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Power vests with the Central Government in terms of Section 15 of the Architects Act of 1972 to recognise a degree awarded by a Foreign University: HIGH COURT OF DELHI

The power ultimately vests with the Central Government in consultation with the respondent No.1 in terms of Section 15 of the Act of 1972 to recognise a degree awarded by a Foreign University, this Court directs that appropriate shall be for the petitioner to provide the information as sought for by respondent No.1was upheld by the HIGH COURT OF DELHI through the learned bench led by HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE V. KAMESWAR RAO in the case of SIDDHARTHA THOMAS Vs COUNCIL OF ARCHITECTURE & ANR. (W.P.(C) 11420/2019) on March 02, 2022.

Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner had obtained a Degree of Master of Arts with Honours in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. According to him, the said qualifications added to the Schedule of the Act of 1972 “a Degree” from the University of Edinburgh, as recognised for the purpose of the Architects Act, 1972.

The petitioner in order to register himself as an Architect in India had applied to respondent No.1 under Section 26 of the Act of 1972 for registration, vide letter dated November 29, 2018. The application of the petitioner was rejected on the ground that the qualification possessed by the petitioner, i.e., Degree of Master of Arts with Honours in Architecture awarded by the University of Edinburgh is not a recognised qualification as per the Schedule of Act of 1972 and therefore the petitioner could not be registered as an Architect in India.

Mr. Naveen R. Nath, learned Sr. Counsel for the respondent No.1 stated that the petitioner cannot be registered as an Architect and respondent No.1 has no role to play with regard to inclusion of a particular qualification of a foreign University in the Schedule to the Act of 1972. In this regard he has drawn my attention to Section 15 of the Act of 1972 to contend that it is the Central Government which after consultation with the Council directs through a notification in the Official Gazette for the inclusion of any qualification in the subject of Architecture granted by a University located outside India. Respondent No.1 had also enclosed a form for recognition of foreign qualification to be filled and submitted by the petitioner to the respondent No.1, who shall examine the issue and make suitable recommendation to respondent No.2.

The court observed “The respondent No.1 shall examine the petitioner’s request under Section 15 of the Act of 1972 and proceed thereafter in accordance with law. The consideration must be effected by respondent No.1 within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of information from the petitioner and if any recommendation is made by respondent No.1, then respondent No.2 shall take a decision within six weeks thereafter.”

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Written by Riya Singh, Legal Intern, Prime Legal

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