New Delhi, Jun 15 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today asked the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University to file its reply on a petition seeking directions to the University to comply with the notification issued by the state government, grant affiliation and permit its students to appear in the special examinations to be organised for B Pharma students of the academic year 2020-21.
A Bench led by Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice V Balasubramanian, heard the plea filed by Sri Sai RR Institute of Pharmacy and listed the matter after two weeks.
The petition pleaded before the Court that the government should adhere to their notification dated March 19, 2021 and direct the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University to grant affiliation to all those colleges, which had approached the High Court.
Amitesh Kumar, Counsel of the Respondent, submitted before the Bench that no schedule has been notified for First Semester Examination and sought some time for filing the Counter affidavit.
Senior Advocate Siddharth Dave argued that notice has already been issued in the matter on April 15, 2021 and made submissions before the apex court that his Writ Petition seeking stay of order was dismissed by this Court, to the contrary the Writ Petitions filed by several similar situated colleges, which sought stay of order dated December 7, 2020, had been allowed by this Court.
A batch of Writ Petitions are also pending before the apex court involving similar situated pharmacy colleges in Uttar Pradesh.
The petitioner said that Sai RR Institute of Pharmacy College obtained approval of the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) on April 10, 2020 to operate B Pharma course for Academic Year 2020-21.
Thereafter, the petitioner college applied to the Respondent University in February, 2020 seeking grant of affiliation giving details of all infrastructure and faculty along with paying the prescribed fee.
The Respondent University refused to grant affiliation to the Petitioner College on the ground of a state policy, which was introduced in May 2020, which arbitrarily reduced the number of pharmacy colleges in a district.
The Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench struck down the policy vide its order dated November 2, 2020 and directed the Respondent University to allow the Petitioner college to sit for counselling session.
Consequently, the Petitioner college was granted temporary counselling code and admitted students to its B Pharma course. Subsequently, the petitioner college admitted students against the Vacant seats and Management quota, in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the University.
The Respondent University vide its order dated December 7, 2020, had denied affiliation to the petitioner college and other similarly situated colleges on the sole ground that timelines for grant of affiliation prescribed by AICTE had lapsed.
It is settled law that once the statutory regulator has granted approval, the University ought not to withhold grant of affiliation (Jaya Gokul Educational Trust vs The Commissioner & Secretary, Higher Education, Kerala & Ors), noted the petition. ILNS/KY/RJ