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If all the pre-requisites are satisfied, then recognition must be granted: Supreme Court of India

When all the pre-requisites given under a particular act to get permission/recognition are satisfied, then the concerned authority cannot deny the granting of such permission/recognition. This was held by the Hon’ble Justice R. F, Nariman and Hon’ble Justice B. R. Gavai in the case of Devendra Pathak Sarvodaya College of Education Vs. National Council for Teacher Education and Ors. [WRIT PETITION (C) NO.518 OF 2021] on the 11th of August before the Hon’ble Supreme Court at New Delhi.

The brief facts of the case are, the petitioner college was established as unaided training college to impart Bachelor in Teacher Education (B.Ed.) and Diploma in Elementary Education (D.El.Ed.) courses in the year 2011. The petitioner college submitted an application to respondent No.1 – National Council for Teacher Education (hereinafter referred to as ‘NCTE’) for grant of recognition under Section 14(1) of the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the said Act’) for conducting B.Ed. course with an annual intake of 100 students. Vide order dated 25.2.2014, NCTE granted recognition for B.Ed. course under one-year programme for Academic Year 2014­2015 with an annual intake of 100 students. Respondent No. 2 – Magadh University, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, vide letter dated 2.8.2014 granted affiliation to the petitioner college to conduct admission with 100 seats of one year B.Ed. course from Academic Year 2014­2015 till continuation of accreditation of NCTE. In the 280th meeting of NCTE, held on 29.2.2020 and 1.3.2020, a visiting team was constituted under the provisions of Section 15 of the said Act so as to inspect the infrastructure and instructional facilities for additional intake in B.Ed. and D.El.Ed. courses. However, on account of Covid­19 pandemic, inspection could not take place as scheduled. Subsequently, inspection in the petitioner­college came to be conducted on 8.3.2021 and a letter of intent was issued in favour of the petitioner­college by NCTE for additional intake in B.Ed. and D.El.Ed. courses as to the proposal submitted by the petitioner­ college on 10.6.20216. In the 290th meeting held on 3.3.2021, NCTE found that the petitioner­college has adequate facility required for conducting teachers’ courses. Petitioner­college was therefore asked to intimate its willingness on an affidavit about the number of units sought for the purpose of granting of the formal recognition. Petitioner­college replied thereto stating that the petitioner­college has the necessary infrastructure for additional intake of two units for B.Ed. course and two units for D.El.Ed. course. Recognition was granted to the petitioner­ college for additional intake of two units in B.Ed. course and two units in D.El.Ed. course in the 291st meeting of NCTE, held on 12.4.2021. However, by the said resolution, the recognition has been granted for Academic Year 2022­2023 and not for Academic Year 2021­2022. In this background, the petitioner­college has approached this Court seeking a direction to the respondents to grant recognition for Academic Year 2021­2022.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that, though NCTE or its Regional Committees after having satisfied granted recognition to the petitioners­colleges /institutions for the Academic Year 2022­2023, for no reason, the recognition is not granted for the Academic Year 2021­2022. It is submitted that the petitioners have fully complied with all the infrastructural requirements of the NCTE and there is no reason as to why recognition should not be granted for the Academic Year 2021­ 2022. The counsel for the respondent submitted that, taking into consideration the time frame the recognition has been granted only from the Academic Year 2022­2023 and not from the Academic Year 2021­2022. Learned counsel for the respondent – States also submit that the petitions deserve to be dismissed. The learned judge heard the submissions of both the parties and observed that the Committee was satisfied that the applicant(s) fulfills the requirement under the provisions of NCTE Act, rules and relevant Regulations, after considering the certificates issued from the affiliating bodies. The order also records its satisfaction with regard to Norms and Standards for the teacher education programme such as instructional facilities, infrastructural facilities, financial resources, etc. for running the programme. The petitions were allowed by holding that, “After arriving at such a satisfaction, we are of the view that there can be no rational for NCTE or its Regional Committee to deny the recognition from the Academic Year 2021­2022 and insist on recognition for Academic Session 2022­2023. We find that same course needs to be followed in the present matter, particularly, when the delay is not attributable to the petitioners, but, on the contrary to NCTE or its Regional Committees.”

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