Provide opportunity to vindicate before denying provisional affiliation: Kerala High Court

The colleges must be provided with an opportunity to vindicate before they are denied provisional affiliation. An affiliation is denied when the college fails to meet basic standards of achievement set by the university. The colleges must be provided with a chance to substantiate their stand while fulfilling the deficiencies during the inspection. This proclamation was made by the Kerala High Court in the case of Principal, Century International Institute of Denstal Sciences vs. Kerala University of Health Sciences and othrs. [W.A. 155/2021] presided by C.J. S. Manikumar and J. Shaji P. Chaly.

In the present case, the appellant college was denied affiliation to the Kerala University on the grounds that there were major deficiencies found while inspecting the college. 3 of the Medical staff were not present, without due authorization. Out of 3 Dental staff deputed for valuation duty, only one had reported for duty and other 2 had not. Judicial notice can be taken that deputation of faculty for valuation duty can be done only when the University directs the respective colleges to depute for such duty. The appellant contended, admittedly, one Dental staff has attended the valuation duty and the two staff would have to explain to the college, as to why they did not attend the duty. Thus, all the three Dental staff cannot be said to be absent. Further, the appellant college cannot be held responsible for their absence in not attending the valuation duty. There was no Reader in the Department of Orthodontics and no substitute had been made. Appellant college submitted that current reader had taken a long leave for personal reasons and was replaced by promoting Dr. Ajeesha to the post of Reader, who had completed 4 years of service as per DCI norms; and there is no deficiency in the post of Reader.

The honorable high court held that, “As rightly pointed out by the learned Senior Counsel for the appellant college, none of the averments in the order impugned in the writ petition, relating to the complaints submitted to the Governor of Kerala, Inspection done by the Dental Council of India, and the students feedback, were part of the deficiencies noticed by the Kerala University of Health Sciences for rectification and that the appellant college was not given an opportunity to substantiate their stand. Therefore, the appellant cannot be denied continuation of provisional affiliation, on those grounds.” Further the court held, “Accordingly, orders issued by the 1st respondent University and the impugned judgment are set aside. Court, in normal circumstances, would only direct the authorities concerned, to reconsider the issue of continued affiliation. However, considering the totality of the case and in the light of the order passed by the Kerala University of Health Sciences University, we deem it fit to direct the University, to grant continued affiliation to the appellant college, for the academic year 2020-21, for BDS course.”

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