Madras High Court: In a writ petition filed for directing the Tamil Nadu Teachers Education University(respondent 3) to grant continuation of affiliation from 2021-2022 to Arulmigu Kalasalingam College of Education ( ‘College'), and to permit the students of the College to undergo School Internship Teaching Practice and to appear for the Semester I and II Examination, C.V. Karthikeyan, J. while dismissing the writ petition imposed costs of Rs.5,00,000/- payable to the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court Legal Services Committee. Further, directed the member Secretary of the said Committee to contact the Chairperson, Virudhunagar District Legal Services Committee and reach out to the 100 students, who were admitted by the College, examine the students and disburse the amount to those 100 students as per the apportionment fixed by the Member Secretary.
The Court took note of Chapter 13 (Approval of Colleges) Clause No. 40 of the Rules and Regulations of the Tamil Nadu Teachers Education University and said that it is evident that affiliation cannot be granted with retrospective effect. The said College, as a Deemed University, cannot claim ignorance of this particular Clause. They cannot claim innocence of the particular Clause. They cannot seek indulgence of this Court.
The Court further said that a similar provision has also been given by the National Council for Teacher Education[respondent 1], which is governed by the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 (‘Act 1993') and the National Council for Teacher Education Rules, 1997.
The Court said that Section 17(4) of the Act, 1993 very specifically states that if any degree is granted by a College, which had admitted students during the period when the College suffered from withdrawal of recognition or affiliation, then such a degree or certificate cannot be treated as a valid qualification for the purpose of employment under the Central Government or State Government or under any University, or any School, or any College or any Educational Body either aided by the Central Government or by the State Government. The College must be aware of all these rules. If they are not aware, they have no right to function as a university. Further, the Court noted that the College still admitted 100 students in the year 2021.
The Court said that as the admissions were made, even after the withdrawal of recognition and affiliation. Thus, the main aim of the College was to collect money from gullible students. The bank account of the College has been enriched by the fees paid by the students. Therefore, the College is fighting for their own cause and certainly not for the cause of students. If they were interested, they would not have admitted the students in the first place.
Further, considering the welfare of the students, the Court requested the respondents to examine the possibility of transfer of the students to any other college, and said that if rules permit, the students may also be scattered to several institutions and thereafter, can be permitted to write the semester examinations. The Court also left it open for the students to litigate against the College for the damages.
[Arulmigu Kalasalingam College of Education v. Appeal Committee, 2023 SCC OnLine Mad 2549, order dated 12-04-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For Petitioner: Advocate E. Somasundaram
For Respondents: Advocate Su.Srinivasan, Advocate F.Deepak