Architects Act; Global Institute of Architecture, Peradikunnu Vs. Secretary, Higher Education Department [Kerala High Court, 10-08-2016]

AICTE (Grant of Approvals for the Technical Institutions) Regulations, 2012 –┬áCouncil of Architecture (Minimum Standards of Architectural Education) Regulations, 2015 – In the absence of any provisional affiliation granted by the University, the petitioner is not entitled to make admission against the additional intake sanctioned for B.Arch. course for the academic year 2016-17.


IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALAAT ERNAKULAM

P.R. RAMACHANDRA MENON & ANIL K. NARENDRAN, JJ.

W.P.(C)No.25564 of 2016

Dated this the 10th day of August, 2016

PETITIONER

THE GLOBAL INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTURE PERADIKUNNU

BY ADVS.SRI.RAJESH SIVARAMANKUTTY SRI.R.S.SARAT

RESPONDENTS

1. THE SECRETARY HIGHER EDUCATION DEPARTMENT HIGHER EDUCATION DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF KERALA, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM.

2. THE REGISTRAR, COUNCIL OF ARCHITECTURE, INDIA HABITAT CENTRE, CORE 6A, IST FLOOR, LODHI ROAD, NEW DELHI-110003 INDIA.

3. THE DIRECTOR OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM.

4. THE REGISTRAR, UNIVERSITY OF CALICUT, MALAPPURAM DISTRICT, PIN-676635, CALICUT UNIVERSITY PO, KERALA.

5. THE COMMISSIONER OF ENTRANCE EXAMINATION, FIFTH FLOOR, HOUSING BOARD BUILDING, SANTHI NAGER, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM.-695001. ADDL.R6 AND R7 IMPLEADED Addl.

6. ADMISSION SUPERVISORY/FREE REGULATORY COMMITTEE FOR PROFESSIONAL COLLEGES, T.C.15/1553-4, PRASANTHI BUILDINGS, M.P.APPAN ROAD, VAZHUTHAKKAD, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM-695001.

7. ALL INDIA COUNCIL FOR TECHNICAL EDUCATION 7TH FLOOR, CHANDERLOK BUILDING JANPATH, NEW DELHI-110001.

R1, 3 & 5 BY SPL.GOVERNMENT PLEADER SRI P.SANTHOSH KUMAR R2 BY TOJAN J VATHIKKULAM SC FOR COUNCIL OF ARCHITECTURE R4 BY SRI.SANTHOSH MATHEW,SC,CALICUT UNIVERSITY ADDL.R6 BY SMT.MARY BENJAMIN, SC (ASC) ADDL.R7 BY KRISHNAMOORTHY SC, ALL INDIA COUNCIL FOR TECHNICAL EDUCATION

J U D G M E N T

Anil K. Narendran, J.

The petitioner is a private self financing educational institution conducting B.Arch. course, from the academic year 2013-14 onwards, with the approval of the Council of Architecture, the 2 nd respondent herein and with the affiliation granted by the Calicut University, the 4 th respondent herein. The petitioner has filed this writ petition seeking a writ of mandamus commanding the 1 st respondent to make available 50% of the additional seats for B.Arch. course for the academic year 2016-17 for being filled up from the management quota; and for a declaration that the petitioner is entitled to fill up the additional seats allotted for the academic year 2016-17 from the rank list prepared by the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations, the 5 th respondent herein. The petitioner has also sought for a declaration that no ‘NOC’ by the State of Kerala, the 1 st respondent herein, is needed for filling up the additional seats approved by the Council of Architecture, the 2 nd respondent herein.

