As a major relief to 250 students of the derecognised St Wilfred Institute of Engineering in Panvel, the Bombay high court in its January 18 order has directed the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) to transfer the students to other colleges immediately.
The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) had derecognised the institute in August 2010 due to poor infrastructure and other irregularities. The institute, however, sought the court’s permission in 2011 and got itself enrolled in the state’s centralised admission process and admitted the students. Citing the derecognition order, AICTE asked the DTE to transfer the students to other colleges as per the norms, but the DTE did not do so even a year and half later because the institute had approached the high court in the meantime seeking relief. The case is still sub judice.
The students approached the high court as an intervener in the case. Justice Mridula Bhatkar and justice SJ Vazifdar who heard the students’ plea said in their order, “The students cannot be prejudiced on account of dispute between the petitioner (St Wilfred) and authorities (DTE). It is necessary to protect their rights. The authorities, therefore, are bound to process the application for transfer in accordance with the law. They shall do so even if the last date of filing forms has expired.”
This has given hope to the students to get transferred to another college, for which they had applied to the DTE earlier. The new semester in all 60 engineering colleges affiliated to Mumbai University started on January7. All 250 students who took admission in 2011 were forced to appear for their semester exams from the same deaffiliated institute. Although the HC had permitted their transfer on December 20, 2012, the DTE said the students were sitting for their exams then. The DTE cited the court case as the reason for why they were not transferred even after the exams, after which the students approached the high court.
DNA was the first to publish the plight of these students in its January 4 issue.