The Supreme Court has declared as unconstitutional the National Tax Tribunal Act under which a national tribunal was set up to decide tax-related cases by taking away the jurisdiction of High Courts in such matters.

A five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha and Justices J.S. Khehar, J. Chelameswar, A.K. Sikri and Rohinton Nariman held that it was the ultimate encroachment on the exclusive domain of the superior Courts of Record in India.

The Bench passed the order on a batch of petitions filed by the Madras Bar Association and others challenging the validity of the National Tax Tribunal, contending that there was a grave danger that the judiciary would be substituted by a host of quasi-judicial tribunals which function as departments of various ministries. [The Hindu]

Case Madras Bar Association vs. Union of India & AnrTransferred Case No. 150 of 2006
Date of Judgment 25.09.2014
  • CJI R. M. Lodha
  • Justice J. S. Kehar
  • Justice Chelameshwar
  • Justice A.K. Sikri
  • J. R. F. Narima (separate opinion)


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                         CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
                    WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.653 OF 2014
Rungta Engineering College, Bhilai
& Another                                       …      Petitioners
Chhattisgarh Swami Vivekanand
Technical University & Another                  …      Respondents
                               J U D G M E N T
1.    A Society called GDR  Educational  Society  claims  to  be  running  a
number of colleges.  It is claimed in the  writ  petition  that  the  ‘first
petitioner’ is  one  of  such  colleges  and  the  second  petitioner  is  a
Secretary of the said Educational Society.
2.    The All India Council for Technical  Education  (hereinafter  referred
to as “AICTE”) is a body constituted  under  Section  3  of  the  All  India
Council for Technical Education Act, 1987 (hereinafter referred to as  “1987
Act”). The AICTE was  established  for  “proper  planning  and  co-ordinated
development of the technical education system throughout  the  country,  the
promotion of qualitative  improvement  of  such  education  in  relation  to
planned quantitative growth and the regulation  and  proper  maintenance  of
norms and standards in  the  technical  education  system  and  for  matters
connected therewith”.
3.    One of the functions of the AICTE under Section 10(k)[1] of  the  said
Act is to grant approval for starting new ‘technical institutions’  and  for
introduction of new courses or programmes  in  consultation  with  technical
4.    “Technical Institution” is defined under Section 2(h) as follows:
 “2(h) “technical institution” means an institution, not being a  University
which offers courses or programmes of technical education and shall  include
such other institutions as the Central Government may, in consultation  with
the Council, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare  as  technical
5.    “Technical Education” is defined under Section 2(h) as follows:
“2(g) “technical education” means programmes  of  education,  research,  and
training   in   engineering   technology,   architecture,   town   planning,
management, pharmacy and applied arts and crafts and  such  other  programme
or areas as the Central Government may, in consultation  with  the  Council,
by notification in the Official Gazette, declare.”
6.    AICTE granted approval by its proceedings dated 07.04.2013  in  favour
of  a  society  called  the  GDR  Educational  Society[2]  to  conduct  five
different courses of engineering[3] indicated in the  said  proceedings  for
the academic year 2013-2014 in the  “1st  petitioner  college”3a  which  has
been established by the said society with a total  intake  capacity  of  300
7.    It is stated in the communication granting  approval  dated  07.4.2013
as follows:
“The approval is valid for two years from the date of issue of  this  letter
for getting affiliation with  respective  University  and  fulfilling  State
Govt. requirements for admission.   If institution is  unable  to  start  in
the academic session 2013-14 due to reason mentioned above, the  institution
will have to apply On-line on AICTE web portal in the next academic  session
for continuation of approved intake 2013-14.
The Society/Trust/Institution shall obtain necessary  affiliation/permission
from the concerned affiliating University as per the prescribed schedule  of
the University/Admission authority etc.”
