Supreme Court of India_Jammu

SC upholds order of HC directing Private B.Ed colleges to pay ₹1.46 Crore compensation to 292 Students

Hon’ble Supreme Court Comprising Hon’ble Justice Patnaik and Hon’ble Justice Kalifullah dismissed the SLP filed by the Divya College of Education and there by upholding the order passed by Hon’ble High Court of J&K at Jammu, where by State High Court in a landmark Judgement upheld the decision of the University of Jammu not to regularise 292 illegal Admission made by a Private B.Ed college in violation of Statues of the University of Jammu and directed the college to consider payment of reasonable compensation of Rupees 50,000 each to 292 students(₹ 1.46 Crore).

Initially this significant judgement was passed by Justices Hasnani Masoodi in petition filed by the Divya College of Education, an affiliated Non-Government B.Ed college, seeking regularisation of 292 illegal admission made by the college on its own. The case was represented by Advocate Waseem Sadiq Nargal on behalf of the University of Jammu before state High Court and Mr. Raj Shekhar Rao appeared on behalf of caevctor before the Hon’ble Supreme Court whereas Mr. V.Shekhar Senior Advocate represented Divya Collee of Education before Hon’ble SC.

Supreme Court of India_JammuIt may be recalled that Divya College sought regularisation of 292 illegal Admission made by the college on its own which was opposed by the University of Jammu on the grounds that admission to B.Ed course in private B.Ed colleges and allotment of students various colleges were to be made in accordance with the university statues and that too through process of centralised counselling by Central Admission Committee of the University and Private B.Ed colleges have no authority in terms of University statues to make admission on its own.

In terms of the procedure, all the aspirants for admission to B.Ed course applying to the University are selected on the basis of their merit, participation in counselling and allotment to private colleges as per their merit cum choice. Of the candidates selected, only 18 candidates opted for Divya College in view of the option exercised by the candidates, 292 seats available in Divya College remained unfilled.

The association of the private B.Ed colleges run under the name and style “Forum of Recognised Colleges” facing the same problem as faced by the private college issued a notice on December 20, 2011 signifying its intention to make admission on its own by spot counselling against the left over seats as per the eligibility criteria laid down by the University but without involving Centralised Admission Committee. However, notice received sharp reaction from the University which through public notice reminded the aspirants for the B.Ed course that admission proposed to be made by the Forum were unauthorised and in violation of the University statues.

However the University in order to resolve the controversy decided to go for second round for counselling gave an option to the candidates who had responded to earlier notification issued by Forum to appear before the Centralised Admission Committee and get admission following the procedure laid down in the University statues. The University accordingly admitted 414 students out of 516 students who had responded to the Forum.

However the second counselling organised by the University did not give any relief to the college as only 3 students out of 414 students admitted in the second counselling opted for the petitioner college and the college later on admitted 292 students on its own which were not regularised by the University and feeling aggrieved a writ petition was filed before the State High Court which was dismissed by the learned single judge and by dismissing the said writ petition Justice Masoodi directed the College to pay the reasonable compensation to the tune of ₹ 50,000 to each of 292 students admitted in violation of the University Statues.

Besides that, the Court also advised both the University and the other Universities set up in the state granting affiliation to Non-Government Colleges to constitute high level committee to examine the matter and make recommendations for regulating distribution of selected students amongst the private B.Ed Colleges so as to ensure that they get fair share of admission made by central admission committee having regard to their individual in take capacity so that a balance is stuck between the total intake capacity and number of aspirants for the course.

Accordingly the learned single Judge was of the view that any reckless increase in intake capacity by permitting and granting to new private Colleges on enhancement of intake capacity of existing colleges is bound to compound the problem by making private institutions like “sick industrial units” plagued by financial crisis and compel them to grant admission in violation of the statues compromising academic standards. The judgment passed by the single Judge, upheld by the Hon’ble Division Bench of the State High Court comprising of the Chief Justice M.M Kumar and Hon’ble Justice Dheeraj Singh Thakur.

In a landmark Judgement written by Sh. Dheeraj Singh Thakur for the Division Banch on the academic matter upheld the order passed by the learned single Judge in so far as the decision of the University in not regularising 292 illegal admissions made by the college on its own and imposition of cost of ₹ 1.46 Crore on the erring college. However, Hon’ble Division Banch gave the clear cut message to erring colleges to “Perform or Perish”.

Besides that Division Bench upheld the procedure and policy of the University in admitting B.Ed students through centralized admission committee and accordingly direction issued by the learned single Judge to take the fresh look at the policy of the University at the absolute discretion given to the students to opt for admission in the college of his choice would not be sustainable. The Division Bench was of the view that the best judge regarding the performance of the college is the students community itself who exercise their right of choice at the time of counselling and the colleges must delivered in performance by ensuring compliance not just by confirming to the minimum standards prescribed by the University in terms of the infrastructure and faculty but by providing the best in infrastructure and an highly trained, qualified, motivated and distinguished faculty.

The result of the extra efforts put in by the colleges would then the reflected to the students at the time of performance in their results. The Hon’ble Supreme Court dismissed the SLP filed by the Divya Collegeto Sh. V.Shekhar, Senior Advocate which was contested by Mr. Waseem Sadiq Nargal and R. Shekhar Rao, Advocates on behalf of the University of a Jammu .

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