therefore, if not granted, as case is made out, the position of students as well as institutions would be irreversible. The balance of convenience, equity lies in favour of the students, people at large and the petitioners."
The HC has also asked the institutions to file affidavit giving details of deficiencies, if any and what steps it proposes to improve the same.
1. Mahatma Education Society's Pillai's Institute of Information Technology, Engineering, Media Studies & Research
2. K. C. College of Engineering and Management Studies and Research
3. Padmabhushan Vasantdada Patil College of Engineering, Sion
4. Manohar Phalke Memorial Foundation Polytechnic, Sion
5. Mahatma Gandhi Missions College of Engineering and Technology, Kamothe
6. Indira Gandhi College of Engineering, Kopar Kahirane
7. Datta Meghe College of Engineering
8. Shri Ram Polytechnic, Airoli
9. Lokmanya Tilak College of Engineering, Navi Mumbai
10. A.C. Patil College of Engineering, Kharghar
11. South Indian Education Society SIES College of Engineering
12. SIES Management College.
13. Saraswati College of Engineering, Kharghar Navi Mumbai
14. Re Vera Institute of Technology Polytechinc