8.    The Chhattisgarh Swami Vivekanand Technical University is  established
by The Chhattisgarh Swami Vivekanand Technical University Act, 2004  (25  of
2004) (hereinafter referred to as the “2004 Act”).  The preamble of the  Act
indicates the purpose of the Act:
“An Act to establish and incorporate a  University  of  Technology  for  the
purpose of ensuring  systematic,  efficient  and  qualitative  education  in
engineering and technological subjects including Architecture  and  Pharmacy
at Research, Post Graduate Degree and  Diploma  level  and  to  provide  for
matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.
9.    The University is  constituted  under  Section  3  of  the  Act  which
declares that such University shall have perpetual succession,  common  seal
and is capable of suing and being sued by its name.  The objectives  of  the
University are specified under Section 4.   Section  4(13)  stipulates  that
one  of  the  objectives  is  “to  admit  to  its  privileges  colleges   or
polytechnics not maintained by the University, to withdraw  all  or  any  of
these  privileges  and  to  take  over  the  management   of   Colleges   or
Polytechnics in the manner and under conditions prescribes  by  the  Statute
or the Ordinance”.
10.   Section 6 declares that  the  jurisdiction  of  the  University  shall
extend to the whole of the State of Chhattisgarh.   Section 6(2)  stipulates
that “notwithstanding anything contained in  any  other  law  for  the  time
being  in  force,  any  College  or  Polytechnic  or  institution  imparting
Technical Education and situated within the limits  of  the  area  specified
under sub-section (1) shall, with effect from such date as may  be  notified
in this behalf by the State Government, be deemed to be associated with  and
admitted to  the  privileges  of  the  University  and  shall  cease  to  be
associated with other University  or  Board  in  the  manner  prescribed  by
Statute or Regulation”.   Obviously,  any  institution  imparting  technical
education as defined under Section 2(26) of  the  Act  situated  within  the
limits of State  of  Chhattisgarh  is  deemed  to  be  associated  with  and
admitted to privileges of the University.
11.   Section 23 of the 2004 Act stipulates that the  Executive  Council,  a
body constituted  under  Section  22  of  the  Act,  shall  be  the  supreme
authority of the University with various powers and duties  specified  under
Section 23.  One of them is  “to  admit  Colleges  or  Polytechnics  to  the
privileges of the University on the recommendation of the  Academic  Council
and subject to the provisions of this Act and Statute and  to  withdraw  any
of the privileges and  to  take  over  the  management  of  the  College  or
Polytechnic in the manner and under conditions  prescribed  by  the  Statute
and Ordinance”.
12.   In view  of  the  requirement  of  securing  the  affiliation  of  the
concerned University as stipulated by the order of approval (07.04.2013)  by
AICTE, it appears that an application was made to  the  said  University  to
grant affiliation to the first petitioner college which was  rejected  in  a
meeting of the Executive Council of the University dated 13.5.2013[4].
13.   Aggrieved by such decision, a Writ Petition (C) No.847  of  2013  came
to be filed by the petitioners herein before the High Court of  Chhattisgarh
at Bilaspur.  The said writ petition was  disposed  of  by  an  order  dated
28.6.2013 directing consideration of the representation to be  made  by  the
petitioners after giving them an opportunity of being heard in person.   The
operative portion of the order is as follows:
“Shri Shrivastava, learned counsel appearing for  the  respondent/university
submits that he has no objection if a representation is  made,  and  in  the
event, a representation is made, the same will be considered  in  accordance
with law  as  expeditiously  as  possible.   He  further  submits  that  the
petitioner may also be heard in person, if so desired by the petitioner.
In view of the above submissions made by learned counsel appearing  for  the
parties, if the petitioners makes a representation  with  a  period  of  one
week  from  today,  as  agreed  and  consented  by  both  the  parties,  the
petitioner may appear before the authorities of  the  respondent/university.
The respondent/university is  also  directed  to  consider  and  decide  the
representation within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of  the
representation, in accordance with law, on its own merit and perspective.”