2. The pleadings and materials on record would show that the petitioner is conducting B.Arch. course from the academic year 2013-14 onwards, with an annual intake of 40 seats, after obtaining Ext.P1 letter of approval from the 2 nd respondent Council. The 4 th respondent University has also granted provisional affiliation for the said annual intake, vide Ext.P2 order. Based on the application made by the petitioner, the 2 nd respondent Council vide Ext.P4 communication dated 9.7.2016 granted approval for an additional intake of 40 seats for B.Arch. course, for the academic year 2016-17. Based on the approval granted by the 2 nd respondent Council in Ext.P4 and on the recommendation of the District Level Inspection Commission, Palakkad, the Syndicate of the 4 th respondent University recommended permanent increase of additional intake of 40 seats, and the minutes of the Syndicate meeting was forwarded to the 1 st respondent State for consideration and concurrence, vide Ext.P5 communication dated 14.7.2016. Thereafter, petitioner approached the Director of Technical Education, the 3 rd respondent herein, for NOC to execute agreement with the State Government for the additional intake of 40 seats. The 3 rd respondent, vide Ext.P6 communication dated 19.7.2016 forwarded the said request to the 1 st respondent State, for issuance of administrative sanction and NOC for the additional intake of 40 seats.

3. The grievance of the petitioner is that though the petitioner has complied with the requirements prescribed by the 2 nd respondent Council and also the 4 th respondent University, the 1 st respondent State is withholding NOC for the additional intake of 40 seats for the academic year 2016-17. The petitioner would contend that, once the 2 nd respondent Council has granted approval for the additional intake, the grant of NOC by the 1 st respondent State is not a legal requirement and as such, the additional intake should have been made available for allotment of students, with effect from the date of Ext.P4.

4. The learned Special Government Pleader, with reference to the statement filed in W.P.(C)No.23318/2016 relating to admission to B.Arch. course in the College of Engineering and Technology, Payyannur (which case was listed along with this writ petition, in which we have granted an interim order on 5.8.2016) would submit that, the State Government is more concerned about the strengthening of the public sector educational institutions in the State and also to improve the quality of education. At the same time, the Government also realise the fact situation and the difficult position now being faced by the existing self-financing colleges, due to the scarcity of sufficient candidates. Since the pre-normalisation procedure has been cancelled by the State Government, the vacancy position may raise to more than twenty thousand seats for engineering courses. Necessarily the Government have to consider all the aspects before granting NOC for protecting the interest of the State as well as the student community. Starting of new courses and establishment of new self-financing college may be detrimental to the existing colleges both in Government sector and private sector.

5. We heard the arguments of the learned counsel for the petitioner, the learned Special Government Pleader for respondents 1, 3 and 5, the learned Standing Counsel appearing for the 4 th respondent University, the learned Standing Counsel for the Admission Supervisory Committee for Professional Colleges, the Addl. 6 th respondent and also the learned Standing Counsel for the All India Council for Technical Education, the Addl. 7th respondent.

6. In

Jaya Gokul Educational Trust v. Commissioner and Secretary to Government, (2000) 5 SCC 231

the Apex Court, in the context of Statute 9(7) of the Kerala University First Statutes, held that there is no statutory requirement for obtaining the approval of the State Government for establishing Technical Institutions and even if there was one, it would have been repugnant to the AICTE Act. Statute 9(7) merely requires that the ‘views’ of the State Government obtained before granting affiliation and this will not amount to obtaining ‘approval’. If the University Statutes required ‘approval’ it would have been repugnant to the AICTE Act. After referring to Regulation 8(4) of the AICTE Regulations, 1994 (then in force) the Apex Court held that, if the State Government had any valid objections, its only remedy was to place its objection before the AICTE Council or before the State Level Committee, etc.

7. Regarding the ‘policy’ of the State Government, the Apex Court held in Jaya Gokul‘s case (supra) that, the State could not have any ‘policy’ outside the AICTE Act and indeed if it had a policy, it should have placed the same before the AICTE and that too before the latter granted permission. Once that procedure laid down in the AICTE Act and Regulations had been followed under Regulation 8(4), and the Central Task Force had also given its favourable recommendations, there was no scope for any further objection or approval by the State. The Apex Court has also made it clear that, if any fresh facts came to light after an approval was granted by AICTE or if the State felt that some conditions attached to the permission are required by AICTE to be complied with, were not complied with, then the State Government could always write to AICTE, to enable the latter to take appropriate action. Para.27 of the judgment reads thus;