Keeping in mind the delays caused due to the long imposed lockdown and health crisis posed by the pandemic, the District Level Inspection Commission (DLIC) was granted a relaxation in conducting inspection and the verification of documents or the grant of permission to open new colleges. The aforesaid has been adopted by the Kerela High Court while adjudicating the case of Sree Narayana Vidhya Mandir Trust v. The University of Calicut & Ors. [WP(C) NO. 10943 OF 2021] which was decided by the single judge bench comprising Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V on 22nd June 2021.
The facts of the case are as follows. The petitioner, the Sree Narayana Vidya Mandir Trust, submitted Ext.P1 application before the 1st respondent for starting a new Self-Financing Arts and Science College with two undergraduate programmes, being B.A. (Economics) and B.Com. (Finance). The grievance of the petitioner was that there is total inaction on the part of the respondents in discharging their responsibilities while considering an application for affiliation as per the Calicut University First Statutes, 1977 and this is causing a loss of another academic year to the petitioner. On the other hand, it was contended by the respondents that it was decided in their meeting that the DLIC would be conducting an inspection and verifying the documents. It was further stated that due to the indiscriminate spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University Offices have remained closed since 30.4.2021. It is in the afore circumstances that the DLIC inspection and document verification could not be completed.
The court conducted a perusal of the facts and arguments at hand and disposed of the writ petition by stating the following, “Having considered the submissions advanced, I find that steps have already been initiated to conduct inspection by the DLIC and also to verify the documents by the Verification Committee. Some delay has occurred, which is unavoidable as the State was reeling due to the effects of the pandemic and a lockdown was also imposed. Now that the respondents have undertaken to take expeditious steps, I am of the view that necessary directions can be issued to process Ext.P1 application and take a decision in an expeditious manner.”