14.    The  petitioners  submitted  a  representation  dated  01.7.2013.   A
communication dated 17.7.2013 was sent to  the  petitioners  signed  by  the
Registrar  of  the  University  purporting  to  grant  affiliation  for  the
academic session 2013-14 for  the  various  courses  specified  therein  for
total intake capacity of 300 students with a rider that such affiliation  is
subject to approval of the Executive Council of the  University[5].   It  is
the specific case of the University that such a decision was  taken  by  the
Vice-Chancellor in exercise of the powers  under  Section  14(4)  read  with
Section 23(12) of the 2004 Act.  Pursuant to  such  affiliation  order,  the
petitioners admitted more than some 200 students.
15.   On 28.12.2013, the petitioners once again applied for affiliation  for
the academic session 2014-15.
16.   On 03.3.2014, the  31st  meeting  of  the  Executive  Council  of  the
University  was  held  wherein  the  provisional  affiliation   granted   on
17.7.2013 by the Vice-Chancellor  was  considered.   The  Executive  Council
took note of the fact  that  in  an  earlier  meeting  dated  10.8.2013  the
Executive Council had referred the case to the Advocate General for  opinion
and as opinion was  not  forthcoming  for  various  reasons,  the  Executive
Council took a decision as follows:
“The  conditional  affiliation  granted  vide  letter   No.CSVTU/Affil/2013-
2014/2013/2963 dated 17.7.2013 should be withdrawn.
Students admitted may be transferred to other colleges in  a  legal,  lawful
and rationale manner.
The Executive Council unanimously  took  a  decision  to  place  the  matter
before the Hon’ble Chancellor for his final decision in the matter.”
17.   The question of ratification of the affiliation granted to  the  first
petitioner College once again came for consideration in 33rd meeting of  the
Executive Council on 29/30.4.2014.  Once again it was decided:
“Based on the majority decision  proposal  of  ratification  of  affiliation
stands turned down, taking into account the aforesaid  facts.   Keeping  the
future of admitted students, a letter be written to  the  Director-Technical
Education and Secretary-Technical Education, to  transfer  the  students  to
other colleges where seats are vacant.”
The said decision was communicated to the petitioners herein on 01.5.2014.
18.   Aggrieved by the said decision, the petitioners  filed  Writ  Petition
No.423 of 2014 before this Court.  On 12.5.2014, this  Court  issued  notice
on the said writ  petition.   On  19.5.2014,  the  said  writ  petition  was
disposed off.  The operative portion of the said order reads as follows:
“Be that as it may, it is agreed that the Executive Council shall look  into
the matter again in so far as  academic  year  2013-2014  is  concerned,  we
remit the case back to the Executive  Council  to  take  a  decision  afresh
after giving due opportunity  to  the  petitioners  to  present  their  case
before the Executive Council and pass reasoned  order  thereon  within  four
As far as academic year 2014-2015 is concerned, it is  pointed  out  by  Mr.
Varma, learned senior counsel that  the  application  of  the  petitioner  –
College  along  with  the  applications  submitted  by  other  colleges  for
affiliation are already under consideration.
In view thereof, in so far as academic  year  2014-2015  is  concerned,  the
Executive Council shall take a decision in  the  aforesaid  manner  by  15th
July 2014 after following the due procedure.”
19.   It can be seen from the order that  it  is  an  agreed  order  to  the
effect that the Executive Council will once again examine  the  question  of
granting affiliation to the first petitioner college insofar as it  pertains
to the academic year 2013-2014.  Coming to the question of  affiliation  for
the academic year 2014-2015, this Court directed the  Executive  Council  to
take a decision by 15.7.2014.
20.    Pursuant  to  the  said  order,  the  petitioner  submitted   another
representation on 23.5.2014 praying that a decision be taken  on  the  issue
of grant of affiliation for the academic year 2014-2015.
21.   On 04.6.2014, AICTE granted approval for the academic  year  2014-2015
to conduct seven different courses (five graduate and two  diploma  courses)
with a total intake of 540  students,  the  details  of  which  may  not  be
necessary for the present purpose.
