Court asks AICTE to reconsider withdrawal of approval to colleges
The Madras high court has directed authorities to reconsider
the withdrawal of approval for two colleges, Sri Padmavathi College of Engineering
and V K K Vijayan Engineering College in Sriperumbudur.
While both institutions had CBI cases pending against them, their affiliation was
withdrawn on the grounds that they did not comply with the norms fixed by the All
India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
The institutions were called for a hearing by the AICTE in April 2011 but were not
told why it was conducted, the petitions said. Two months later, an announcement
on the website of the affiliating body informed them that their approval had been
withdrawn. The chairpersons of both colleges were asked to appear before the appellate
committee later that month. At the time, they submitted compliance reports to indicate
that they had satisfied the AICTE norms and so the order had to be set aside.
Counsel for petitioner K Duraisami observed that no such order was passed. The petitions
contended the AICTE was prejudiced due to the registration of cases by the CBI.
They were filed after both institutions were raided in 2009 following the arrests
of AICTE member-secretary K Narayana Rao and its former chairman R A Yadav. The
duo was charged with demanding and accepting bribes from owners of private engineering
colleges to overlook inadequate infrastructure while granting approval to institutions.
Passing orders, Justice N Paul Vasantha kumar said that since huge amounts had been
invested, buildings constructed and other facilities provided, withdrawal of approval
could have serious consequences. Directing the AICTE to reconsider the withdrawal
order, based on the compliance reports submitted, the judge said another inspection
team could be sent to the spot to find our whether all AICTE orders were complied
with and pass fresh orders thereafter.
Until then, status quo would be maintained. He added that the process
should be completed within three weeks as admissions and classes were to commence
Courtesy: Times of India