Universities & affiliated colleges to mandatorily comply with UGC Regulations, 2010

Kerala High Court:  Answering the reference in the affirmative, the Full Bench reaffirmed that the appointments to the posts of Principal and teachers in various universities and affiliated colleges in the State have to be in compliance with the UGC Regulations laid down for the same. The Full Bench comprising of Antony Dominic, A. Hariprasad and P.B. Suresh Kumar, JJ. was adjudicating as to whether the UGC Regulations on Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Other  Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education, 2010 were applicable while making appointments to the posts of Principal and teachers.

Observing that once the UGC Regulations were adopted by the State Government and implemented with effect from 18-9-2010, the Regulations were mandatorily to be complied with by the universities in the State. The Court also clarified that anything in conflict with the Central law and the subordinate legislation made there under, will be void and inoperative. The Court set aside the judgment of the Division Bench in S.N.College v. N. Raveendran, 2001(3) KLT 938 holding that “irrespective of whether the University Acts enacted under Entry 25 of List III or the statutes framed there under are amended in line with the UGC Regulations or not, in view of its adoption by the State of Kerala with effect from 18-9-2010 as per Government Order dated 10-12-2010,  the universities and affiliated colleges in Kerala State are bound to comply with the UGC Regulations, 2010. Viewed in that manner, the natural consequence is that the principles laid down by this Court in Raveendran’s case cannot be sustained and is overruled.”

The Court categorically observed that the issue was no longer res integra having been decided by the Supreme Court in a plethora of cases, Dr Preeti Srivastava v. State of M.P., (1999) 7 SCC 120; State of Tamil Nadu v. S.V. Brateep, (2004) 4 SCC 513 and University Grants Commission v. Neha Anil Bobde (Gadekar), (2013) 10 SCC 519. The matter was  reconsidered in P. Suseela v. University Grants Commission, (2015) 8 SCC 129 whereby the mandatory nature of the UGC Regulations, 2010 was reiterated and the claim for exemption rejected. [Dr D. Radhakrishnan Pillai v. Travancore Devaswom Board, 2016 SCC OnLine Ker 403, decided on February 23, 2016]

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