22.   On 11.6.2014, an opportunity for  oral  hearing  was  granted  by  the
Executive Council in its 36th meeting. Finally,  by  a  communication  dated
19.6.2014, the University informed the second  petitioner  herein  that  the
Executive Council of the University in  its  meeting  held  dated  11.6.2014
took a decision  by  majority  to  disapprove  the  provisional  affiliation
granted on 17.7.2013 to the first petitioner.  The said communication  reads
as follows:
“Pursuant to the Order of the Hon’ble Supreme  Court  dated  19.5.2014,  the
Executive Council of the  University  met  o  11.6.2014,  where  a  majority
decision was taken to disapprove  the  provisional  affiliation  granted  on
17.7.2013 to Rungta Engineering College, Bhilai.  Therefore, the  status  of
Runga Engineering College, Bhilai stands “dis-affiliated” for  the  academic
session 2013-14. A copy of the minutes  of  the  Executive  Council,  citing
reasons for disapproving  the  provisional  affiliation  granted  to  Rungta
Engineering College, Bhilai, is enclosed for your kind information.”
23.   By another communication dated 01.7.2014, which was  received  by  the
petitioner on 09.7.2014, the University informed the  second  petitioner  as
“Pursuant to the Order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court  dated  19.05.2014,  the
Executive Council of  the  University  met  on  11.06.2014  and  a  majority
decision was taken to disapprove  the  provisional  affiliation  granted  to
Rungta Engineering College,  Bhilai  on  17.07.2013.   Now,  the  status  of
Rungta Engineering College, Bhilai stands “Dis-affiliated” for the  academic
session 2013-14.
The above has been communicated to you vide letter no.1109 dated  19th  June
2014.  The application for 2014-15 is an extension  of  affiliation  to  the
College.  The decision taken in the Executive Council on 11.06.2014  was  to
dis-affiliate the College, therefore the extension of 14-15 does  not  arise
as the College has already been dis-affiliated.”
                                  (emphasis supplied)
24.   Hence the writ petition.
25.   The petitioners challenged the impugned order on the  ground  that  it
violates Articles 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.  It is  also
argued by the learned counsel  for  the  petitioners  that  the  respondents
decided not to grant affiliation on the basis of  considerations  which  are
factually incorrect and areas which are not within  their  legal  competence
to exercise.
26.   On the other hand, the respondent resisted the writ  petition  on  the
ground  that  the  first  petitioner  College  does  not   satisfy   various
conditions contemplated under  AICTE  norms  and  also  Statute  19  of  the
University.  It is the case of the first respondent  University  that  by  a
communication dated 26.4.2013 the second  petitioner  was  informed  of  the
various shortcomings.  The relevant portion of the  communication  reads  as
“Based on the recommendations of the  Inspection  Committee  constituted  by
Chhattisgarh  Swami  Vivekanand  Technical  University,  Bhilai,   for   the
affiliation of courses of your Institution, the institution has  been  found
to be suffering from the following deficiencies:
Teaching  staff  (Assistant  professor,  Associate   Professor,   Professor)
appointed on adhoc  basis  be  selected  through  the  University  Selection
Committee as per statute 19 of CSVTU and as per AICTE norms.   Selection  of
process be initiated at the earliest to maintain Cadre ratio as per norms.
Principal be appointed as per Statute-19 of the University.
Student teacher ratio be improved as per norms.
Govt.  NoCs  to  conduct  1st  year  classes  for  the  session  2013-14  be
Journals be procured in the Library as per  norms.   E-Journals  in  digital
library and other books related to general proficiency be procured.
Proper timing of librarian is needed as proper entry of books  in  accession
register be maintained.
Safety measures be installed at Structure, Library, Labs and Workshop.
Internet connectivity in Computer lab be improved.
Separate strong room be provided in exam control room.
Flow charts, lab manuals of laboratory & layout of lab be displayed.
Lux meter be used to check the illumination  in  the  different  areas  like
Class rooms & laboratory of the campus.
