SC Strikes Down Exclusive Power To Affiliate Conferred On Himachal Pradesh University [Read Judgment]
The power of granting affiliation to colleges under the control of the concerned university must vest with the respective university to which the college will be affiliated, the bench held.
The Supreme Court has struck down Section 3(6a) of the Himachal Pradesh Private Medical Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Fixation of Fee) Act 2006, as unconstitutional and held that the private unaided college under Maharishi Markandeshwar University cannot be insisted to get affiliation from Himachal Pradesh University.
Section 3(6a) conferred exclusive power to affiliate private medical educational institutions set up in the state to Himachal Pradesh University.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra held that the university cannot be compelled to take affiliation from some other university by taking recourse to the provisions of the 2006 Act, which primarily deals only with the subject of admissions and fees in private medical colleges within the state.
“The requirement of affiliation from another University even in respect of its constituent college, would be striking at the autonomy of the University and in any case beyond the purview of the subject of admissions and 48 fixation of fee for which limited purpose the 2006 Act has been enacted,” the bench held.
The court also held that the power of granting affiliation to colleges under the control of the university concerned must vest with the respective university to which the college will be affiliated and cannot be whittled down by the 2006 Act or amendments made thereto.
The court also observed that the provision cannot be read down to save it from vice of unconstitutionality, since if the words “Himachal Pradesh” alone were to be struck down, the remaining Section 3 (6a) may create some confusion.
The contention that the college was granted essentiality certificate on the condition that it would abide by the provisions of the 2006 Act and hence, it should abide by it was also rejected by observing thus: “It does not mean that the University would be bound and obliged to comply with even an onerous stipulation, which is unconstitutional and hit by Article 14 and 19(1) (g) of the Constitution and impinging upon its autonomy guaranteed under the 2010 Act.”
Read the Judgment here.