Playground facility be improved.
Licence software & communication skill be developed as per norms.
List of experiments as per University scheme  be  displayed  on  the  notice
boards with signature of Prof. I/c and lab attendant.
All weather roads in general be  improved  and  set  back  distance  of  the
boundaries be maintained as per municipal bye building.
Anti ragging cell, women’s cell and counselling cell be formed  &  displayed
in the campus.
Demarcation of parking, Canteen & other amenities be improved.
Anvil accessories of the workshop be made available.
Gas pipe line be provided with commercial gas cylinder along with shower  be
provided in the Chemistry lab.
Seating arrangement like stool be provided for the students in the labs.
Supporting laboratory staff be appointed as per norms  &  working  hours  of
library be displayed.
Specifying class rooms,  Labs,  Library,  Computer  centres,  Drawing  Hall,
Workshop, Seminar hall  on  the  approved  building  plans,  floorwise,  (on
photocopies of the original Approved building Plans without  any  reductions
in size) be submitted to the University.
Sports fee if any be submitted.
Processing fee of Rs.30,000/- be submitted.
An   affidavit   on   non   judicial   stamp    paper    of    Rs.50/-    by
Trust/Society/Principal regarding the steps  taken  for  the  Compliance  of
rectifying of the above deficiencies is to be submitted  to  the  University
latest by 29.4.2013.”
27.   In response to the said communication,  the  GDR  Educational  Society
sent a reply dated 29.4.2013,  the  substance  of  which  is  that  all  the
alleged shortcomings pointed out in  the  communication  of  the  University
dated 26.4.2013 are either without any factual basis or  had  in  fact  been
complied with.
28.   In the light of sharp difference of opinion  between  the  petitioners
and the first respondent University, during  the  pendency  of  the  present
writ petition, we thought it fit to call  upon  AICTE  by  the  order  dated
08.8.2014 to “inspect the petitioner’s College and submit a  report  whether
the petitioner has complied with all the requirements of law”.  In  view  of
the said direction, AICTE conducted inspection and reported.  The  substance
of  which  is  that  the  petitioner  College  has  complied  with  all  the
requirements of law.
29.   The respondent University and the State very  vehemently  argued  that
notwithstanding  the  opinion  expressed  by  AICTE  there  are  still  some
shortcomings examined in the  light  of  the  norms  and  standards  of  the
University for granting affiliation to any institution  imparting  technical
30.   It is argued that the University, which is a  statutory  body  brought
into existence pursuant to an enactment made by the legislative assembly  of
the State of Chhattisgarh, is obliged to discharge the duties enjoined  upon
it by the  2004  Act  and  it  cannot  be  prevented  from  discharging  its
obligation of being satisfied that the petitioner institution qualifies  for
affiliation in terms  of  the  norms  and  standards  prescribed  by  it  in
discharge of  its  statutory  powers  and  compelled  to  grant  affiliation
notwithstanding the fact that the  University  is  not  satisfied  with  the
eligibility of the first petitioner College for affiliation.
31.   The authority of the States and the Universities  established  by  the
States to regulate the establishment and running of  institutions  imparting
technical education has been a subject matter of a long  debate  in  various
judgments of this Court.
32.   Educational institutions imparting technical  education  are  amenable
to the control of AICTE under the  1987  Act  in  certain  aspects  and  the
regulatory authority of the State, and Universities established by or  under
a legislation of the State, in certain other aspects.
33.   This Court in State of T.N. and Another  v.  Adhiyaman  Educational  &
Research Institute and Others, (1995)  4  SCC  104,  after  considering  the
constitutional scheme of various entries of List  I  and  List  III  of  the
Seventh Schedule and the language of the 1987 Act and the Madras  University
Act concluded that the 1987 Act is referable to Entry 66  of  List  I.   The
field of “determination of standards in institutions for  higher  education,
or research and scientific and technical institutions” is exclusive  to  the
Parliament and any law made by the Parliament referable to  the  said  field
is paramount. The 1987 Act empowers the AICTE, a body constituted under  the
said Act “to evolve suitable  performance  appraisal  systems  incorporating
norms  and  mechanisms  for  maintaining  accountability  of  the  technical
institutions” and lay down “norms  and  standards  for  courses,  curricula,
staff pattern, staff qualifications,  assessment  and  examinations,  fixing
norms and guidelines for charging  tuition  fee  and  other  fees,  granting
approval for starting new technical institutions or introducing new  courses
or programmes”. This  Court  categorically  held  “Thus,  so  far  as  these
matters are concerned, in the case of  the  institutes  imparting  technical
education, it is not the University Act and the University  but  it  is  the
Central  Act  and  the  Council  created  under  it  which  will  have   the
jurisdiction”.  Consequently, this Court held “after coming  into  operation
of the Central Act” the provisions of any other  State  law  overlapping  on
the area covered  by  the  Central  Act  “will  be  deemed  to  have  become
unenforceable…”.  The argument that  the  State  legislature  can  stipulate
norms of higher standards even in those  areas  which  are  covered  by  the
AICTE is clearly rejected by this Court.
34.   The question whether the State Government as a matter of  policy,  can
decline  to  grant  approval/permission  for  the  establishment  of  a  new
engineering college in view of the perception of the State  Government  that
the opening of new colleges will not be in the interest of the students  and
employment, fell for consideration of this Court in Jaya  Gokul  Educational
Trust  v.  Commissioner  &  Secretary   to   Government   Higher   Education
Department, Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala State and Another, (2000) 5  SCC  231.
This Court held 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.
35.   The question of the authority of a  University  to  grant  or  decline
affiliation squarely fell for consideration before  this  Court  in  Bhartia
Education Society v. State of H.P., (2011) 4 SCC 527.  The case arose  under
the National Council for Teachers Education Act, 1993 (hereinafter  referred
to as “NCTE Act") the scheme of which is also identical to  the  AICTE  Act.
This Court held as follows:-
“19. … On the other hand, “recognition” is the licence  to  the  institution
to offer a course or training in teacher  education.    Prior  to  the  NCTE
Act, in the absence of an apex body to plan and  coordinate  maintenance  of
the norms and standards in the  teacher  education  system,  Government  and
universities/boards.   After the enactment of the NCTE  Act,  the  functions
of NCTE as “recognising authority” and the examining bodies as  “affiliating
authorities” became crystallised, though their functions overlap on  several
issues.   The NCTE Act recognises the role  of  examining  bodies  in  their
sphere of activity.
36.   This Court examined the scope of Section 16  of  the  NCTE  Act  which
prohibited  the  grant  of  affiliation  by  any  “examining  body”   -   (a
University) to any institution conducting a course for training  people  for
the occupation of teaching  unless  such  institution  obtained  recognition
from the competent authority under the NCTE Act.   Though, this  Court  made
it  clear  that  the  “examining  body”  (University)  does  not  have   any
discretion to refuse affiliation with reference to any of the factors  which
ought to be considered by NCTE while granting recognition,  recognised  that
the “examining body” has the authority to demand compliance with  its  norms
in a limited area regarding the “eligibility of the candidates” and  “manner
of admission” of students etc.
37.   It was further held :-
“22. … For example, NCTE is required to satisfy itself  about  the  adequate
financial  resources,   accommodation,   library,   qualified   staff,   and
laboratory required for proper functioning of an institution  for  a  course
or training in teacher education.   Therefore, when recognition  is  granted
by NCTE, it is implied that NCTE has  satisfied  itself  on  those  aspects.
Consequently, the examining body may not refuse affiliation  on  the  ground
that  the  institution  does  not   have   adequate   financial   resources,
accommodation, library, qualified staff, or laboratory required  for  proper
functioning of the institution.  But this does not mean that  the  examining
body cannot require compliance  with  its  own  requirements  in  regard  to
eligibility of candidates for admissions to courses or manner  of  admission
of  students  or  other  areas  falling  within  the  sphere  of  the  State
Government and/or the examining body.”
At para 24, this Court indicated the areas where the  “examining  body”  can
stipulate  norms,  the  non-compliance  with  which  norms   authorise   the
examining body to cancel the affiliation.
“24.   The examining body can  therefore  impose  its  own  requirements  in
regard to eligibility of students for admission to a course in  addition  to
those prescribed by NCTE.   The State Government and the examining body  may
also regulate the manner of admissions.   As a consequence, if there is  any
irregularity  in  admissions  or  violation  of  the  eligibility   criteria
prescribed by the examining body or any irregularity with reference  to  any
of the matters regulated and governed by the examining body,  the  examining
body  may  cancel  the  affiliation  irrespective  of  the  fact  that   the
institution continues to enjoy the recognition of  NCTE.    Sub-section  (6)
of Section 14 cannot be interpreted in a manner so as to  make  the  process
of affiliation, an automatic rubber-stamping  consequent  upon  recognition,
without any kind of discretion in the examining body to examine whether  the
institution deserves affiliation or not, independent of the recognition.”
38.   Similarly, under the scheme of the 1987 Act, as noticed by this  Court
in para 30 of the Adhiyaman Educational & Research Institute  case  (supra),
under Section 10 of the Central Act,  the  Council  is  entrusted  with  the
power to  lay  down  norms  and  standards  for  courses,  curricula,  staff
pattern, staff qualification, assessment and examination, fixing  norms  and
guidelines for charging tuition fees etc. and further  held  that  in  these
matters the University will have no authority.
39.   The respondents heavily relied upon the last sentence of  para  24  of
the decision in Bhartia Education Society (supra)   (extracted  earlier)  to
assert that the respondents still have the necessary authority to  grant  or
decline affiliation.
40.   We are of the opinion that the respondents are reading  that  sentence
out of the context. The judgment was very clear as to the  areas  which  are
exclusively  within  the  jurisdiction  of  the  NCTE   whose   satisfaction
regarding the compliance with the standards prescribed by it in those  areas
is final and the areas where the “examining body” has authority to lay  down
its own norms (such as eligibility  of  the  students  for  admission  to  a
course and the manner of admission).
41.   We apply the principles of law mentioned above to  the  facts  of  the
present case. The various objections which  (according  to  the  respondent)
formed  the  basis  for  declining  affiliation  to  the  first   petitioner
institution are contained in the communication  dated  26.4.2013  which  was
extracted in detail at para 26 (supra).
42.    An  examination  of  all  the  objections  mentioned  in   the   said
communication would reveal that each one of those objections  squarely  fall
within the sweep of one or the other areas which  only  the  AICTE  has  the
exclusive jurisdiction to deal with.   None of them are demonstrated  before
us to be matters falling within the area legally falling within  the  domain
of the respondents.  AICTE, on inspection  of  the  Ist  petitioner  college
reported  that  the  Ist  petitioner  college  fulfils  all  the  conditions
prescribed by the norms and standards laid down by AICTE.   The  respondents
did not make any specific assertion that such  a  report  of  the  AICTE  is
factually incorrect.   Assuming for  the  sake  of  argument  that,  in  the
opinion  of  the  respondents,  the  petitioner  college  has  not  in  fact
fulfilled any one of the conditions required under the  norms  specified  by
the AICTE, the only course of action available for  the  respondents  is  to
bring the shortcomings noticed by them to the notice of the AICTE  and  seek
appropriate action against the petitioner college.[6]
43.   We are, therefore, of the opinion that the decision of the  respondent
not to grant the affiliation to  the  first  petitioner  college  is  wholly
untenable and is required to be set aside.   The  same  is  accordingly  set
aside.   Since the respondent did not decline the affiliation to  the  first
petitioner college either on the  ground  that  the  petitioner  college  is
admitting wholly ineligible students as per  the  norms  stipulated  by  the
respondent University or that the  admission  procedure  prescribed  by  the
respondents is not being complied with by the petitioners or  on  any  other
ground that the petitioners violated any one of  the  stipulations  made  by
the University which the University is legally competent to  make,  we  have
no option but  to  direct  the  respondents  to  grant  affiliation  to  the
petitioner college.  The operative portion of the  judgment  of  this  Court
has  already  been  pronounced  on  01.9.2014.   Therefore,   we   are   not
reiterating the same.
44.   We are sorry to say that in the entire writ petition, we did not  find
any  information  whether  the   GDR   Educational   Society   is   a   body
recognized/registered under any enactment.  If it  is  recognized,  what  is
the relevant enactment under which the same is registered?  So-called  first
petitioner has no existence in the eye of law and is not  capable  of  suing
or being sued, though the second petitioner  is  a  natural  person  who  is
capable of suing and being sued.   The  bold  assertion  that  the  impugned
action is violative of Article 19(1)(g) of  the  Constitution  made  in  the
petition is a highly doubtful  assertion  vis-à-vis  both  the  petitioners.
The rights under Article 19 are only guaranteed to the  citizens.   The  so-
called first petitioner cannot be a citizen, not  even  a  person.   Whether
the right asserted by the second petitioner under Article 19 is a  right  to
practise any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business  is
not known.  No arguments are advanced on either  side.   Modern  lawyers  do
not  trouble  themselves  with  such  questions!   Any  judge  asking  these
questions perhaps is considered “not  sensitive  to  the  public  interest”!
However, the whole  exercise  undertaken  by  the  respondent  is  certainly
violative of  Article  14  of  the  Constitution  and,  therefore,  we  have
examined the issue.
45.   The writ petition stands disposed off accordingly.
                                                    (A.K. Sikri)
New Delhi;
September 25, 2014
[1]    Section 10. Functions of the Council.  It shall be the  duty  of  the
Council to take all such steps as it may think fit for ensuring  coordinated
and  integrated  development  of  technical  education  and  maintenance  of
standards and for the purposes for performing its functions under this  Act,
the Council may-
      (k)   grant approval for starting new technical institutions  and  for
introduction of new courses of programmes in consultation with the  agencies
[2]    & 3a Unfortunately, the details  of  the  Society  –  whether  it  is
registered Society or not, if registered under what law it is  registered  –
are not specified in the writ petition.  (It is highly  doubtful  whether  a
legal proceeding in the name of a College is  maintainable.  Modern  lawyers
appearing on either side in such litigation do not trouble  themselves  with
such questions  and  Judges  who  ask  such  questions  are  considered  not
sensitive to the “public interest”!)
[3]     1. Mechanical, 2. Civil, 3. Electrical & Electronics , 4.
Electrical and 5. Computer Science & Engineering
[4]    Since none of the applicant institutions fulfil the  AICTE  norms  as
pointed out in the inspection reports and admission made in  the  compliance
affidavits of the existing of deficiencies,  the  affiliation  for  academic
session 2013-14 for new college, new  courses  and  increase  in  intake  is
liable to be refused.  However, for the  current  courses  in  the  existing
colleges affiliation is recommended.
[5]    In the light of the Order of  Hon’ble  High  Court  dated  28th  June
2013, and the submission of documents fulfilling the  shortcomings  as  well
as the undertaking in this regard,  affiliation  for  the  academic  session
2013-14 is hereby granted for the following courses  with  following  intake
      Computer Science & Engineering –  60,  Mechanical  Engineering  –  60,
Electrical Engineering – 60, Electrical & Electronics Engineering – 60;  and
Civil Engineering – 60.  (Total: 300)
      The above affiliation is subject to approval by  University  Executive
[6]     Jaya  Gokul  Educational  Trust  Vs.  Commissioner  &  Secretary  to
Government Higher Education Department, Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala State  and
Another [(2000) 5 SCC 231] -      “27……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.    We  may
however add that if thereafter, 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 and 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.”